Gyms See Big Membership Increase In January

Danville, VA - So many people have promised to get back into the gym for the new year. And that resolution can be good for more than just your health. It could be good for business. Local gyms say they depend on the boost in memberships during the first month of the year.

Everyone seems to say the same thing on January 1st, to work out more in the new year.

"Joining the Y was one of my top resolutions," said Ed Jones, new YMCA member.

"With all the folks after the holidays, New Year's resolutions, January is definitely the biggest month," said Sarah Folmar, CEO of the Danville YMCA.

In fact, at the Danville YMCA, their typical membership triples the first month of the year.

"The biggest thing, it is very important to bring in the members but for us it's more important to retain the members, to keep them throughout the year," said Folmar.

Jones checked off his resolution list early in the day. He became the first new member of the Danville Y for 2013.

"I had gotten away from it a little bit so I'm joining the Y to get some energy that I need etc. so I think I will feel a lot better," said Jones.

Jones says the monthly fee seemed reasonable and the Y banks on those extra bucks.

"We budget for a big month so each year we plan to bring in a lot of new members," said Folmar.

Folmar says if they didn't have this huge membership increase now, they might have to cut back throughout the year. They simply need the money to keep up their programs.

"Typically when you don't have the revenue you have to cut back on the expense side," said Folmar.

With all of these extra members, that means they will need twice as many employees in the fitness center all the way through March. But not everyone keeps that promise to themselves and the gym.

"I would say we would probably retain about half of the members," said Folmar.

The Danville YMCA has a special deal this month to bring in 5 cans of food and waive the membership fee. But they say they never turn someone away for financial reasons, so you can stop by to find out more about their programs.