Competition flares up between Louisville-area gyms - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Competition flares up between Louisville-area gyms

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a fitness fight in a place often called one of the most unhealthy states in the nation. An experiment is underway at every Louisville-area YMCA to address growing competition at the gym.

Ben Kappes joined the downtown YMCA two months ago in preparation for a marathon.

"It's right by work and I just come right over here on my lunchtime," Kappes said. "I feel like it's a great, great gym."

The organization would like to see a few more customers like Kappes.

"Individual branches are trying different things to retain members and to get people coming in the door to reach their health and wellness goals," said Dave Bell, executive director of the downtown YMCA.

For example, the Northeast YMCA is offering free swimming lessons. The Southwest YMCA will give families of two reduced rates. The Southeast YMCA will cut a break on membership prices for customers who reach their fitness goals.

And here, downtown they're adding classes.

"We are going to be adding about 10 extra hours of exercise classes per week," Bell said.

Leaders say whichever experiments work the best will be implemented across all 14 Kentuckiana YMCA branches. It comes as newer gyms in Louisville force greater competition -- some offering memberships for $9.99 a month.

Leaders admit some YMCA clients have made the switch.

"We understand that price is a consideration for most people and so we do want to work with people," Bell said. "We offer a lot of different pricing options for membership, but it's also the value of your membership. It's a cause-driven organization that gives back to the community and it's a family friendly place. We offer it all at the YMCA."

Even Kappes has a membership with a rival gym, though he says he will pay for facilities here.

"I definitely see the competition, but I feel like what separates this place is...there's not a lot of people in here all the time," he said. "You have towel service and the locker rooms are amazing."

Click HERE for information on joining the YMCA.

Click HERE for information on joining Planet Fitness.

Click HERE for information on joining the Louisville Athletic Club.

Click HERE for information on joining LA Fitness.

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