New year brings new business to area gyms
By LUKE WHITTAKER
ASTORIA — The winter is survival season for a lot of area businesses, but one is bulking up membership while expanding services and hours.
“It’s been a huge jump — 25 to 50 percent,” Astoria Full Fitness Center employee Ty Alexander said regarding the rush of new business signing up at the Astoria gym. “A lot (of new memberships) are here because of New Year resolutions, people want to start their year healthy.”
The desire to improve health in the New Year isn’t novel, but a surge in signups reflects a peculiar trend toward fitness.
“Getting healthy” was the most popular resolution, according to an NBC article based on Google search data published in early January. In particular, there was a higher preference surrounding gyms, and not simply getting in shape, according to data compiled by iQuanti, a data-driven marketing agency.
“There was a 315 percent increase around the search term ‘gym’ and a significant increase around fitness-related searches, which shows just how important people are taking physical fitness,” Sastry Rachakonda, CEO of iQuanti, said. In Astoria, a wave of new customers has already reached area gyms. “It’s been a huge amount,” Alexander said.
24 hours of fitness
Recent upgrades to equipment and expanded hours have contributed to the burgeoning customer base at Astoria Full Fitness Center.
“We’ve never done it before, this is a new thing,” Alexander said regarding their recently adopted 24-hour business model to accommodate anyone with atypical hours. Since Jan. 1, the gym has been open 24 hours a day to members, a nod to those who can’t come during normal business hours and those who work nightshifts.
Rush and recede
Peak season often occurs in January and remains relatively steady until another surge just before summer, Alexander said.
“Now is definitely the busiest time of the year, then right before summer when people want to work on their beach body,” he said. The January rush loses momentum in February.
“The only downside is people usually taper off. But I like to provide a positive environment that’s encouraging, new machines and more hours of availability to get them to stay. And hopefully, it’s not a ‘til February thing,’ but a lifetime thing where they’re committed to fitness the rest of their life and that’s what we try to do here,” he said. “My biggest tip is be patient, have fun and don’t be overly critical with yourself. You’re going to notice results after a probably a month and not a couple days.”
For more information, visit www.astoriafullfitness.com