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June 2011

Pumping Up Revenues

Bright Ideas LogoWhen Jim Pepple cleared out some storage space in the lower level of the clubhouse at Wyncote Golf Club, he considered putting in a pool table or possibly creating a members room. Instead, seven years after finding another spot for a few stored items and spending less than $1,000 to construct a wooden partition, Pepple has beefed up his facility’s bottom line by forging a partnership with the local Curves franchise.

“We had about 700 square feet that was basically just wasted space,” says Pepple, president of the Oxford, Pennsylvania, facility. Now, he collects $1,300 per month in rent from Curves, the national women’s fitness chain.

Like Curves’ clients, sometimes things just, well, work out. A local physician installed Nautilus equipment in 2004, but didn’t get much business and moved out two years later. That’s when Curves moved in. The owners painted, installed carpet and mirrors, and brought all the necessary equipment.

“We really didn’t think we’d be able to do this much with it,” Pepple admits.

Though he does have to foot the electric bill for the space (about $300 per month because “they really like it cold in there”), Pepple is happy to provide a comfortable atmosphere for a group of women who are working hard and paying the rent. And he’s particularly pleased that some of them have even begun playing golf.

“There have been a few who’ve taken lessons,” Pepple says. “And, the guys who play golf have told their wives about Curves and they end up going there. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

In fact, the only issue that Pepple has with his partnership is that he has to deliver the mail to his tenants each day because it comes to Wyncote’s front desk. Venturing into the women’s-only workout enclave causes him to feel a bit like an interloper.
“They’re serious about what they’re doing,” Pepple says. “They give men some cross-eyed looks in there. I tell them, ‘I’m just delivering the mail, don’t kill the messenger.’”

It’s a small price to pay for a partnership with such muscle.  

 —Jeff Barr

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