I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year on behalf of Trainer’s Club! I also bid adieu happily to 2011, a year of progress and productivity but also some unexpected challenges. And I wish to bring you up to date with what’s going on at Trainer’s Club.
We have accomplished some important things in 2011. We were able to add several new exercise machines including the popular Jacob’s Ladder and new stair masters. We established our monthly Third Thursday Wellness Seminars, which feature our health professionals here at Trainer’s Club speaking on wellness issues important to all of us.
The leaks downstairs are fixed once and for all, finally! We started lots of new, well-attended group classes like Rock That Body, Step It Up, Bands and Balls, and Booty Camp.
New flat panel TV’s and new treadmills remain on my list of goals. I am totally committed to achieving these goals, but at the moment I must reserve funds for an unexpected situation. I want to explain this situation and what we are doing to get resolution.
As I’m sure you know, our trainers, group instructors and massage therapists are all independent contractors who set their own schedules, determine their own rates and market their services as they see fit. Trainer’s Club simply provides a facility and billing services.
Early in 2011 the State of Oregon conducted an audit to determine if our contractors met the state requirements that apply to their status as independent service providers. Initially, I was not unduly concerned about the audit because Trainer’s Club passed such an audit in 2003 and I haven’t changed our operations or contracts. But for reasons that are not entirely clear, the auditor ruled that our trainers do not qualify as independent contractors.
We have of course appealed the ruling through our legal counsel and once an independent judicial body reviews the audit, we feel confident that we will prevail. Unfortunately, we cannot accurately determine the legal costs that we will incur. Because of this situation, I must set aside the funds that were earmarked for our planned equipment purchases. We hope to resolve this soon, but it’s been almost a year thus far so I am not certain how long it will take.
We have received tremendous support from some of our state and federal representatives, including Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, State Senator Richard Devlin, and State Representative Chris Garrett. They all have written letters on our behalf to the directors of the state agencies involved in this wrongful ruling.
In the meantime, it’s business as usual. I remain totally committed to reaching all our stated goals and to providing the best fitness club environment to our members for many, many years to come. While this situation is annoying, it is nothing but a speed bump that has only slowed us down a bit.
Thanks for all the support, this place is one of a kind and we intend to keep it that way.
Just another day in paradise at Trainer’s Club, more than a gym, your total wellness center.