At the time I am writing this article, I’ve owned my gym, Industrial Athletics, for about 9.5 years. That means, like most of you, I receive a lot of junk mail offers everyday. Most of them are either offering ways to make my life easier, or ways to make money easier. About twice a week, I receive offers for turn key 24 hour gym access services. Make money while you sleep, right? On the offer hours during the day, over night while the gym is closed, let people come use the gym. Its almost pure profit. I don’t have to pay someone to be there. Some of these services even have camera systems to help you feel better about monitoring. It almost sells itself.
Or, does it?
What Does The Law Say?
What these turnkey companies don’t tell you is that your state may have restrictions on 24 hour access. For example, Pennsylvania does not allow you to run a 24 hour access gym that isn’t staffed by someone trained to use an AED. So, if you want to offer 24 hour access, now you need to pay someone to be there overnight. Pennsylvania has other requirements, like having an emergency phone present in the facility at all time. You have to place notices in your facility and you have to add language to your membership contracts.
What Does Your Waiver Say?
One last note, if you are still considering this, what does your liability waiver say? Do you have a CCTV section in your waiver? Does your waiver place the member on notice that some activities may not be supervised? Are you sure you’ve purchased the right policy to cover 24 hour access.
Is It Worth It?
There is no right or wrong answer to using 24 hour access services. However, like most things in the gym industry, it involves more than installing a camera system, placing a lock on the door, giving people a key fob or app, and charging them for additional access. Make sure you understand the full picture before you add this new revenue stream that may end up costing you more money.