Yes, Charge Extra

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Most of the respondents who think it is OK to charge extra for specialty group classes think so because fitness facilities usually pay more for these types of instructors. Says one facility owner/manager, “It is certainly within reason to charge more for a specialty class, because the instructor has obtained the higher certification, and the club often pays the instructor [more] per class.”

Another agrees, saying, “Specialty group classes require special training, and even the possible use of special equipment. This could require a fee to make the class profitable. Either way, it needs to be marketed and understood by the prospective participant that [the specialty class] is not just another fad exercise class, but one that can actually be a part of their lifelong fitness plan. Then, if the class can prove itself to be worthwhile to the client, there will be no difficulty in charging for it.”

Two respondents feel that it is a fairness issue between members who take the classes and members who don’t: “I believe that charging extra for specialty classes is not only important to the bottom line and financial health of the company, but [it] also places monetary responsibility on the people who use these services, and does not penalize the people who do not use [them]. It would not be fair to ask people to subsidize something that they do not use….”

Says the other, “While it may ease the ‘bottom line’ financially for our facility, charging members for additional classes [also] makes sense service-wise. Why should everyone pay for a class that only a few take part in?”

Another respondent feels that the price depends on where the club is located: “It may be feasible to [charge extra], especially for mind/body classes that may require specialty certifications and equipment. (Pilates is an example.) In larger metropolitan areas, health clubs may find it more competitive to offer these types of programs for a very nominal charge, whereas smaller operations in rural areas may have to price class fees a bit higher to pay for a top-notch instructor.”