City of Melville shuts LeisureFit Melville because of declining membership and rising costs

A concept image of the a new free weights room planned for LeisureFit Booragoon.
A concept image of the a new free weights room planned for LeisureFit Booragoon.

DECLINING membership and mounting costs will force the permanent closure of gym facilities at LeisureFit Melville in April.

The move comes as the City of Melville braces for an expected $465,000 operating deficit on both LeisureFit centres in 2016-17 – $270,000 more than originally estimated.

In a letter sent to LeisureFit members this week, the City stated the decision to withdraw gym facilities from LeisureFit Melville came on the heels of a significant reduction in the number of people using the facility.

“While it is sad to close the doors on the gym at LeisureFit Melville, it will allow for better focus on gym services at LeisureFit Booragoon and the ability to diversify the offerings available at this facility,” the letter said.

“All other programs and services, including group fitness, wellness, sports and gymbakids will continue to run at LeisureFit Melville, with new programs currently being developed for the future.”

Mayor Russell Aubrey said the City had decided to withdraw the gym service from LeisureFit Melville following a strategic review that identified challenges in maintaining steady membership levels.

The review found a significant increase in competition for the LeisureFit service, with 34 new facilities opening in the surrounding area in the past 10 years.

This has had a dramatic impact on LeisureFit Melville’s membership base with member numbers decreasing by over 30 per cent in the past four years.

Across both centres, member numbers have dropped from 3500 in July 2014 to 3150 today.

To compensate for the loss of gym facilities at LeisureFit Melville the City plans to expand the gym at LeisureFit Booragoon, adding a dedicated free weights area and an athletic training zone to make it one of the biggest in Perth.

LeisureFit Melville will be revitalised as a diverse community centre including the relocated Melville Bridge Club, new community meeting rooms and a large-scale cafe.

The City has also flagged renovating the pool at LeisureFit Booragoon and “identifying private business partnerships for both LeisureFit locations”.

The exact date for the closure of the gym at Melville is yet to be confirmed.

LeisureFit will provide regular member updates in centre, through its Facebook page and on the website at www.melvillecity.com.au/LeisureFit.