The Premier Fitness Story

As published through

This is an interview with former Premier Fitness Clubs’ Chief Financial Officer (CFO 1992–2000) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO 2009–2015) Neil Proctor.

The Premier Fitness Story

Q: Neil, how long had you been with Premier Fitness Clubs?

A: I started with Premier in 1992 as John Cardillo had just invested in a fitness club company that had been previously started by Steve Decosta in 1989. Decosta was the original founder of the first Premier Fitness location on Dundas St. East in Mississauga, in 1989.

Q: What were you doing before Joining Premier Fitness?

A: I am an accountant, and I was a partner in an accounting firm in private practice.

Q: You were with Premier Fitness from the start?

A: Yes.

Q: What was your role in the Premier Fitness start-up?

A: Initially I was the CFO, and I traveled to the Mississauga head office from St. Catharines daily

from 1992 to 2000. Then in 2000, I frankly got tired of the three-hour-a-day drive, and an

opportunity came up where John Cardillo was going to open five clubs in the Niagara Region, and I decided that I wanted to be partners with him, so I started developing the clubs in that area.

Q: What was the organization structure of Premier Fitness?

A: From 1988 to 1992, Decosta was the founder and CEO of the company. Then John Cardillo got involved as a shareholder in 1992. However, he did not own Premier Fitness 100%.

Q: Did he have partners?

A: John had an operating partner in almost every club he opened. John liked giving talented, hard-working employees ownership opportunities. He had a junior partnership program whereby the operating partner of a club could own as much as 25%.

Q: Did any partners have ownership in more than one club?

A: Yes, John was the type of person who, if he had a partner in one city and decided to open a second gym in that city, would always allow the junior partner to invest in the new club. John was very loyal to his partners.

Q: Wasn’t Premier Fitness named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies in 2000?

A: Yes, we were. That year, we beat out Goodlife Fitness and a bunch of other privately held companies in Canada to win that honour. John was doing a great job building a first-class business.

Q: Around 2004, Premier was criticized in the media for member billing issues. Can you elaborate on how this happened?

A: After I left Premier’s head office as CFO, Al Guarino came in as CFO. He brought in a new membership software billing system that was great for accounting, but confusing for billing members. It took the clubs over a year to learn the system, and billing mistakes occurred. The media grabbed some of the complaints, and because Premier was the largest chain in Ontario at the time, they went a bit overboard with reporting on it. In fact, in mid November 2004, the Hamilton Spectator went as far as accusing Premier with fraud and initiated a police investigation. Premier invited the Hamilton Police to investigate the accusations. They closed their investigation within weeks and issued a public statement that there was no fraud at Premier. As a result, the Spectator had to retract their story with a front page “No Fraud at Premier Fitness” article five weeks later.

Q: How many clubs did you and John open in the Niagara Region?

A: Between 2002 and 2006, we opened four clubs in total, three women’s clubs and one

co-ed club.

Q: Were you still the CFO of the company during the time you were opening the clubs in

St. Catharines?

A: No. In October 2000, Al Guarino, who had been a partner at Arthur Andersen accounting firm, left Arthur Andersen and came in to take over my role as CFO of Premier Fitness so I could go to Niagara and build the clubs as John’s operating partner.

Q: I understand in early 2009, you had to go back to Premier’s head office in Mississauga to work. What were the circumstances of this?

A: Yes. In January 2009, John was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and had to undergo a serious operation and follow-up treatments. John resigned as Director and CEO of the company in February 2009 while he was off work, recovering. He asked me to take over as Director and CEO of the company, which I agreed to.

Q: Why did John ask you to take over his position?

A: I guess I was the longest-term employee of Premier. I knew every aspect of the business. I understood John’s vision for the company, and he trusted me.

Q: So 2008 was John’s last year of running the Premier business hands on?

A: Yes, it was, and it was our most profitable year in the history of Premier Fitness. By this

time, his expansion program was in full flight. He was building five clubs per year, expanding across Ontario, and he was already traveling across Canada looking at potential sites. Canada’s major landlords such as RioCan and First Capitol liked John’s Premier modern concept clubs and wanted him to build across Canada in their malls.

Q: Did John’s cancer halt Premier’s expansion?

A: Yes, it did. I was hands-on involved in completing John’s last club in 2009, which he had

started in 2008, before he was diagnosed with cancer.

Q: When you took over Premier in early 2009, how big was the company?

A: John had built the company to 42 locations with over 200,000 members, and over

2,000 employees. At that time, the company ranked us the 5th largest fitness club company in the world.

Q: If I recall, in 2008, the Canadian economy was already in a recession. Did that impact

Premier at all?

A: Not at all. In fact, 2008 was Premier’s most profitable year. John had all of the expansion

clubs open, and people were joining in droves. They loved the new Premier and Mademoiselle clubs he had built.

Q: Before being diagnosed with cancer in 2009, did John have any ailments?

A: I know that he had been pushing himself pretty hard from 2000 to 2008. John was the

type who started meetings at head office at 6:00 a.m. and went to at least 8 p.m. every day, although weekends, he devoted to his family. In the latter part of 2008, I know he was

complaining of feeling unusually tired.

Q: Was this because of the cancer?

A: Possibly; however, John didn’t know at the time that he had cancer, and no one else did. I believe he assumed it was long hours and his hard-driving work ethic that left him tired.

Q: After John was diagnosed with cancer and you took control of the company, how long

did it take John to recuperate?

A: He was off all of 2009 and nearly all of 2010.

Q: So you were running the business during that time?

A: That’s correct.

Q: In 2009 and 2010, there was still a downturn in the economy. How did Premier do?

A: I think that it wasn’t so much the economy that affected Premier, but the morale of the

staff due to John’s illness, which took its toll on everyone. The sales numbers softened IN 2009 AND got weaker in 2010.

Q: What do you attribute that to?

A: The economy definitely had something to do with it; however, in all honesty, in years

previous, John always adjusted for economic cycles or something he could foresee that would affect the business. Without his daily sales and marketing input, and with me being an accountant, the company didn’t quite have the sales spark to deal with the challenges of the economic conditions.

Q: Did the decrease in sales make it hard for Premier to meet its payroll obligations? I recall that Premier was involved with labour board issues in 2010.

A: The labour board issues had nothing to do with Premier not having the money to pay its employees. All employee payrolls were paid. What happened was that a bunch of ex-employees banded together and came up with claims that they had overtime pay owing and sales commissions owing. We had never authorized any overtime work by these people. And as far as we were concerned, we had paid all commissions when they had left our employment. We were in a no-win situation and decided to settle the cases as opposed to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, which we could never get back.

Q: During the period of 2009 and 2010, with less sales and cash flow, was Premier able to

meet all of its financial obligations?

A: When I realized that cash flow was tightening, our CFO, Al Guarino, met with our

main lender, DSM, and restructured the company’s debt payments.

Q: Did DSM willingly restructure the payments for Premier?

A: DSM’s president was very sympathetic to the situation John was in with his illness, as he had lost his own brother to cancer, and he had no issue restructuring the payments.

Q: Was this restructuring done with lawyers and in writing?

A: That became the ultimate problem and our biggest mistake. DSM’s president verbally agreed to reduce the payment, and because we had a 20-year relationship, we took it for granted that the same interest rate would apply to the loan. However, we later learned that he was impugning a much higher interest on Premier’s loans.

Q: Were you ever notified of this?

A: No, but in the loan document, there were clauses that allowed DSM to increase the

interest rate and a bunch of other remedies that could be applied.

Q: Sounds like an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that John had cancer and profit from the situation?

A: One could look at it that way.

Q: When did you realize that higher interest rates were bring applied to the loan?

A: When John started coming in again in the fall of 2010 and started thinking about selling the company, he asked DSM for a statement of account, and first learned that DSM had started applying higher interest rates to the debt.

Q: What did John do?

A: I know he spent a lot of time meeting with DSM, and he could not get a firm commitment to get the interest charges reversed; however, he was given assurances that since he was selling the company, something would be worked out as far as a credit towards the enormous interest costs that had accumulated.

Q: What prompted the sale of Premier Fitness?

A: Basically, when John started coming back to work part time in the fall of 2010, although he had recovered from the cancer, he was still going for CT scans every three months. I think the uncertainty of his future caused him to lose his zest for business. He no longer wanted to expand the business, so he started looking for a buyer.

Q: When you were CEO of Premier in 2011, Premier made a settlement with the Competition Bureau to resolve some misleading advertising issues. Was this part of the consideration for John deciding to sell the company?

A: Not at all. The issues with the advertising that got the attention of the Competition Bureau had to do with advertising fliers and offers that had been designed by outside agencies Premier had hired. There was disclosure missing on the ads, and the Competition Bureau brought it to our attention. We were never charged and only paid an administrative penalty. There was no large-scale scheme of any kind on our behalf.

Q: Did DSM want Premier Fitness sold?

A: I believe that DSM, like any other lender, got very nervous due to John’s illness and the downturn in the economy, which forced us to reduce their payments. This caused them concern over their investment.

Q: Did John approach any of the larger fitness club chains to buy his company?

A: Yes, he did, and he had an offer from LA Fitness to buy eight of the clubs;

however, one of the conditions of the offer was that the Physiomed Clinics, who were tenants, had to vacate the premises. When John approached Dr. Wilson, Physiomed’s CEO, with this information, Dr. Wilson did not want to cooperate, because he had long-term leases for those locations.

Q: Were you still CEO in 2011?

A: Yes, because John was busy dealing with potential buyers for the company, I continued overseeing the day-to-day operations.

Q: Was Al Guarino still CFO in 2011?

A: Yes, Al Guarino remained as CFO to the end of June 2011.

Q: When was the decision made to sell Premier Fitness to Dr. Wilson and the Physiomed Health Clinic Group?

A: The deal was finalized between John and Dr. Wilson in mid-June of 2011. Dr. Wilson flew down to see John in Miami to finalize the deal points.

Q: What was the relationship at the time between Dr. Wilson/Physiomed and DSM?

A: Unbeknownst to myself or John, David Young, the president of DSM, was a patient of Dr. Wilson at the Davenport and Bay Premier Fitness, and Dr. Wilson knew him quite well. Once Dr. Wilson realized that John was looking to sell Premier, it was Wilson who directly approached DSM to inquire about the situation.

Q: How did the deal transpire then?

A: DSM had no issue with Dr. Wilson making a deal to acquire the clubs.

Q: What was the deal that John worked out with Dr. Wilson?

A: Essentially, the deal was that Physiomed would acquire all of the clubs. They agreed on the value of each club. DSM agreed to finance the purchase for Dr. Wilson. The DSM debt was taken over by Dr. Wilson and 22 Physiomed doctors. As a result John and his real estate company were released from any obligation to DSM with respect to the Premier Fitness debt. Further, it was agreed between John and Dr. Wilson that each new club would be operated under a new brand name, Physiomed Fitness, with John and Dr. Wilson owning 40% each, and each operating clinic doctor owning 20%. I believe John would keep that 40% as security until he received a payout from each club.

Q: When was this deal completed between Dr. Wilson and John?

A: The deal was agreed to in principle by the end of June 2011, but was subject to due


Q: How long did the due diligence take?

A: Al Guarino wanted to continue in the business and made a deal to work for Dr. Wilson in the new Physiomed Fitness company as CFO, so he officially started with Dr. Wilson and Physiomed to do the due diligence of each club in early July 2011, so that Wilson and Physiomed’s people could satisfy themselves with the financial and through with the deal. Guarino and Dr. Wilson completed the due diligence by the end of October.

Q: How was the due diligence conducted?

A: Guarino was Premier’s CFO for almost 10 years. He reviewed the financial information of each Premier Fitness location with Dr. Wilson and each of his partners who was buying a club. In July 2011, Physiomed had one clinic in each of Premier’s clubs. The structure of the deal between John and Dr. Wilson was that for each Physiomed doctor who ran the clinic within that Premier Fitness location, that doctor would be the new operator of that location, which was rebranded as Physiomed Fitness. So it was Guarino who reviewed all of the financial records with each Physiomed doctor who was acquiring their respective clubs.

Q: So really, Physiomed had the benefit of Premier’s CFO giving them all of the data they required to finalize their acquisition?

A: That’s correct, and when the deal closed on December 12, 2011, it was announced that Guarino became CFO for Physiomed Fitness.

Q: With Guarino going from Premier CFO to Physiomed Fitness CFO, he would have total confidence in the financials of the business of Premier Fitness?

A: I would think so. He was the one running the finances of Premier Fitness right up to

July 2011, and continued to monitor the financials on a monthly basis right up until the Physiomed closing in December.

Q: Did the sale close in December 2011?

A: Yes, it closed on December 12, 2011.

Q: When the acquisition closed, Dr. Wilson and his partners at Physiomed Clinics took over operating the Premier Fitness locations and rebranded each club as Physiomed Fitness. Is that correct?

A: Yes, that is correct. They immediately changed the signs at all of the clubs and gave all of the staff Physiomed uniforms. They also held a launch meeting with all of the staff at a theatre they rented in Mississauga to announce the acquisition. There were also press releases and newspaper interviews about the acquisition.

Q: Was Dr. Wilson hands on in running the new Physiomed Fitness?

A: No. He decided to appoint one of his employees named Justin Belobaba to assume the position of CEO of Physiomed Fitness. Justin had been a former CEO of a public company and the son of Superior Court Justice Edward Belababa.

Q: Did Belobaba have any experience in the gym business?

A: No. Belobaba had just resigned as the CEO of a company that was in bankruptcy; however, Wilson knew him and had confidence in him.

Q: What was John’s role in the new Physiomed Fitness when Dr. Wilson and

Physiomed took over the clubs in December 2011?

A: He was to be a passive shareholder of the company. However, he was available

to offer advice if needed. He did not want to be involved in the day-to-day

operation of the business as of December 12, 2011.

Q: How did they manage to run the business without John’s hands-on involvement?

A: Prior to the deal closing, John had outlined for Dr. Wilson and the Physiomed doctors,

the business plan and advertising initiatives for the first quarter of 2012. John’s business practice was to prepare for each quarter well in advance.

Q: Did they follow John’s business and advertising plan?

A: Before the deal closed, they said that they were going to follow John’s business/marketing plan and evaluate things as they went. However, as soon as they took over, they scrapped all the marketing that was set up for the Christmas 2011 season and the January- February 2012 New Year’s resolution marketing. They decided to do their own marketing and follow their own business plan.

Q: How did the clubs do in December 2011, the first month of Physiomed operating the former Premier Fitness clubs?

A: They did not do very well, as Dr. Wilson and Belobaba decided to scrap all of John’s pre-Christmas and Boxing week marketing initiatives. Therefore, they did no marketing during this crucial time of the sales season. They missed on about $2 million in sales revenue that Premier traditionally did during Boxing Week.

Q: How did the clubs do in January 2012?

A: I recall the budget that John had set in his business plan called for $15 million in new revenue from new signups. I believe they only achieved a little over $3 million.

Q: How did this happen?

A: Dr. Wilson and Belobaba decided they were going to follow their own ideas on marketing and sales. They decided not to use any of John’s marketing. When John found out about this, he contacted them immediately with his concerns, and they told him not to worry, that their new business strategy was to do a slow sales building program, as they wanted to concentrate more on their Physiomed Clinic services to the existing membership. Their rationale was that their Physiomed Clinic sales, where they would bill insurance companies for member services, would offset the slower membership sales.

Q: What did they do for January 2012 New Year’s Resolution marketing?

A: They put out a small flier offering 30 days free. Since the name Physiomed Fitness was not known in the marketplace, very few people responded, resulting in the slowest January that the clubs ever experienced.

Q: Did the low sales numbers get offset with higher Physiomed Clinic sales and insurance revenues?

A: No, because members in January are serious about getting started on an exercise program and achieve their New Year’s resolution goals. They did not want to sit around clinics waiting to see a chiropractor. Also, Physiomed Clinics were not set up to process new members quickly, and very few actually went through the clinics for health assessments. The Physiomed Clinic doctors only worked limited hours and closed their clinics by 7:00 p.m., and were closed on weekends.

Q: What happened with such low membership sales numbers and low Clinic numbers?

A: It was devastating to Physiomed, because they now didn’t have the money and to pay overheads and landlords’ rents.

Q: Did Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have in place lines of credit or financing to be able to carry the business through this slow period?

A: Dr. Wilson advised me that he had approached two banks and was confident he was going to get a close to $1 million line of credit for each fitness club in order to see them through slower sales cycles.

Q: Was he successful in getting the lines of credit?

A: I thought he had succeeded in getting the financing, because he seemed totally confident that it didn’t matter if January was slower than other previous Januarys. However, at the end of January, I learned that both banks he approached had turned him down.

Q: What did Dr. WIlson do in order to meet Physiomed’s financial requirements?

A: He turned to his lender, DSM, for financial help.

Q: Did DSM help?

A: DSM was infuriated that he was looking for emergency financing to offset basic operational costs and turned him down.

Q: What happened after that?

A: Dr. Wilson and Guarino made a case to DSM that all the clubs they had acquired were not what they wanted to keep, and that they should keep the most profitable locations and close the less profitable clubs.

Q: Did DSM agree with their plan?

A: That is how the receivership plan was hatched. They decided that they only wanted to keep half of the clubs, the jewels in the group, and the rest, less profitable clubs, they wanted to close down or give to back to John.

Q: That doesn’t make sense. Since they had done their due diligence on the whole company before acquiring the clubs, why would they now want to change the deal and close down clubs?

A: From what I saw, they didn’t know what they were doing and looked for the easiest way out, which was to shut down a bunch of locations and keep all the ones that would be profitable on auto pilot. They didn’t have the same business philosophy that John had.

Q: What was John’s philosophy when it came to clubs that were challenging to run in order to make them profitable?

A: John would not close down a club just because it was losing money from time to time. He would go in, fix them and make them work.

Q: So what happened then?

A: That is when they foolishly started the receivership court application of the company.

Q: So how is it that Physiomed Fitness was operating the clubs, yet DSM put Premier Fitness, a company that was no longer operating any business, in receivership?

A: Physiomed Fitness took over the Premier fitness loans. As such, DSM decided they were going to default the Premier Fitness loans and run the receivership as a Premier Fitness receivership, in order to preserve the Physiomed Fitness brand name. It was a very misleading situation.

Q: One of the issues that was part of the DSM receivership application was that the sale to Physiomed Fitness could not officially close because the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had a lien on the Premier fitness assets, due to taxes owed by Premier fitness. It was claimed that Premier Fitness had not disclosed this information. Is this correct?

A: That is absolutely false. The tax issue with the CRA had been ongoing for several years. Guarino was the CFO of Premier fitness from 2001 to 2011. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, there were payments made to the CRA, which had not been properly applied to various accounts, which caused large interest and penalty assessments against Premier. Guarino was trying to get to the bottom of what was actually owed. He determined that roughly $1.8 million was owed to the CRA by Premier Fitness. CRA claimed that it was higher than this amount. In March 2011, DSM agreed to lend $1.8 million to Premier to pay off this and sent a letter of commitment to the CRA to pay them the $1.8 million to retire the debt. The CRA refused this amount and negotiations with them continued.

During the Premier and Physiomed sale negotiations between DSM, Dr. Wilson and John, the CRA issue was front and center. DSM and Physiomed agreed that The CRA debt ranked as a super priority and would have to be paid by DSM or Physiomed as part of the transaction. It was DSM’s and Physiomed’s issue to work out a deal with CRA and pay off the amount owed by Premier Fitness. DSM, Physiomed and Dr. Wilson used the CRA issue as a reason to abort the deal and deny John the money due to him as part of the transaction.

Q: What was the result of the Receivership Court application?

A: John hired one of the best Receivership lawyers in Canada named Dan Dowdall. Dan presented John’s case to the court, and the judge got the distinct impression that there was something unusual going on and refused to give DSM and Dr. Wilson the Receivership they were trying to get. Instead, he ordered a 30-day period in which DSM and Physiomed were to complete their sale transaction. In this 30 days, no clubs could be closed, and the status quo was to be maintained.

Q: What happened then?

A: John had vowed his strong concerns to DSM that the Receivership court application would hurt the clubs’ membership revenue, and it did. There was a mass exodus of members once the Receivership Court case hit the newspapers, and no new members were joining the clubs during the peak time of the year, February. Plus, the bank processing the membership dues refused to continue billing members unless DSM put up a large security deposit, which DSM refused to do. This caused DSM to stop funding the Receiver to run the clubs.

Q: What did DSM do next?

A: They informed the Court that they were unwilling to continue to fund Receivership and requested the court to give the clubs back to the various Premier companies.

Q: What did the Receivership Court do then?

A: The court did give the clubs back to Premier, and due to the turmoil that had just taken place, the judge ordered a 7-day stay, whereby no creditor or landlord could take action against any of the club locations.

Q: What happened during the 7-day court-ordered stay?

A: John and I worked around the clock to see what could be done to save as many of the clubs as possible. It was a terrible time.

Q: What did you and John discover had happened at the clubs during the time that Physiomed was in control of them?

A: The clubs’ staff had not been paid by Physiomed for over a month, and many had left to find other jobs. There were more members at each reception area filling out cancellation forms than on the gym floors working out. Very sad situation.

Q: What did you do with the financial mess that Physiomed Fitness and DSM left behind?

A: John and I made a plan to try to save as many of the clubs as possible and bring back our key managers and employees. In order to get these people back, John prepaid them their salaries out of his pocket.

Q: How many clubs was John able to save?

A: I believe more than half of the chain.

Q: The total amount of unpaid rent, utilities and employees at these abandoned clubs must have been enormous. How did John deal with this?

A: He meticulously reviewed each club and determined which clubs were still viable to run. Some clubs had lost more than 50% of their members during the receivership and had no chance of surviving. Therefore, he put together a strategy to amalgamate as many close geographically located clubs as possible and made arrangements for each new club to honour all memberships. He personally funded all of the expenses to keep each club open.

Q: How did the amalgamation of the clubs work?

A: In cities where he owned buildings that housed former Premier Clubs, he closed down leased locations that were no longer feasible to operate and moved the members to his properties. He amalgamated two or three clubs to one club location. The new club in each location honoured all of the memberships and provided employment to a lot of the staff.

Q: Did John go back in and run all of the clubs he saved from closing?

A: No. John did not want to personally operate clubs on a day-to-day basis any longer. He made business deals with his top former Premier managers to own and run each club.

Q: So, he helped his former managers become gym owners?

A: Yes, he did. And this allowed each new gym operator to hire back most of their former employees.

Q: What was your role in the new clubs that were saved from closing by John and the former Premier Fitness managers?

A: When they took over each club, all I did was make sure that they were given the databases for the membership dues, and I provided information to them in order to get utility accounts set up. I knew they had met with the CRA and made payment arrangements to pay their respective clubs tax debt that they assumed as part of the deal. Each new club operator hired their own accountant and ran their administration from their respective clubs.

Q. What did you do at Premier’s head office at this time?

A. I had a lot of cleanup accounting to do for the Premier Fitness companies. I spent about two-and-a-half years dealing with filing tax returns and winding down the business.

Q. What have you doing since then?

A: I have since retired.

Q: Did the post-receivership clubs operate under the Premier Fitness name?

A: No. Each new gym operator picked their own brand name to operate under.

Q: What happened to the Canada Revenue Agency debt that Premier Fitness had owed?

Each new club operator who took over a particular club was given Premier Fitness’s dues revenues for that club. In return, the new club operator agreed to pay off the CRA tax debt that the former Premier Fitness club owed.

Q: Which clubs ended up closing after the receivership, whose memberships could not be transferred to a close-by Premier Club?

A: Kingston, Milton, London, Oshawa and Newmarket.

Q: What happened to members who had prepaid memberships in these clubs?

A: John personally refunded every Premier Fitness member who had remaining time on their memberships. Therefore, none of the former Premier Fitness members lost any money due to their clubs closing down.

Q: How much did John Cardillo refund members in total?

A: I believe that it was well over $1 million.

Q: Which clubs closed and the memberships were moved to nearby clubs?

A: In Niagara, I closed Grantham and Bunting locations and moved all of the members to my Pen Centre Club.

In Burlington, the Brant Street and Appleby clubs were closed, and all of the members were moved to the Fairview Street club.

In Oakville, the Burloak, Cross Street and Trafalgar clubs were closed and the members moved into the Iroquois Shore Club.

In Mississauga, the Meadowvale Club was closed, and the members were moved to the Erin Mills Club.

In Brampton, the Hansen Road Club was closed, and the members were moved to the Kings Cross Club.

In Scarborough, the Kennedy Road Club was closed, and the members were moved to the Beaches Club.

Q: What happened to the unpaid Physiomed Fitness employees?

A: The new club operators who took over the gyms after the receivership hired most of them. Some had already found jobs with other fitness club companies. Premier Fitness employees had no trouble finding good employment, as they were sought after by the competitors.

Q: Thank you, Neil, for being thorough and candid about the history of Premier Fitness. Enjoy your retirement.

A: Thank you.

Interviewed and reported by: Jason Robert