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Category Archives: Best Fitness

Capital District YMCA: Big Salaries, Big Assets, but Still Begging!

The Capital District YMCA, an organization operating as a so-called non-profit organization, but holding more than $50 million dollars in tax-exempt real-estate assets in the Capital District of New York (Albany-Schenectady-Rensselaer, and Greene counties in New York state) is a fraud.

The problem with all of this is that the Capital District YMCA  misleads the public, and nickel-and-dimes its membership!

Problem with the CDYMCA is that it’s a load of hogwash!

OUR MISSION
To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Nice words but they’re not backed by performance, conduct, or the facts!

Why do we write something like that? Well, an organization that pays its CEO, Mr. C. David Brown more than $335,000 a year plus benefits, and pays its numerous executive directors, directors, and managers in the high 5-figures and 6-figures salary ranges, certainly shouldn’t be considered a non-profit. Well, maybe it doesn’t operate in the black because its CEO, Mr. Brown, and its other executives hiding out at their corporate offices at 465 New Karner Road (Albany) are carrying off the major portion of any cash the organization might have.

The Capital District YMCA has amassed a fortune in real estate in the Capital District area but doesn’t pay a dime in property taxes. Imagine the taxes on properties valued at at least $55 million and what those tax dollars could do for the communities where the Y has its properties.

The Y’s executives send out all kinds of propaganda telling everyone how much they’re doing for the communities but anyone with half a brain has to ask the question: “What could we do for the community if the Y paid their taxes?” With those assets, we’d guess a good many communities could do a hell of a lot! And think of the money that could be saved by not having to pay some fat CEO almost a half-million in salary plus benefits! Add to that the fat salaries of the weasels hiding at 465 New Karner Road, and all of the 4 or 5 so-called “executive directors” pulling 6-figures, and the other “directors” running the local facilities. That’s one big pile of dough, people, yet they still cry poverty!!! Yet they still accumulate assets in the area. And they still are fully exempt on the tax rolls, and don’t pay a dime in taxes.

CDYMCA CEO C. David Brown collects more than $335,000 in salary.

We’ve already reported on how scandalous the Capital District YMCA has been but they have no shame and continue to laugh their way to the bank, while begging for more and more. Here are some examples from just last year and this year:

  • In 2019, the CDYMCA sent out a letter to all members informing them that there would be a $1 increase in monthly membership dues.
  • In 2019, the CDYMCA sent out a letter to all members informing them that the veterans savings would be changed to 25%; in other words, the CDYMCA cut veterans discount by 50%, a cut that increased some members’ dues by 50% (for example, one member’s monthly dues went from $26/month to $39/month!)
  • In February 2020, the CDYMCA sent out a letter to all members informing them that there would be a $2 increase in monthly membership dues starting in April 2020 (already in effect as of this writing).

Another great decision made by our little illiterate friend, Erin Breslin!

  • In March 2020 a form letter allegedly sent out by CDYMCA CEO C. David Brown – Yes. That’s the same scoundrel who’s taking over $335,000 in salary from the Y – asking members to become sustaining members, that is, to continue paying monthly dues while the Ys are closed.

Now. Think what would happen if a local business were to nickel-and-dime their customers the way the CDYMCA is doing. How long do you think theyd be in business? But the fact is, the local business has to pay its taxes in addition to having to pay its employees and maybe even benefits. The local business is not very likely to get any government handouts, but the so-called very profitable non-profit will carry off big-time government support, subsidies, and grants! We see something very, very wrong in this picture. Don’t you?

Here’s a test: The task is to read the message below and somehow twist it into meaning that the writer (1) doesn’t want to be charged any more, and (2) wants to cancel his/her membership:

Well, if you couldn’t find that in the message, neither could we. What the writer does say, and what Breslin seems to miss , is this part:

“I’d like to know the CDYMCA’s plans to either credit or reimburse the monthly dues collected from patron’s accounts and to suspend further deductions of dues until CDYMCA can open its doors and provide access to the services I have contracted to receive.”

We don’t see anything about “cancelling membership” in there or anywhere. What we do see is a fair question. But Ms Erin Breslin, Senior Director of Marketing and Membership at the CDYMCA did read in that message that the member didn’t want to pay dues anymore and wanted his/her membership cancelled. Go figure.

But Breslin is one of those CDYMCA executives who is probably pulling a 6-figure salary from the so-called non-profit, non-taxpaying organization. But Breslin can’t read!!! And that’s not the first instance of Breslin’s dyslexia! She played the same games when we inquired about the CDYMCA’s slashing of its membership discount offered to veterans! Sure, slash the veteran’s discounts and then nickel-and-dime members because you want to “keep pace with wages and benefits,” while offering freebies to parasites and non-dues paying members (their dues are covered by their insurance coverage)

We guess the message the CDYMCA is sending is that if you’re illiterate or just plain stupid, there is still a place where you can make a cool hundred grand and get away with it!

WHERE IS THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE, THE LOCAL TAX COLLECTORS AND ASSESSORS, THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, OUR LEGISLATORS, OTHER MEMBERS WHILE ALL OF THIS SCAMMING IS GOING ON? WHERE ARE THE VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS WHILE THE CDYMCA IS ABUSING OUR VETERANS? THEY’RE ASLEEP ON WATCH AND NOT DOING THEIR JOBS, THAT’S WHERE THEY ARE!

When the cat’s asleep, the rats play!
Who’s monitoring the non-profits, anyway?

Problem is: Breslin actually cancelled the member’s membership and, when contacted by the member, insisted that the member asked that his/her membership be cancelled!!! Unbelievable! Can this be a case of retaliation by a CDYMCA employee? Was Breslin acting out of personal emotion and not in her capacity as an organization officer?


Editor’s Note:

* In fact, the $2 per month increase announced in February became effective in April; with that $2/month increase in CDYMCA membership dues, the deduction from the member’s account for April was actually $40.50 as opposed to $39.00. The corrected total for the above would be $79.50. We have been informed that CDYMCA has since credited the member’s account in the amount of $79.50 but at the same time, cancelled the member’s membership! Is that what CEO C. David Brown meant in his begging letter (see below)? Ask for dues forgiveness during the lock-down and have your membership cancelled? This looks like another Capital District YMCA snow job to us! Or is it retaliation? A personal punishment for a particular member? Looks to us like this could blow up in CDYMCA’s face, and turn into some bad publicity and a lawsuit! Bad move AGAIN, Erin Breslin, very bad!  Breslin seems to be very good at making very bad membership decisions!


Now, remember, we noted above that early in 2019 the CDYMCA increased everyone’s monthly dues by $1/month. Then in about September or so, they slashed the veterans discount by 50%, and then in April 2020, increased member’s monthly dues by another $2/month.

Remember also, that CEO Brown sent out a letter in March 2020 asking members to continue paying monthly dues as “sustaining members,” while the Y was closed. That letter was more than 3600 words long and repeated over and again how great the Y is, and how great the love fest is thanks to the Y. It was a very cleverly written letter covering the front and the back of a page. But here’s the problem, and here’s why the member had to ask about whether dues would be forgiven during the lock-down: Brown dedicates only 23 words out of the 3600 words to say that a member who couldn’t afford to donate monthly dues could put his/her membership on hold. Here’s the text:

In a telephone conversation between a member and Erin Breslin, you know, the illiterate Senior Director for Marketing and Membership at the CDYMCA, Breslin asked the member:

Will the real Erin Breslin please step forward and take responsibility? Resign?

BRESLIN: Yes, sir. So, if we put all of our memberships on hold then when we’re opening back up, what will we use…what funds will we use to pay our employees returning?

And the member responds:

MEMBER:     That’s not my problem. You take a pay cut. Other people…What are other businesses doing? What are other businesses doing with their employees? They’ve furloughed them! They’ve laid them off! They’ve given them work-at-home opportunities! That is not my problem. If you want to run an organization, you figure out how you have to run it. It’s quite simple. Don’t ask me how you’re supposed to pay your employees. Tell Mr. David Brown or whatever his name is to take a 50% pay cut, and use that money to pay your employees. You’ve got $55 … million in assets; pledge some of them! That’s up to you! You figure out how you’re gonna run your organization. Don’t ask me! That’s not my problem. I have to figure out how I run my life; you have to figure out how to run your life … and your organization. Now, if you can’t figure out how to run your organization with your executive directors, and your, your directors, your executives, your board, then I think you’d better find a different job, to be very honest with you. Because you’re in the position you’re in figure out how to work things out, and if you’re faced with a crisis situation, I think that’s where good management, and training, and knowledge, and wisdom comes into play. Not [by] telling members we can’t figure out how we’re going to do this, so we’re going to continue being unfair to you. I’m surprised that you would actually ask me a question like that.

We are informed that CDYMCA CEO C.D. Brown and several other officers of the CDYMCA, Carl Oropallo, Mark Thurman, in addition to E. Breslin, were contacted regarding the veterans issue and the dues during closure, but only Breslin responded, albeit a bit stupidly. We are continuing to follow this Capital District YMCA story, and will be contacting legislators, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, the IRS, and members of Congress for answers and to demand an inquiry/investigation. We are in the process of contacting veterans organizations, including the county veterans affairs offices, in order to demand that they take some action regarding the cut in the veterans savings.

Good news is that it’s an election year and veterans are a brotherhood. Some of us still stand behind our veterans and will be watching how veterans organizations respond and what they do. We’ll also be following up with elected officials and hold their feet to the fire on what they do to fix these situations.

This is YOU, if you’re not holding the non-profits’ feet to the fire, and making them accountable and transparent!

What do you think about all of this stinking mess?

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, Accountability, Albany, Albany County Chamber of Commerce, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Executive, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, American Legion, American Legion Post 1614, Assessment Review, Best Fitness, Bethlehem Y, Bethlehem YMCA, C. David Brown, Capital District, Capital District YMCA, Carl Oropallo, Chris Tague, Colonie, Columbia Greene Media, Consumer Protection, Coronavirus, Corporate Greed, Corruption, COVID-19, Coxsackie YMCA, Crook, David Soares, District Attorney, Elected Official, Erin Breslin, Fair Play, Financial Disclosure, Fraud, Glenmont, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Greed, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County News, Greene County YMCA, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Jaqueline Whitbeck, Johnson Newspaper Corporation, Joseph Stanzione, Kristin Gillibrand, Mark Vinciguerra, Misconduct, Neil Breslin, New York, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Non-Profit, Non-profit, Non-profit, Non-profit organizations, Non-profit scam, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Ravena News Herald, Schenectady, Schenectady County, School Budget, School Taxes, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion, Tax Evasion, Tax Exempt, Tax Exempt, Tax Law, Tax scam, Taxes, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Town of Bethlehem, Veterans Discount, YMCA, Young Men's Christian Association, Young Mens Christian Association, Youth, Youth Bureau

 

Cap District YMCA: Shameless Arrogance … AGAIN!!!

Stop the Scams!

We recently reported on the Capital District YMCA’s shameless slashing of veterans discounts by 50%, increasing veterans’ memberships up to 50%; one member reported his monthly dues went from $26 to $39/month! We also reported that despite numerous complaints and follow-up, Erin Breslin, Sr. Director of Marketing and Membership, the CDYMCA executive responsible for the reduction in the veterans discount, refused to reconsider their shameful decision. (See our report at YMCA DISGRACE!!! Veterans targeted by YMCA action.)

Senior Director of Marketing and Membership at Capital District YMCA

Shameless and Arrogant!!!

Capital District YMCA Wants NY Legislators to Funnel More Taxpayer Dollars into the Non-profit. We say: Let their execs, who are making 6-figure salaries take a pay cut first!!! CEO C. David Brown pulls more than $330,000 a year, while other execs pull their 6-figures.
NO MORE TAXPAYER DOLLARS!!! PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE!!!

We also recently reported on the incredible fact that the CDYMCA has tens of millions of dollars in property assets in the Capital District but doen’t pay a dime in property tax! We further reported that CDYMCA president and CEO, C. David Brown pulls in more than $330,000 a year in salary, while other executives are pulling 6-figure salaries. Yet the CDYMCA is registered as a non-profit organization and doesn’t pay a dime in property taxes! (See our report at Capital District YMCA: Millions in Assets, Pays No Tax!.)

J.D. Brown Exec Dir CDYMCA, refused to respond.

We reported that the CDYMCA calls itself a charity but charges above-market rates for memberships while also charging market or above-market rates for some of their programs. Yet they don’t pay a dime in tax!

Today, on March 17, 2020, the Capital District YMCA sent out an Action Alert that reads:

ACTION ALERT
Act to protect YMCAs during the COVID-19 crisis!
Dear Advocate,

The New York State Legislature plans to vote on legislation today to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Tell them that your Ys need a COVID-19 package that supports the YMCA. You can take part in this advocacy by sending this important letter to your legislators. They need to hear from you about the importance of significant funding to help YMCAs statewide cover the costs associated with full-time and part-time employees, as well as the loss of membership, programming and donation revenue.

Please write to your state legislators today!

Enough is enough, already!!! This is getting really sickening!!!

The CDYMCA’sexecutives, Erin Breslin (CDYMCA executive), David Brown (CDYMCA CEO/President), Carl Oropallo (Executive Director), Mark Thurman (Director, Operations, Bethlehem), received a communication this week, after David Brown, the guy pulling more than $330,000 in salary, broadcast a message to Y members that the CDYMCA facilities would be closed for one week for “deep cleaning.” Those executives were asked one simple question: Would members’ accounts be credited for that week that they could not use the facilities? No one from the CDYMCA has answered that question but we’re pretty certain what the answer is.

What is this “deep cleaning” thing, anyway. A facility like the CDYMCAshould have extraordinary hygiene and sanitary measures in place as routine! The cleaning agents and disinfectants they use in the pools, locker rooms, workout areas should all be sufficient to kill just about anything! Sick people don’t work out or take aerobic exercise classes. Normally, the rule of most gym etiquette is to wipe down equipment after use using disinfectants that should be provided. (We are informed that the disinfectant and paper towels are provided for this purpose at commercial fitness clubs and at the Y. The problem is, personnel don’t enforce the practice.)So what’s this deep cleaning that’s going on for a week?

Editor’s aside: According to our information based on research of the recommendations for what so-called “deep cleaning” involves, the CDYMCA is again playing with terms. There are a number of deep cleaning methods currently being employed to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and none of them, ranging from airlines to the New York Stock Exchange, involve shutting down for an entire week. In fact, the deep cleaning being done involves mainly high contact surfaces, which should be routine day-to-day cleaning practices in a place like a fitness center or a YMCA. First and foremost, the most effective preventive measure is to avoid contact with individuals who have clear symptoms of cough, sneeze, or fever of undermined origin. But that’s common sense! Social distancing, even if around asymptomatic persons, is also proving to be effective but Americans are already socially distanced, so that’s a no-brainer! Self-isoation or self-quarantine is the ultimate step for individuals who know they have been in contact with a symptomatic individual, or an area in which symptomatic individuals have been, or who have traveled to endemic areas, or have symptoms or have been diagnosed with a viral infection or infection with COVID-19. Persons-at-increased-risk, that is persons who are at increased risk of infection generally, are well-advised to stay clear of crowds. When in doubt, call your pubic health hot-line or consult your doctor. So what is the CDYMCA doing for a so-called deep clean that is over and above their normal sanitizing? We’ll ask them and see if they come up with anything. (Sources: “How Big Businesses Get a Deep Clean” (New York Times article; “Ships, Planes And Other Spots Are Getting A ‘Deep Clean.’ What’s That Mean?” (NPR article), both last accessed on March 17, 2020.)

The CDC and World Health Organization have reported that the virus doesn’t survive long on surfaces that have not been disinfected; isn’t it reasonable that the virus would survive for an even shorter time on disinfected surfaces, if at all? (See our report on COVID-19 at Smalbany Statement on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.)
But let’s get back to the shameless Action Alert broadcast today by the non-profit, non-taxpaying Capital District YMCA:
That message reads: “They (state legislators) need to hear from you about the importance of significant funding to help YMCAs statewide cover the costs associated with full-time and part-time employees, as well as the loss of membership, programming and donation revenue.” That’s absolutely ridiculous!
In 2018, the CDYMCAincreased every member’s monthly dues by $1, which adds up to a hefty amount each month. Then in 2019, they slashed veterans discounts by 50%, adding more to their pockets! Now the greedy bastards are asking members to write to legislators to ask that they now give taxpayer dollars to support a non-taxpaying glutton to help cover costs!!!
We say: Any legislator who votes to support this shameless expression of greed and unfairness in our tax system should be run out of the Legislature!!! We have a better idea: Mr C. David Brown, Ms Erin Breslin, Mr Marc Thurman, Mr Carl Oropallo, and their coworkers should take a pay cut!!! How’s that for an idea?
For an organization that contributes nothing to the pubic treasury by being wholly tax-exempt to ask taxpayers and legislators to provide more funds to them to cover costs is one of the most shameful and arrogant things to come from them yet!
The non-profit scam in New York and around the country needs to be reexamined, revised, and most of the scammers need to start paying their fair share of property taxes.

Easton Mountain, Cambridge, NY
A Gay Retreat Community
A Non-profit Organization

We contacted the Washington County District Attorney’s office some time ago with an inquiry about this place; we never got a response.
There’s a sex camp for gay men in Cambridge, NY, called Easton Mountain. They operate facilities on several acres of prime property with a number of newly renovated buildings and grounds. They claim to be the gay community’s gift to the world but Easton Mountain is the gay community’s gift to the organizers and staff of Easton Mountain. They claim their non-profit status on the basis of spiritual and charity-related work but when you look at their programs, which include neotantra (= so-called sacred sex), intimacy training, orgasm training, erotic massage, even a phony “diploma” course offered by the visiting Brit, etc., and the cost of those programs, upwards of $400 to more than $1000 for a week (5 nights) program!!!They even import some phony sex guru from the UK to facilitate some of their events! We’ll be looking at their filings and report on how much government support they receive in lieu of paying taxes. Did you know that your tax dollars are going to organizations like that? (The most published recent financials, the IRS 990 dates back to 2014!)  See our articles: Tantra or Sex Services? (5/2019), The Follow-up (6/2019), Sex for Sale: The Follow-up II (7/2019).
,

We will obtain the voting information and report who in the New York State Legislature votes to funnel more taxpayer money to the CDYMCA and non-profit scammers like them. We’ll publish the names of those legislators who voted to send your tax dollars to the scammers. And we’ll remind you of their freewheeling and dealing when elections roll around.
In the meantime, we urge you, our many readers to support us in our own Action Alert, and to contact your legislators and warn them if they give another dime away to tax scamming non-profits who can afford to pay their executives and directors six-figure salaries, the legislators are going to be looking for jobs!!!

PAY YOUR SHARE, YMCA!!!

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Accountability, Albany County Chamber of Commerce, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Executive, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Best Fitness, Bethlehem Y, Bethlehem YMCA, C. David Brown, Capital District, Capital District YMCA, Capital Region Independent Media, Carl Oropallo, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, CDYMCA, Columbia-Greene Media, Coronavirus, Corrupt Legislature, COVID-19, Coxsackie YMCA, Cuomo, Daily Mail, David Soares, Department of Homeland Security, District Attorney, Easton Mountain, Elections and Voting, Erin Breslin, Frank Commisso, Fraud, George Amedore, Government, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Greene County, Greene County News, Greene County YMCA, Hearst Corporation, Ingo Tantra, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Jaqueline Whitbeck, Jason Tantra, Johnson Newspaper Group, Neotantra, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Non-Profit, Non-profit, Non-profit scam, Not-for-Profit, NYS Comptroller Audit, Pat Linger, Planet Fitness, Planet Fitness Albany, Planet Fitness Glenmont, Ravena News Herald, RegisterStar, Sex 4 Sale, Sex Work, Shame On You, Tantra, Tantra 4 Gay Men, Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion, Tax Exempt, Tax Exempt, Times Union, Transparency, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, United States Government, US Department of State, Veterans Discount, Washington County District Attorney, YMCA, Young Men's Christian Association

 

Bottom-Feeder Planet Fitness Violates Protected Rights!!! Another Report.

“WE’RE GOING AFTER THE 80% OF THE POPULATION* THAT DOESN’T HAVE A GYM MEMBERSHIP”
CHRIS RONDEAU
Planet Fitness CEO


You may not know it but you’ve become a target for the fitness scam of the century, PLANET FITLESS.

It’s all about the money of selling memberships; nothing about you or your fitness!

Thumbs down AGAIN for Plantet Fitness in Glenmont.

We recently published a scathing article on the Planet Fitness franchise, particularly one local facility in Glenmont, New York. Our research actually showed that what we reported about the Glenmont facility is epidemic in most Planet Fitness locations. It seems it’s a corporate characteristic: incompetent management and staff, poor maintenance, and the majority of members are really not what you want to work out with.

The only judgment-free we can find is that it is free of any good judgment.

We have received another serious complaint about Planet Fitness operations, this one points to serious violations of rights guaranteed and protected by the United States Constitution, that is, freedom of speech and opinion. Seems that if someone at the front desk not doing their job but listening to private conversations can go to management who, without due process of any kind such as discussing a possible problem, simply disciplines a member by terminating their membership. No questions asked. Now that’s Planet Fitness customer care. As we’ve already reported, Planet Fitness is a bottom-feeder among fitness clubs, and is really going to hell in a hand basket if recent observations and reports are accurate. Judging by this contributor’s letter, it’s only getting worse.

Now Planet Fitness staff are eroding protected rights like free speech, and they’re doing it in a discriminatory way without any notion of fairness or due process. If you’re Mr Nice Guy, you’ll be the first to go because you won’t beat the crap out of the [redacted] manager or his [redacted] staff. Right Daniel Boughton.

Planet Fitness – The Constitution-free Zone

Here’s what we just received (it’s a bit long but we thought it was worth reprinting in its entirety):

Dear Smalbany Editor:

Let me start out by saying that I am not easily impressed or shocked. In my professional life I have encountered incredible suffering and incredible stupidity and ignorance but, I must admit, just when you think you’ve seen and heard it all, someone comes up with another masterpiece of idiocy.

Well, I do apologize, since I am writing to the Smalbany blog, a remarkable venue of never-ending-exposure of local stupidity and ignorance, and the suffering it causes. I read your blog and sometimes just have to shake my head, roll my eyes, and offer a fervent prayer that my friends and neighbors in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk communities, and our neighbors in the New Baltimore and Greene County communities, read your stuff and wake up to what’s going on. Before I tell my story, and I hope you will publish it, even if you have to edit some of what I have to say, let me first say Thank you! for your time, energy, interest in our communities, but most of all for your guts in saying what others don’t even dare to think. It’s a terrible shame that our communities have become what they are, and we need people like you and your contributors to help us out of the morass into which we’ve sunken thanks to our apathy and unwillingness to speak up.

Several weeks ago, I read a piece the Smalbany blog published on the Planet Fitness franchise [See our article, “Planet Fitness a.k.a. Planet Failure“. The Editor], and I was appalled at what I read. Appalled because I have personally witnessed and experienced much of what you described. But to think that it is so widespread was what really floored me.

Yes, I am, or was, until today, a so-called Black Card Member. I really don’t know why I stuck with Planet Fitness as long as I had but, like so many of my colleagues and friends who are or were members, the fact that it is the bottom feeder of health and fitness facilities was offset by the fact that it was cheap and was on our way home. Well, that’s what we kept telling ourselves.

The fact is, Planet Fitness is a bottom-feeder. Anyone with any sense will admit that and now that there’s more competition in the Albany area with beautiful new YMCAs in Delmar and Coxsackie, Best Fitness, VENT, and other serous, real gyms and exercise studios, the situation as I have been able to observe over the past couple of years is getting worse at Planet Fitness. Worse in that there seem to be more sociopaths and low-lives than ever. But that may be because Planet Fitness is losing all of their top-shelf members to the YMCAs and to the other, more glamorous competition. So I guess they have to make up for their losses by offering cheaper and cheaper deals and attracting a lower and lower class of member

Your article only scraped the surface of what’s going on at Planet Fitness, though, and you have to be a regular at Planet Fitless to really know how bad it is. Don’t be suckered in by the hype and the marketing garbage. This stuff can’t be made up!

Yes, management, if you can call it management, is substandard. At the Glenmont club the manager is about 30 years old and has been “managing” a PF facility for 12 years. 12 years!!! Doing the same thing, dusting equipment, mopping floors, cleaning out urinals, hiring brainless and immature front-desk personnel, and making lame excuses. Clocks were out for months. Equipment unrepaired for weeks. Urinals not working for weeks. Sink fixtures broken likewise for weeks. But the most irritating experience is the type of people that are becoming the regulars. They have no respect — but what can you expect when the staff has no respect —, no gym etiquette, they’re dirty, and the list goes on.

I’ve recently observed the so-called trainer giving an equipment blitz-tour: a quick explanation of what the piece of equipment is working but I have never seen her tell the new member that after using the eequipment, he or she should wipe it down with a paper towel and some of the sanitizer provided. It’s no wonder that these people use the equipment and leave their residues all over it. They have to be told to wipe off their sweat and dirt but nobody at Planet Fitless tells them!

I’ve also never heard or seen the trainer or any of the other staff telling members to pick up after themselves or to put the weights back where they belong. It’s even more of a mess than what you describe in your article.

Management is incompetent and staff are lazy and indifferent. What’s worse still is that the manager is about as mature as the adolescent minds he hires. I guess it makes him feel more comfortable, sorry soul that he is. I can’t imagine what he thinks of himself but then, it takes all kinds.

Yes, I was shocked today when the Glenmont Planet Fitness manager , Daniel Boughton, called me over as I was leaving the facility. He stood there mumbling a lot of words and I was having trouble discerning what the devil he was going on about. I stopped him and asked, “What is it you’re trying to say?” He responded: “I have to terminate your membership.” To be honest, that wasn’t the worst news I could have been given, since I was only waiting until my current membership ran out and I was going to cancel anyway, investing the money in a YMCA membership, because of the quality of the facilities and the programs. No big deal. He’s terminating my membership so now I don’t have to wait. OK.

But curious me, I had to go one step further and asked him Why? What he told me hit me like a brick. His reason: “You are continuously using foul language.” Are you kidding me? Do you know who you are talking to? He repeated, “You are continuously using foul language with staff and other members.” News to me!

I couldn’t believe my ears but when he repeated what he had said I knew I had heard correctly.

My initial reaction was to ask “What are you talking about? First of all, I’ve never used foul language with your staff or with other members.” But ‘continuously’? That really bothered me.

Mr. Boughton pointed out that a couple of months ago I approached him in an agitated state because of some dangerous activity in the free-weights area and an abusive member. I did mention to Mr. Boughton that the member told me to “F**k myself and go tell the manager.” I did quote the member and I did tell Mr. Boughton that “I don’t have to put up with that kind of sh*t.” Yes. I was upset because I was fed up with the same old same old and Boughton and his staff just hold a love fest at the front desk ignoring everything.

Today, another member, a workout buddy, and I had a chat about a new member slamming weights and leaving weights all over the place. My buddy had already told the guy to stop dropping the weights and making such noise. [Editor’s Note: PF has what is called a “Lunk Alarm” which is a whistle or a siren that is operated from the front desk when a member makes too much “inappropriate noise” in the “Non-judgement [sic] Zone.” But isn’t that a judgement [sic[? Apparently the front desk attendants were to busy love-festing to push a button.] He also told him to put his weights away after using them. He was ignored and so he went to the front desk to get one of the “attendants” to talk to the guy. At about this time, rather than being told again to “f**k myself” by some lowlife, I approached the front desk and also asked that someone talk to the guy. The attendants looked uneasy but when we insisted, one of them, a kid, left his perch and seemed to go over to the unruly member. At that point I said something like “#*($(&(@#!! retard member and the staff is too.” I was not happy with how the staff member responded; it was as if we were bothering him, making him do his job, the snotty brat. Apparently [redacted] attendant was offended and carried the “story” back to Boughton, who decided that I was abusive and “continuously using foul language with staff and other members.”

PF Has It But Staff is Too Lazy to Push the Button!

So what I got for my years of membership and loyalty is an insult and a termination. Oh! And I got handed a scrap piece of paper with Daniel Boughton’s manager’s name and telephone number. Boughton told me if I wanted to discuss the termination I could call Dan Harms, his boss. No thanks! Dealing with one ding-a-ling is enough for one day. [Editor’s Note: Wise decision. We’ve spoken to both Boughton and Harms; you don’t want too much contact with the brainless; it might be contagious.] Besides, I wouldn’t want to interrupt Mr Harms’ urinal fishing.

That was it. My private remark to a like-minded buddy was enough to get my membership terminated. No discussion, no inquiry. Summary termination. Isn’t that illegal on some planets?

I could go on but what’s the use? Planet Fitness is Planet Fitless. It sells memberships whether you use them or not. New members, short-term widgets get dumped on veterans who know how to work out together and make life miserable before disappearing, paying their $10 and some ridiculous monthly pittance.

Your article was over-the-top right. Everything you wrote is true but in reality it’s actually worse.

At this point, after some 5 years a Planet Fitness member, and getting treated like that by the likes of the Glenmont Planet Fitness staff, I’m grateful for the nudge to move on.

People interested in real fitness and professionally managed facilities, management who cares, and members who care about their club and their health and safety would do well to avoid Planet Fitness. Yes it’s cheap but you get what you pay for. Some people will accept that. People with any self-respect won’t.

[Name Redacted by Smalbany Policy]

P.s. I know you say you don’t publish names but I have no problem with your publishing my name. I don’t really care if Planet Fitness knows who I am. In fact, I know many local people read your blog and at least my friends who read this blog will know why they are not seeing me any more. I’m sure Boughton won’t tell them the truth – he didn’t even tell me the truth. If you publish my letter, let me say Thank you!

Well, that’s another Planet Fitless (we liked that so we’re going to use it) horror story. We’ve edited in some emphasis and some notes and edited out some words but for the most part, we’ve reproduced the letter as sent and received.

Does this sound like a lawsuit in the making to you? We think there’s good lawsuit in this situation and we’ll be happy to research the possibilities for our reader.

There’s a saying that goes “There’s a sucker born every minute.” We guess that at that rate, there will be enough suckers to keep Planet Fitless going for a while but then what? Are you one of those suckers?

Planet Fitness Club Rated:

Glenmont, NY
Daniel Boughton, Manager
329 Glenmont Road
Glenmont NY 12077
518-439-1200

EXPOSED AGAIN!

 

Planet Fitness a.k.a. Planet Failure

Health clubs and fitness centers have been around for a long time. They range from the storefront body builder dens to the glamorous health and beauty spas and resorts. But by and large, the most common since around the 1970’s have been the larger chain or franchise fitness centers. Some of our readers will remember the Jack LaLanne and the Bally franchises. Now we have such franchises as Best Fitness and Planet Fitness. While we have heard good things about Best Fitness we have personal experience with Planet Fitness in a number of locations in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. This report is inspired by a reader comment about Planet Fitness in Glenmont, New York. The stats are: 97% of the people signing  Planet Fitness “No Commitment” contract (“No commitment” contract??? What in hell is that?) drop out in the first 3 months but get to pay for 12 months! 


We’d like to thank another Planet Fitness member for sharing this new PF Failure with us:

Just yesterday, April 17, 2018, I was at the Glenmont Planet Fitness. I started my workout and saw one of the 45 lb dumbbell sets were in use — there are normally 2 sets on the rack — but I didn’t see the second set on the rack and I didn’t see anyone using them. As usual, my first thought was that someone had used them elsewhere and didn’t both to put them back — the norm at the Glenmont PF, so I spent several minutes wandering around the gym searching for the second set. Returning to the dumbbell area I asked a gym bro’ if he had seen the other set. What he told me set my teeth on edge. He told me that the Glenmont PF had sent the entire second set of dumbbells to another club until that club received their new ones. That now puts the Glenmont club in a real inconvenient situation when members, like me, need the weights. This was a very poor management decision, like so many others at PF, and showed how little they care about members, especially the regulars who take their workouts seriously. I really don’t appreciate this incident — another among many. [Preferred to remain Anonymous]


Planet Fitness sells memberships not fitness, and they don’t give a damn about members or service.Planet Fitness a.k.a. Planet Failure

Our reader sent us the following about Planet Fitness in Glenmont:

“I’ve been working out for many years and have belonged to a number of health and fitness clubs over those years. I’ve worked out in bodybuilding gyms and in the larger franchise fitness centers in several states. I usually like the chain fitness centers because I travel and like the option of being able to use my membership in more than one location. I’ve lived in the Albany, New York area for several years and watched as the Bally operations closed down one by one. Then when Planet Fitness arrived in the area, it was close, convenient, and inexpensive…I thought. Naturally, because I travel, I wanted the convenience of a larger chain and facilities in most major areas, so I opted in for the Planet Fitness Black Card. Unfortunately, there’s no uniformity between Planet Fitness locations locally much less regionally. I’ve used Planet Fitness facilities in Guilderland (Crossgates Commons), East Greenbush, Saratoga (Wilton Mall),  Albany (Glenmont), Brooklyn, Connecticutt and Massachusetts. Clearly, the bottom-feeder of them all is the Glenmont Planet Fitness. 75% brownish collar, 20% millennial zombies, 5% serious human beings. Not a very good mix, and it’s downright dangerous. Management doesn’t seem to care and the staff, well, when I write about millennial zombies, they have cornered the market with very few exceptions. All of the manager’s answers were wrong. After noting that he was totally indifferent I responded that maybe going public on the Internet would help. His response: “Do what you have to do” was not the right answer.”

Watch This Video

The comments were rather lengthy so we’ll just summarize a couple of the points made. We are including some of our own comments because we are familiar with Planet Fitness in Glenmont, so we can confirm some of the statements.

Poor Maintenance of Premises and Equipment. Toilets, urinals, showers, sinks can be out for literally weeks. I’ve actually observed some sanitary facilities to be out for more than 4 weeks before someone started repairing them. The roof is one of those warehouse metal roofs and when it rains, you’ll need a poncho, and a GPS to avoid the buckets and puddles throughout the exercise space. Equipment can be out of service for 4-12 weeks. Get used to the “Out of Order” signs. One really bizarre problem is the clocks! There are three or four clocks at the Glenmont location: In the front of the space, at the back of the space, one each in the men’s and women’s changing rooms. When in the middle or back of the exercise area you can’t see the clock in the front because of the huge fans and exposed ducts. The clock in the back was taken down during painting and wasn’t replaced for months, leaving only the clock in the front. When the clock was finally replaced, it wasn’t working. They changed the location the clock and it was working but there was about 3 hours difference between it and the other clocks. This went on for several months. They apparently finally replaced the battery or something but it took months.

Inept Management and Uninterested Staff. You know right away when someone has become indifferent to his job and uninterested. That’s the problem at the Glenmont Planet Fitness. The manager is a nice guy but totally useless when it comes to making management decisions or coping with problems. I have personally brought a number of problems to his attention but got nowhere. Most recently, I asked him to take care of an aggressive patron but got the impression he didn’t hear a word I was saying. I left my machine for a minute only to return to find someone had removed my towel and my water bottle which I left on the piece of equipment to show it was being used. He had removed my weights and made himself at home. I asked him what he was doing and why he had removed my stuff and he started to get aggressive (I actually thought he had a screw loose). Rather than get into a shouting match or worse, I took his suggestion and went to the front desk. The manager simply responded that I could not “reserve equipment.” “Reserve equipment,” I responded, “I went for a pee!” Still, he held his ground and I was apparently in the wrong, not the guy who clearly saw the equipment was being used but ignored the indications. I told the manager that there were many problems and that I had spoken to him before about dangerous conditions, including member behavior and not returning weights to the racks, working out without spotters, etc. I noted one occasion where two women had wheeled a very old woman in a wheelchair onto the weights floor and parked her in the middle of the workout area, between benches where people were working out with weights. I explained that I found that to be incredibly dangerous but that staff had ignored the situation. I told him I was so concerned, I took pictures of the situation. Rather than agree that the situation was outrageous, the manager told me that taking pictures in the club was not allowed for “privacy purposes.” When I noted that that couldn’t be true because everyone is constantly taking selfies on the exercise floor. He had no comment. Nothing was done. The pictures are shown below.

The old woman in wheelchair between Smith machines.

The old woman in wheelchair (asleep) between benches in dumbbells area.

Indifference of Staff. Management is reflected in the performance of employees. The staff at the Glenmont Planet Fitness is constantly changing, with maybe 3-4 faces that have been around for a while. All very young, all very spaced out, none interested in what’s going on. They congregate at the front desk and when they are not chatting with one another they are staring out the front doors. Meanwhile, chaos and pandemonium is rampant on the exercise floor. No one supervises members, most of whom don’t know their asses from their elbows when it comes to how to safely use the equipment, and present a real danger to life and limb, both their own and ours, when they are “working out.” Even the resident “trainer” seems not to be interested in showing members how to use the equipment properly. Everyone seems to be on his or her own. It can get really scary, really dangerous. I have even had to leave a piece of equipment because some freak was taking out his aggressions throwing weights around. As I mentioned, the staff is busy doing their own things and avoiding any unnecessary movement, like telling people to clear their weight and put them away after use, or picking up after the slobs. Instead, weights are all over the place and are a real hazard when moving around the area. [Editor’s Note: We have actually addressed this problem and the problem of gym etiquette to management, suggesting that when they sign a member on, they should give a short course in gym etiquette including such things as putting weights back in the proper place, wiping down equipment after use, leaving benches where they are, not doing push-ups, sit-ups, stretching, etc. in the weights area but to use the areas provided for stretching. Needless to say, our suggestions fell on deaf ears.]

Here’s another comment we received:

“I changed banks and went in to advise PF (Glenmont) about the change. I brought along a sample voided check because they needed to scan it to change the billing. I explained to the manager, Dan, about the situation and how I wanted to change my billing account. He told me I could do that online. I asked why he couldn’t do it just as he did when I joined 2 years before. He told me that they had to wait to submit the next bill and have the bank refuse it. I told him that was crazy. He gave some lame excuse and repeated I should do it online. So I did it online. Next thing I know, I get a notice from the bank charging me $30 for a charge made on a closed account. I went to the manager again and asked what was going on and demanded that he fix it. He told me to wait. OK. I contacted the bank and told them this story. They told me to have PF make the changes. PF told me to have the bank fix it. All in all, by the time PF woke up, they had submitted the demand for payment THREE times and I got charged 3 x $30 = $90 plus my $20.00 payment = $110.00 because the PF manager at my club in Glenmont didn’t have the balls to make a call to his manager about the situation and PF would not do a couple of mouse clicks to make a simple billing change! Monkey management and no customer service!

“Cell Phone Use is Permitted in the Lobby Only”
This is not enforced at the Glenmont or other Albany area clubs.

Cell Phones and Loud Conversations on the Exercise Floor. Bring your IPod but even that’s dangerous on the workout floor, because you can’t hear what’s going on around you. Besides, there’s music provided over the facilities’ system. But when it comes to real idiots, it’s the cellphone conversations all over the place, everyone shouting, every one in their own little idiot’s world.  Then they stop midstep to take a selfie (Note: Manager says no photographing in the workout area; privacy.) The workout area is no place for cellphones and unsecured earphones! You have to say something three or more times, finally shouting, to get someone’s attention, even to tell them to be careful, they’re getting too close. Most of them have their eyes closed and dancing to the music!!! It’s CRAZY! [Editor’s Note: I have seen this and can verify the statement. Furthermore, I have used Planet Fitness locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts and there they have signs telling people that cell phones are not allowed in the work out areas. If you need to make a call you have to go to the café area or go outside. Problem solves…at least in CT and MA. NY appears to be backward, as usual. We found an article on Planet Fitness police regarding cell phones at Planet Fitness Cell Phone Policy Seems Loud and Clear. We don’t understand Why? this policy is not enforced or isn’t enforced in many Albany area clubs.]

Club Polices?!?!?
Does PF management know about these? Does PF staff know about these?

General Free-for-all and Total Lack of Gym Etiquette. People just race back and forth to a piece of equipment and make themselves at home. They are apparently unaware of the fact that you’re standing right there between sets, but it doesn’t matter. They start rearranging the equipment right in front of you and then, when you tell them that you’re using the equipment, they get pissed! In other instances they sit for up to 20 minutes on a piece of equipment checking messages or answering texts before they even look at the weights. I have even seen them occupy a piece of equipment while I’m moving through 2 or 3 sets, then they just get up and walk to another piece of equipment and to the same thing. They just have no clue and no courtesy! In most gyms, there’s something called “gym etiquette.” If you see someone on a piece of equipment you understand he is using it. You wait. If you see a towel on a piece of equipment, you understand it’s being used. You wait. When you use weights you put them back in the proper place or you take the plates off the bar when you’re done and put them where they belong. Not at Planet Fitness in Glenmont. And management and staff don’t give a damn. You’re on your own, Baby!

Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm Sign.

There used to be a so-called Lunk Alarm. This was an alarm that when off when someone dropped weights or threw weights around, or was making a lot of noise when lifting. People tend to drop weights loudly or throw them around making loud abrupt noises. Other times they sound like a hippo giving birth. Weightlifting requires concentration and awareness; imagine you have 200 lbs over your chest and you have a car crash next to you. [Editor’s Note: Yes. I can confirm this.] Come to find out, the Lunk Alarm is activated from the front desk (see above, Management & Staff). The problem continues.

Total Disregard. Just sell memberships! It’s obvious that the franchise owner for the Glenmont Planet Fitness doesn’t give a damn, and neither does local management. The whole business model is SELL as many MEMBERSHIPS as possible, get their signatures on the contract, get their bank details, and then forget them. No orientation. No required training. No management. No one cares after you sign on the dotted line.

Sure, they’re cheap. $10 a month, $20 a month for Black Card. They do get you for a “membership initiation fee” of up to $50.00 in addition to the monthly fee. And every year they charge a continuation fee of about the same amount. Why a membership continuation fee? Who knows but it makes them money. I was very pissed when I read the contract and found out they were hitting me with that continuation fee while still collecting the membership dues each month. I just felt it was sneaky business and nickle-and-diming members but they must make a bundle doing it. To be sure it’s not going back into improving Planet Fitness services, at least not in Glenmont. [Editor’s Note: Confirming this.]

Like so many things in the Albany, New York, area, the scams and the substandard services are everywhere, ranging from local government to hospitality, to even health and fitness facilities that are anything but healthy. Our recommendation: Ask your club management if they’ve seen this article and what they’ve done to correct the issues our reader complains of. If you don’t get the right answers, try Best Fitness.

Sign appearing at Planet Fitness locations.
The only judgment-free we can find is that it is free of any good judgment.

As one reader puts it: When God created the world the angels were handing out smiles but by the time they got to Albany they had run out of smiles so they started handing out assholes. That may explain a lot of things.

Click the Image Above to Read Ratings.
Similar impressions from around the country!

[Editor’s Note: There are a total of more than 770 ratings of PF on the above “Consumer Affairs” Site, 142 of which were made in the past 12 months.]

Watch These Other Videos about Planet Fitness!

We’ve reviewed these videos and they are right on target:

5 reasons to AVOID PLANET FITNESS

This is a reasonably honest portrayal of Planet Fitness by a gym bro. Listen closely; he makes a lot of sense. This video made me want to explore the many, many exposés of Planet Fitness on YouTube.

The DARK SECRETS of Planet Fitness (Ex-Employee) Exposed

If you cut through the BS, you will get an idea of the type of manager and employees at Planet Fitness. Managers with fake personalities. Cliques among employees. You pay peanuts you get monkeys. Again we hear about employees doing their own things and not paying attention. This guy reveals some facts but is a typical Planet Fitness employee. The last several minutes are really hitting the nail on the head.

My! Second Planet Fitness Experience

This is a sequel to the “5 Reasons” video above. The narrator gives PF a second chance but PF fails again. This guy points out some obvious but over looked PF BS.

When you look around PF, any PF, you see how little they care and how arbitrary their “polices” are and how useless their employees are! One reveiwer summarized PF as:

“Planet Fitness is a business…They are making a lot of money …They don’t care about members’ well-being.”

You can check out alternative health and fitness centers below:

Capital District YMCA Locations

Best Fitness

Vent Fitness Locations

Albany Strength (Real Bodybuilders’ Gym)