Jeff Riney is currently the COO of the beautiful new St. James Club and has been in the industry since 1995. He got into the HALO sector, "By chance. . .and to avoid your classic 9-5 job. I started with selling memberships." Years later, the flagship St. James Club is a monster, 450,000 square feet facility with literally everything under one roof. It's a hybrid member/non-member model with all branded concepts developed in-house.
"From a branding standpoint, Crunch and Equinox were really the first big brands in the industry to help understand the relevance of a customer's relationship with a brand versus a commodity. We've all seen, in the last decade or so, this bifurcation of the industry from the HVLP sector up to the high touch, high price point. What I've learned is it's hard to play at the higher price point! That's why there's less consumers there, but there's also less players because it's much harder to deliver on."
Jeff discusses the differences he's experienced management-wise over the years. (Something to note? Neither one of the two CO-CEO's come from the HALO sector.) How they go about recruiting, and the current thinking around children's sports and how they manage that as well. (Is "not keeping score," a good idea, or a not-so-good idea?)
Riney concludes with a bit of a teaser for where the St. James Club is headed. This is certainly a group to keep your eye on.