Curves Strand gym closing doors

Women’s gym Curves is closing one of its two sites in Cayman because of falling membership at its Strand location.

The 130 members of the Strand Curves are being asked to transfer to the fitness centre at Grand Harbour from 23 August.

A notice posted at the Strand site stated that parent company Curves International was aware of declining membership numbers and had recommended owners Diane and Robert Musselwhite consolidate the two locations into one centre.

Mrs. Musselwhite said the couple was upset to be closing the Strand gym which she described as their baby as it was the first they opened, in July 2004.

‘The decision is based on the fact that there are not enough members to pay the bills. It’s understandable that some of our members are upset, but I’ve been surprised about how many have said it’s not a problem,’ she said.

The couple opened a second Curves operation at Grand Harbour in June 2006 after they realised that most of their members lived in the Grand Harbour, Red Bay, Bodden Town and Newlands areas. ‘Then we lost most of our members at the Strand to the Grand Harbour location,’ Mrs. Musselwhite said.

Of the members that have said they would not be transferring to Grand Harbour, most have cited time constraints or a lack of transportation to make the move.

‘A few have no transportation and have to take a bus from West Bay to Seven Mile Beach, so they wouldn’t be able to get to Grand Harbour. Others say they can’t get off work in time,’ she said.

The Cayman Curves franchise in recent months launched a membership drive but that resulted in more members joining at Grand Harbour rather than drawing in new members to the Strand gym as it intended.

Women with annual pre-paid memberships who cannot move to the Grand Harbour site would be reimbursed pro-rata, the couple said.

New member Melissa Bernard, who joined recently when her mother saw promising results after being a member for just a month, said she would not be moving to Grand Harbour because it was too inconvenient and far away from her home in West Bay.

‘We’re not going to be able to make it there, my work schedule is just too hectic and going there and back in traffic after work is too much hassle. It’s the same with my mother,’ she said. ‘I just started there about two weeks ago, so it was quite a shock.’

Mr. Musselwhite said additional machines would be introduced at Grand Harbour and people who work out there would get a more motivational and intense workout.

‘It’s about an extra 10 minutes’ drive to Grand Harbour outside the 5-6pm peak time. Anyone who wants to continue to work out can do so,’ he said.

Curves works on the premise of an intense half-hour workout in which women exercise for 30 seconds at a time on resistance machines followed by 30 seconds of cardiovascular exercise, followed by stretching exercises.

The company’s website states it has franchises in 10,000 locations in 60 countries and has more than four million members.