Welcyon founders Tom and Suzy Boerboom have had front row seats viewing what’s wrong with aging in America – and they’re determined to do their bit to change it.
Their solution: A health club specially designed for adults 50 and over that provides a fresh alternative to traditional gyms and brings a new, game-changing concept to the $22 billion U.S. health club industry.
To get there, the Boerbooms leaned on their experiences as healthcare professionals, health club owners and as baby boomers themselves.
“More than 100 million Americans are 50 or over – that’s one in three of us,” said Suzy. “Tom and I have lived through and are part of this demographic reality. And here’s what I can tell you – too many of us are getting too old, too sick and too engulfed in healthcare bills, long before we should, because we’re not taking better care of ourselves.
“There’s no sure-thing formula for a longer, healthier life but staying physically active and eating sensibly are good bets, especially when you’re our age,” Suzy continued. “The problem is, where do we boomers turn for help?
“Traditional gyms are not the answer for most,” she said. “They cater to the young and the uber fit. Most gyms are oversized, overwhelming and under-serviced. It’s not the type of place where most people over 50 are going to feel comfortable or motivated.
“So Tom and I developed a vision of what was needed,” she explained. “From our healthcare perspective and years as health club owners, and as consumers ourselves, we defined a place and an experience that’s missing in today’s marketplace.”
The Boerbooms, along with partner Paul Contris, opened two clubs in the Minneapolis area in 2010 to validate their three-pronged approach featuring:
The formula works! Analysis shows that on average members improve their strength by 56% within three months of joining and double it in a year. (Learn more about our strength analysis.) In addition, member satisfaction scores consistently beat industry averages.
Buoyed by the positive results, the Boerbooms began franchising their model in 2012. The first franchise opened in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in September 2012. Favorable media coverage has led to inquiries from health-minded entrepreneurs interested in owning clubs in their communities.
The Boerbooms continue to tweak their concept. For example, in 2014 they modified the interior décor to introduce a spa-like feel more aligned with the tastes and preferences of their boomer clientele.
“Change is a constant,” Suzy concluded, “but what we won’t alter is our vision of active, healthy aging or our core values. We’re going to redefine how America ages by improving the health and vitality of at least one million adults over 50.”
Visit a Welcyon club near you to experience what healthy aging feels like; find your nearest location.
If you’re looking to own your own business, you may be interested to learn that Entrepreneur Magazine included us on its list of “innovative franchise opportunities.” We just might be the way to add purpose beyond profit to your professional life. Learn more about our franchising opportunities and get in touch with one of our consultants by visiting Welcyon’s franchising website.