Economy, fitness fads throw gym a curve | March 11, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 11, 2011

Economy, fitness fads throw gym a curve

Curves franchise in Palo Alto illustrates trends in exercise, business

by Zohra Ashpari

The Curves gym on Emerson Street was the first of its franchise to open in Palo Alto. Now it is the last one standing.

This story contains 681 words.

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Editorial Intern Zohra Ashpari can be e-mailed at


Posted by Butterfly Life Member, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Posted by Butterfly Life Member, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, 4 hours ago

Thanks for the article.

I do think that you are giving the wrong impression with these gyms (at least Butterfly Life, as I have no experience of Curves) that these women's gyms are for "older ladies". As a Butterfly Life member in my 50s, I do not consider myself in the "older lady" category although there are many members in the 70+ age bracket. There are many women my age and younger including some teenagers, all who prefer a women's gym with pleasant decor, pleasant and varied background music, and the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people while exercising. The machines are sized for women and the atmosphere is very different to places like the Y, JCC, 24 hour fitness and Gold's Gym, all of which are being looked at by the members as alternatives but not suitable replacements.

If any investor were to take on Butterfly Life in Midtown and be willing to invest in advertising and promotions, the present members would be thrilled. There is plenty of room for more and we are willing to stay.

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Posted by Butterfly life member, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm

It is very sad that Butterfly Life in Midtown will soon be closing. I t is a wonderful women's gym for ALL ages. The gym has excellent machines & a large room with a variety of equipment & videos for exercising and stretching.
The staff are very friendly and caring and it is such a pity this gym will be closing when it was voted as the Best Women's Gym in Palo Alto for 2011.

Posted by Fit Dude, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 14, 2011 at 7:53 am

The fact that many Curves owners got into the business by maxing out their credit cards does not speak highly of the Curves screening system- they sold clubs to anyone who could come up with the money regardless of background or financial stability. Thousands of Curves clubs have closed in the last few years. Curves club owners blame the corporate office for lack of support, over-saturation of territories, high franchise fees and inferior equipment. For club owner comments, see: Web Link