Fullerton Meridian Sports Club

Fullerton Meridian Sports Club

Meridian Club is a sports club at the east end of Fullerton, California.  The location is weird, next to the 57 freeway, south west of Target and has residential condos to the east and south.  The physical building is three stories and side parking structure is impressive.  The inside is cavernous, expansive and secluded.  Tennis court, hand ball courts, roof track, swimming pools, jacuzzi, sauna, and cafe as well as large dressing rooms. As opposed to a 24 Hour Fitness, this place is lay back and not crowded.  The lack of crowding might be more the result of allegedly bad management though.

Negative Features:

  • Weight room machines that rely on electronics and motors are not kept working as well as they should.  Most machines are old and should be upgraded with new.  Quite a few treadmills, elliptical and stair step machines only partly work many times and repairs are seldom if ever made unless a machine is completely dead.
  • It is our opinion many sports clubs as a business category use business practices that are not transparent, and allegedly close too being deceptive.  There should be a clean up of the industry.  This club allegedly follows some of those practices.
  • We can not find any published list of pricing.  It appears to us that pricing is arbitrary, decided upon by the sales person.   Your price is set as to when you joined and under what enticement plan.  We understand that this is approved marketing practice and improves sales but where the club seems to fall far short is keeping its members.  Once you enter their door things allegedly change.  Meridian Club allegedly fails to keep members by raising rates which it can do but over time these price increases get quite large and drives its core constituents into leaving.  We have heard prices range from $40 up to $80 a month for a single member.  Cheaper rates can usually be had by agreeing to pay for a year at a time.  Problem with this is there is a constant fear that the facility will be sold to another company and you will not get your money back because the company will tell you to go to the next nearest facility.  The next nearest faculty from Fullerton would be Pasadena.The Meridian Club seems incapable of looking at the long term prospects and trying to keep its current customers satisfied with reasonable prices and good service.
  • We have heard members interaction with the club management has not gone too well.  Every interview came out with the same comment.  The management does not seem to care.
  • The corporate management, located quite far away, fail to realize how different the Meridian Club is than their other operations and thus push some pretty stupid programs upon the facility, which misdirects expenditures,  without looking at the average age and interests of its customers.  For example, it put in a boxing ring and offers boxing lessons to a member population that are over 40 years of age.

Club cafe was removed:

It is quite remarkable that there is a cafe inside this club and could be a terrific asset. Our test of this cafe was very disappointing.  The prices were high.  We give this restaurant a test and it resulted in  a very low score because we did not get our side dishes thus an incomplete meal.  The food was nothing special and the service was dreadful.

Plus Features:

  • The customers are its best kept secret.  The place is like visiting a small town where most people know one another and that is an important draw.   Most of the customers are affluent and older.  These people would not be caught dead in 24 Hour Fitness because those cheaper places are sardine establishments.  Twenty Four Hour Fitness in Brea is tightly packed and at peak time you must endure long waits to get on a machine or into a class.
  • The classes are quite good.  They are easy to get into partly due to the alleged mismanagement is keeping more customers away by their out of line pricing and lack of customer concern.

Conclusion:

This club is sort of an uncut gem.  This club is in real need of another owner to show its many positive facets to the public by using a much better business model.   A fixed fee of $40 for everyone would be a terrific start for basic one person membership, month by month payment, and $30 a month for a year contract.  Another idea is to turn this club into a coop sports club.

We recommend this sports club if you are looking for a club which seems more in line with the needs of being older.  You will pay a lot more for an ambiance that is more spacious, lay back and you don’t need to fight to get on a machine or get into a class.  Finally, the  facility is not that well maintained.

Update, April 3, 2016:

Because the owner of the Meridian Club allegedly failed to understand how best to run this club, the membership has declined.  The mistakes were quite obvious so one wonders about the competence of the owner to run this type of facility.  The City of Fullerton owns the property and their tax money comes from the club making a profit.  I personally know that the front office staff has angered quite a few customers so they left.  Some of the people who left also had hired the club trainers so the loss incurred was felt by the club and the trainers.  This club looks like it might be taken down.

To read more, go to “Fullerton considers putting several city properties up for sale

This type of club is a real asset for older clientele and this area of Fullerton and Placentia.  I know of members who drive from Diamond Bar and Yorba Linda.  Most other gyms in the area cater to younger people.  This club has a lot of potential to succeed but not with this owner.  I do hope the City of Fullerton comes up with a solution to keep this club but with better management.

 

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