New firm to run Whippany fitness center

New firm to run Whippany fitness center

MediFit, a health club management firm, will begin operating the fitness center located on the Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany on an interim basis beginning in early 2014.

At the same time, the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ will seek to finalize an agreement with a provider whose approach to fitness and wellness will be more specialized. Once an agreement is concluded, MediFit will work together with the provider to create a comprehensive fitness and wellness facility, federation officials said.

They declined to name the possible provider while engaged in negotiations.

The new arrangement will replace Gold’s Gym, which has been running the facility on the campus since September 2008, when it moved into space formerly operated by JCC MetroWest.

MediFit, based in Florham Park, has managed the athletic facilities at JCC MetroWest’s Cooperman JCC in West Orange since 2011.

Both MediFit and Gold’s Gym operate independently of the federation and JCC MetroWest, one of federation’s partner agencies. The federation operates the Whippany campus.

The turnover will begin “sometime in the next several months,” said Howard Menaker of North Caldwell, a former JCC MetroWest president who is helping the federation negotiate the transition.

Menaker, who serves on the federation’s Campus Real Estate Committee, also brokered the rental of the facility to Gold’s Gym and the operating agreement between the West Orange JCC and MediFit.

“Membership rates initially will be the same as Gold’s, but it is not clear yet what ‘initially’ means. We still have to make that decision, but it will probably be more than a month but less than a year. I don’t know ultimately what the rates will be,” Menaker said.

JCC MetroWest executive director Alan Feldman told NJJN he has been pleased with MediFit’s management of his facility’s health club.

“Because it is based in Florham Park, the top management is on site here on a regular basis and we get the full support of their expertise,” said Feldman. “They also have a wealth of knowledge of the fitness and wellness industry. That is extremely important to us because we are more than a big box set of machines. The JCC runs programs geared toward people’s health and wellness, and this is where their expertise is.” Feldman said MediFit has helped maintain the Jewish character of the health club in West Orange.

MediFit boasts on its website that it “is uniquely qualified to address the special challenges of community organizations,” including Jewish community centers.

According to the site, the company is committed to “seamlessly support the unique culture of Jewish Community Centers, helping to assure the highest levels of member satisfaction.”

The marketing department of MediFit declined to answer questions about the Aidekman campus health club.

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