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9/7/2003

Curves gets big with small scale

by Pam Mellskog
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — Given the 24 Curves health clubs located within 25 miles of Longmont, casual observers might suspect a mighty franchise at work.
That hunch would be correct. Since 1992, the Waco, Texas-based business has launched 5,000-plus such clubs worldwide, according to its Web site.
In 1999, Denver resident Dale Cox first bought into the no-frills franchise — he now owns Curves clubs in Longmont, 1106 Francis St.; Lafayette, 489 N. Hwy. 287; and Louisville, 591 South Boulder Road — because, he said, the formula is simple and jibes with his values.
“I was looking for something that had some socially redeeming value, not just selling people more stuff,” Cox said.
Curves serves primarily women — aged 25 to 50 years old, 15 to 20 pounds overweight — who don’t feel comfortable in standard club settings, no matter how posh.
“It is a very low-key, low-pressure environment with a neighborhood feel,” he added.
Size alone makes that so. The average club runs just 1,200 to 1,800 square feet, with no more than approximately 25 people working out at the same time.
Franchises start at $20,000, which includes equipment, and Curves’ corporate office can provide financing.
Plus, the franchise comes with fool-proofed boilerplates, according to Cox. This, he said, minimizes distressing surprises and maximizes successes.
“Boulder County, Colorado, might be the fitness capitol of the world, but Curves still works,” Cox said.
For more information, visit www.curvesinternational.com.