Episode #300: Darryl & David Bailey, Bailey’s Health & Fitness Founders

Episode #300: Darryl & David Bailey, Bailey’s Health & Fitness Founders

Bailey's Fitness


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Pete Moore: This is Pete More on HALO Talks, bringing in from Jacksonville, Darryl and David belly, bellies health and fitness, the largest HVLP 2.0 concept in north Florida. Gentlemen, welcome to the show if he,

Bailey Brothers: Hey Pete, thanks thanks for having us.

Pete Moore: Good to see you. So why don’t we start off and just talk about you know, your, your, your brother unfortunately passed, but you know, he, he started the business you know, out of grinder. So why don’t you give us the, the history of how this started and you guys became a health clubs have more,

Bailey Brothers: Well, I’ll try and do it as quick as possible to sum up 40 years, but you know, Don, my older brother he’s three years older than I am. I’m the middle brother and David is three years younger than me. So there’s exactly three years between us all. So I guess that’s good. And, and Don was a college football player that had an injury and came home and decided he was going to start a gym. And this is back in 79, 80 81. So the bodybuilding world was, was really taken off then with Arnold and on Lou Ferrigno and those types of gyms. And that was the original concept was Don started a a weightlifting gym for him and his friends. And it was modeled on a small gym that a police officer had in the Jackson malaria guy named Jim Greiner, who would let football players and whatnot use a key and get in through a little padlock into his back shed and, and work out.

Bailey Brothers: And Don kind of modeled that in his first gym. And he had a very small one and he didn’t have much money to start with. And so he went into actually building equipment and started a side business, which we still run today called radius bodybuilding products. And back then, you know, you were just building benches and you were building you know, racks for dumbbells and whatnot. We didn’t have the state-of-the-art clubs we have now with saunas and treadmills and all those things. And so it was just a weightlifting type gym. And he ran that for several years. I think two, two years maybe. And then he asked me if I wanted to get involved in at the time I had the second small gym and we’re talking very small 3000 square feet, probably just a square room with so many incidents.

Bailey Brothers: So again, nothing like we have today. And I was working with another company at the time and I did it for about a year and a half, and I got the opportunity to transfer away. And when I did David was of age at that point and going to college here in town and he decided to step in and partner with Don. So I left and David and Don took it and really turned it into a business. So that’s probably about 83, 84, I guess I leave. And they get it going and, and, and like turn it into a business. And I think it went and David helped me here. I went from Bally’s gym at one point, they actually had a gold strategize and then linked up with powerhouse for many years. And there was a Bailey’s powerhouse gym for a lot of years.

Bailey Brothers: And that’s about the point that I came back. What would you say David? Probably the late mid nineties yet. And basically they had about four clubs at the time and that they wanted to expand and keep growing. The market was here in north Florida and even in surrounding areas south Georgia and whatnot, but we wanted to develop software and that was where my education to come in and what I’d gone off to do. And you know, we were one of the first, if not the first to actually incorporate technology into running the business. Now, when you read all the trade magazines, of course they all tout technology and how you need it. But we we went down that road and developed a software company, PSI power software, and we made software to run health clubs. And for years we actually sold that to other health clubs as well, not in our market, but in other areas and grew that into the business, but it’s quite honest too much.

Bailey Brothers: And we backed off the software side and made it more proprietary towards what we do. And in the meantime, we managed to again, over all that timeframe get up to 17 clubs and each, each of these clubs have grown in their markets. They’re not anywhere near where they would start. They would start small, maybe 10 to 12,000 square feet. And then we’ve moved them into 20, 30 and 40,000 square feet as the years have gone on. Most of them have stayed in their general area. But in some cases we’ve expanded in a whole new markets, like in Gainesville, Alaska, and in Brunswick and south Georgia HLP. That’s great. That’s great. So David talk about, you know, from, from the four clubs that you had originally, you modeling these, these larger

Pete Moore: Clubs off of a competitor, did you kind of have a sense for, Hey, this is what I think fits in, in, in Jacksonville, you know, talk us through you know, what was the mindset at the time of a strategy of going from 3000 square feet you know, north of 30 or 40?

Bailey Brothers: Well, in the original, when we were the smaller gyms, we were basically free weights and, you know, 90% male, 10% female. And we started to see the trend is as everybody did an industry expanding. So when we started expanding the club, we were a powerhouse franchise and that was really, you know, heavily dominated by the men and everything. So we tried to move away from that increase our programming with our group fitness cycling and a lot of the team training concepts to bring other people in. And now our demographic is skewed mostly towards women. Actually. We’re probably heavier 50, 55% women and 45% men. And I think this class offerings it’s helped us quite a bit.

Pete Moore: Yeah. So for people that aren’t familiar with the Jacksonville market, what are some of the testimonials, or what does the brand represent to members? What do they gravitate towards, towards Bailey’s?

Bailey Brothers: I think a lot of people have seen us grown and they take a lot of pride in it. A lot of people consider it their gym and they take a personal ownership in it because they’ve seen a growth through the years and they feel like they’re part of it. When you think of the north Florida market and with 14, 15 of our clubs, basically in no one, we completely dominate this market and, you know, moving around the city, they have a lot of access to a lot of different locations. We vary a little bit of our amenities from site to site. And I think there’s really a sense of ownership within our members of the club. They feel like they’re part of it.

Pete Moore: Interesting. So

Bailey Brothers: When, when COVID hit and then, you know, we were shut down, locked down by the state and then reopened that really shown through. We had so many members who just said, you know, they, they reached out to us. Don’t, don’t stop drafting my account, even though you’re closed, I want to support you guys. I want to be here with you. And it was, it was amazing. And then when we reopened the first four days of being open, we opened on a Thursday. So we had a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That was, those were the biggest four days the company had ever had, which showed the,

Pete Moore: Yeah. So talk about, you know, we, we, we work on some transactions in California and New York, just give us a, you know, a little bit of a diatribe on, you know, what does the Jacksonville political arena, what is you know, do you see any of these restrictions coming down on you and do you think you’re kind of, you know, somewhat protected.