Private Nantucket Gym to Offer $120,000 Memberships
Nantucket, a boring flat island lacking any notable geographic features, is known for governing itself like North America’s largest gated community.
With the island’s reputation for fighting off developers, it should come as surprise that the development-phobic Nantucket Planning Board approved the construction of a private 11,000 square foot gym complete with pools, volleyball facilities, multiple squash courts, a spa, and a pitch and put for golf, on Monday.
The new gym, known as the Ezia Athletic Club, will occupy three acres near the Nantucket Airport that are not actively in use for commercial or residential purposes. The developers hope to open the gym by April 2017.
This is not your local Gold’s Gym.
Membership at this prestigious club will be limited to just 250 families for an affordable initiation fee of $120,000 per family. Annual dues are set at the low rate of $5,000 per year.
“I didn’t do some kind of census, but based on 15 years of anecdotal experience, I personally think there is a huge demand. We’re geared toward younger the family. We’re not necessarily going after the 1 percent. We’re catering to people who think $120,000 not out of the realm of possibility. There has been a lot of positive buzz, both in Boston and here on the island,” said gym founder and fitness expert Isaiah Truyman to the Inquirer and Mirror, Nantucket’s newspaper of record.
While the owners may not be directly targeting the one percent, the promotional website for the gym features a woman exiting a high-end sports car and being greeted by a stewardess while boarding a private jet.
Another health club on the island, the Nantucket Health Club, offers annual memberships without initiation fees for $1,350, pricey by most measurements, but not anywhere near the combined $125,000 to get in the door at Ezia.
Nantucket, by design of the residents and local government, is an astronomically expensive place to live so the $5,000-a-year gym has to provide housing for its employees. Truyman told the Inquirer and Mirror that he plans to build on-site housing for the gym’s manager and find additional housing off site for non-managerial staff. In total, the gym is expected to employ 12 full-time workers with possibly even more during summer months.
So, if $120,000 to join a $5,000-a-year gym is not “going after the 1 percent” what is?