‘Silver Sneakers’ program a victim of push for younger, upscale users

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As a long-time member of the Piedmont Fayette Fitness Center, I, too, was extremely disappointed to receive a notification that the Silver Sneakers Program would not be accepted when the facility moves to its new location at Pinewood Forest.

The new facility has been rebranded as the Piedmont Wellness Center at Pinewood Forest and is presented as a facility offering the most upscale and innovative programs available in the world of fitness. This includes cycling through digitally created worlds and maximizing athletic performance in an exclusive training ground.

All of this, of course, comes at a price with a $100 orientation fee and a $79 monthly membership fee (discounted to $72 for seniors).

The jump from $0 with the Silver Sneakers Program to $72 monthly might be more than some senior budgets can tolerate. Even those seniors not eligible for the Silver Sneakers Program would find membership fees almost doubling from present rates.

With the understanding that fitness centers can, at any time, sever their relationship with the Silver Sneakers Program, the timing and presentation of the opening of this new facility seems to be in sync with Fayetteville’s plan to try to attract a more millennial-based population. If that is indeed the case, then it is a job well done.

It’s a shame that the affordable fitness center which has promoted positive health and wellness goals for many seniors will no longer exist.

The current facility has fitness classes and equipment that meet the needs of most seniors. Most are not seeking more exotic options.

Seniors both from the general population and from a post-rehabilitation situation have found the pleasant, encouraging atmosphere at the present center to be a very positive force in striving for wellness for many years. The social interaction at the current location is also an important factor in achieving positive fitness goals.

The new facility is clearly designed to attract a more exclusive population as the current programs are upscaled to serve Pinewood Forest.

Henry Dickerson
Fayetteville, Ga.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is a comment regarding letter to editor dated August 6th regarding NEW wellness center no longer accepting SILVER SNEAKER MEMBERS:

    I visited the wellness center yesterday, they are opening this morning at 4am. I would love to be able to swim in that wonderful looking swimming pool, however NO MORE SILVER SNEAKERS. It’s a beautiful wellness center and as started all of the most advanced technology in exercise equipment can be found here. I can only believe that they don’t and won’t appreciate having us old folks walking or exercising in and around their precious facility. It’s a shame that they aren’t going to allow those of us with the silver sneakers benefits to become members. Even their regular memberships for seniors is quite steep at $72 a month. Their day pass is $20 and their weekly pass is $50. However, their childcare play area is only $5 a day or $30 a month. Which seems somewhat lopsided. All of this information was given to us by the young lady who was conducting the tours, one piece erroneous information that she gave was that the facility is 5000 sq. ft when in fact it’s 54000 sq ft.

    Carole Lumley
    Fayetteville