Sunday, January 10, 2010

CBRC Plans to Phase Out Tanning Beds, TCCC Opts for Profits Ahead of Member Safety

On November 9, 2009 I sent two Washington state health clubs letters requesting consideration of removing their tanning beds due to well-documented skin cancer risks. Columbia Basin Racquet Club in Richland and Tri-City Court Club of Kennewick were the two recipients of my letter (

I am pleased to announce that Columbia Basin Racquet Club (CBRC) has agreed to phase out their tanning beds. As part of their plan, CBRC will not purchase additional suntan beds, but will allow the current beds to operate for the balance of their estimated useful life. We hope that this plan will become a model for health clubs across the United States.
While CBRC has worked to find a reasonable solution, Tri-City Court Club’s actions reflect their priority, at least in this situation, of putting profits ahead of member safety. During a brief conversation with the Club’s manager at TCCC in November, she informed me that the Club was looking at the issue and was considering the financial impacts of the decision as well as the science involved. While I have exchanged several e-mails with the CBRC Club Manager, I have not had the courtesy of even one written reply from the TCCC Manager.

Maybe a good starting point for TCCC is to read my previous blogs about the risks of tanning beds. There are several citations from credible sources including the World Health Organization and a prominent dermatologist from the Oregon Health and Sciences University. The following are the links:

As a former tennis club professional, manager, and now member, it has been interesting to “assess” how each club responded to my original letter, the reasoning behind their response or non-response, and then compare the clubs actions. In this situation, the CBRC ownership team elevated the issue and then carefully crafted a reasonable solution to the problem. Their actions show that they truly care about the safety of their members. The opposite is unfortunately true of their cross-town competitor.  The TCCC failed to even show up for the discussion. I guess we now know how they really feel about their members!


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