The third and final phase of a club-wide renovation at Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, Fla., has yielded a fitness facility that nearly twice as many members now use.
After razing and rebuilding its Beach Club in 2008 and clubhouse in 2012 as part of a facility-wide renovation project (“A Fitting Statement,” C&RB, August 2013), Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, Fla., shifted its focus to the third and final phase: an upgraded fitness center and spa.
Lost Tree Club, North Palm Beach, Fla.Size: 16,500 sq. ft. (11,000-sq. ft. fitness facility, 5,500-sq. ft. spa, with potential for 4,000-sq. ft. expansion)
Flooring: Hardwood, 12” x 12” carpet tile (in fitness center); carpet (in spa)
Equipment: Strength-training machines, free weights, TRX bands, aerobic machines (treadmills, ellipticals)
Studios: Two (offering classes in rowing, pilates, spinning and ballet)
Before construction began, Lost Tree did its due diligence by meeting with “any and all clubs” within a 100-mile radius that had recently updated fitness facilities, reports Chief Operating Officer Rick Bayliss, CCM, CCE, to gather any lessons learned and consider any pitfalls. “We took a ground-up approach,” says Bayliss. “Everyone [we talked to] said they should’ve built it larger, or so it would be able to expand.”
Lost Tree’s new $7 million fitness and spa complex, which opened in summer 2013, is located across the street from the property’s clubhouse. The downstairs fitness facility measures 11,000 sq. ft. and the spa upstairs is 5,500 sq. ft., which can be expanded by another 4,000 sq. ft. if and when the club sees fit. (With its own chapel and Beach Club, Lost Tree Club has become a “wedding destination,” Bayliss notes, and the spa may be expanded to offer salon services within the next 10 years.)
The club also looked inside its own membership by seeking input from frequent users of the previous fitness facility, asking what they’d like to see from the renovation.
“They wanted more space for everything,” Bayliss explains. “The services we offered and the equipment were pretty comprehensive, but we added more aerobic machines to cut back on wait time. We also now have a dedicated stretching area.”
The building’s exterior features an “island residential look” to blend in with the rest of the property, Bayliss says, but steers clear of resembling a large commercial building.
When members enter the facility, they’re greeted by a concierge who helps them check in or sign up for a class (two studios offer rowing, spinning, ballet and pilates) or directs them upstairs to the Banyan Tree Spa, which offers retail space, treatment rooms, and locker rooms. Members also have the option of visiting the Jupiter Medical Center Rehab Services, housed in the lower level of the facility, for physical therapy.
Walking through the downstairs fitness area, members first discover a dedicated TRX band space, and then a refreshment area with photos of staff members. The remainder of the facility includes an aerobic space with treadmills, ellipticals and other machines; strength-training machines and free weights; and free floor space and tables for stretching.
“All equipment faces the front,” Bayliss says. “People want to see one another, not necessarily stare out the window.”
The facility features hardwood and carpet tile throughout; the latter, Bayliss says, is “great for strength-training areas and aerobics, so we can replace a 12” x 12” square as needed.”
The overall design concept for the space is “understated elegance,” Bayliss says, to fit with the decor found in the rest of the club, featuring neutral greens, yellows and browns throughout. “We wanted the space to be easier to maintain, and have a very light feel to it,” he notes.
Now in its fourth season, 83% of the membership now uses the facility for fitness or the spa, Bayliss says—a substantial bump from how the previous facility was used.
“Before we built [the new facility], we were busy and active with core supporters,” Bayliss says. “I’d say 40 to 45 percent of members would actually use it. Now, the only ones who don’t aren’t ambulatory. It has really been a home run.
“The collaboration between the staff, architect and membership was really unprecedented,” Bayliss adds. “That outcome, while taking a little longer, produced an unbelievably positive result.”