If the fitness buffs of a club’s membership are “insufficiently impressed by the fitness center, they will go elsewhere—and suggest their fellow members do the same,” says a fitness facility consultant. To keep everyone happy and on site, he stresses, properties should pay special attention to these considerations:
Ample space. A fitness center should be no less than 1,500 square feet. For a facility that has 500 to 600 members or guests, the size should be between 2,200 and 2,500 square feet, not including space for group exercise and locker rooms.
Sight, sound and feel. The fitness center should have mirrors—not for vanity, but for paying close attention to proper form. Install easy-to-maintain carpet that has been treated with an anti-microbial agent (“It’s warmer, genteel and opposite of the hard-edged neo-industrial look,” the consultant says). Provide commercial-grade exercise equipment that has its own personal entertainment system or can pick up sound from overhead TVs.
Atmosphere. The fitness center is colorful, kinetic and noisy. Take care to separate it acoustically and structurally from more tranquil areas, such as the spa.
On-site staff. “Self-service fitness makes as little sense as self-service tennis,” the consultant says. “It takes an enthusiastic staff and creative programming to make a difference.”
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