The Future of Health Club Design Is Experience by rraul


									                                                                                             . Focus On                           Clubs ,Il/                       ~ J~-.J


         The Future of Health Club Design Is "Experience"
                                                         In their book, The Experience               casinos cost half that amount. The Taj
                                                     Economy, Joseph Pine and James                  went bankrupt, overburdened with too
                                                     Gilmore strongly communicate that               much debt. They were never able to
                                                     people are looking for memorable                fully recover-they     just went bankrupt
                                                     and lasting impressions that will               again citing a debt that prevented them
                                                     ultimately transform something                  from upgrading and being competitive
                                                     within them. Design and decor are               with other casinos that looked just as
                                                     becoming an integral part in creating an        good but cost much less to build.
                                                     extraordinary experience for members                In interior design circles it is widely
                                                     and potential new members. Service and          accepted that the least expensive
                                                     extensive equipment are great, but they         yet most profound way to achieve
                                                     are no longer enough to make a notable          an inspiring environment is the
                                                     impact on most people.                          creative use of color. Color when used
                                                         Picture entering the soon-to-open           properly can do wonders. When used
                                                     Gold's Gym in Columbia, S.c. You walk           improperly, it can be offensive and
                                                     into a 30-foot-high rotunda with a            . disruptive. In addition, boxy spaces are
                                                     beautiful marble fountain in the center
                                                                                                     giving way to areas shaped differently.
                                                     and IS-foot-high ficus trees with cafe          Lighting, always an asset to the retail
                                                     tables on the perimeter of the circular         and restaurant industries, is now
                                                     space. Then you move up to a sparkling          becoming equally important in state-
         Most every industry that deals directly     midnight granite-topped control desk            of-the-art clubs. The good news is that
         with the public has put extensive           with a golden glow surrounding the              existing clubs can renovate and totally
         psychological research into how they        whole area. Can this be a workout place,        transform themselves with reasonable
         can create environments that will get       you wonder? Beyond, you see a wide              costs. However, those who do not
         people to behave in certain desired         range of lighting, plants, energizing
                                                                                                     change because they think that their
         ways-which    is usually to spend more      colors and differently shaped spaces
                                                                                                     boring, uninspiring environments are
         money once they are in that particular      with equipment that has eye-catching
                                                                                                     not that important in getting people fit
         environment. The casino industry has        colors for the frames and upholstery
                                                                                                     will clearly be at a disadvantage.
         this down to a science. They do not put     that you have never seen before. As
                                                                                                         Just as someone walks into a
                                                                           you enter the
                                                                                                     restaurant and looks forward to being
                                                                           locker rooms, you
                                                                           think you are in an       tantalized with good food and striking
                                                                           upscale spa with          decor, so does the new "hoping-to-
                    Design and decor are becoming                          beautiful stonework,      get-fit" market expect to walk into a
                                                                           oversized showers         club and see a beautiful environment
                    an integral part in creating                                                     in addition to great service and
                                                                           and lounge areas.
                                                                                                     equipment. Clubs that are up to this
                    an extraodinary experience                             Throughout the
                                                                           club is a wonderful       challenge will be rewarded with more.
                    for members and potential                              blend of audiovisual      members having more memorable
                                                                           en tertainmen t           and lasting impressions of their club
                    new members.                                           and educational           experience. These members will stay
                                                                           experiences. Now,         longer, spend more and want to
                                                                           all of a sudden the       share all of this with their friends and
                                                                           dreaded experience        acquaintances.
         windows in the gaming areas so people       of exercise has been transformed into               The fitness industry is "growing up."
         will loose their sense of time and keep     something totally different. By the             No longer seen as a frivolous business
.    ,   gambling through the night and into         time you hear the prices, there is a soft       that banks would shy away from, clubs
         the day. The food and retail industries     smile on your face, and you can easily          need to invest the same way other
         invest heavily in creating beautifully      see yourself making positive changes            industries have in the appearance of
         moving environments that cause people       in your life in such a place. And, you          their physical facilities. As a result,
         to want to spend more. These three          can't wait to tell your friends about the       club design and decor in the future will
         industries sell something that most         wonderful surprise you just experienced.        play an ever-expanding role in a club's
         people love to do. On the other hand,           Yet, as good as it all sounds, the more     success.   ~r.
     J   the health club industry sells something    profitable clubs of the future will do all
     I   that most people hate to do-exercise.       of this with a strict budget using the
         That is why clubs must do a better job      best money-saving techniques of profit
                                                                                                   Bruce Carter is the president of Optimal Fitness Design
         of creating inspirational environments      designing. When Donald Trump first
         that attract people back to exercise, and   opened the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic       Systems International, a club design firm that has

         club design is clearly headed in this       City, he loudly proclaimed that his new       created approximately $420 million dollars worth of
         direction.                                  casino cost a billion dollars while other     clubs in 45 states and 26 countries.

         www.fitnessbusiness·                                                                                                        January     1005   •     29


To top