As featured in OnSite Fitness Magazine
By Bryan Green, President, Advantage Fitness Products
It’s all too common to oversimplify the process of developing or upgrading a fitness center. Too often the assumption is to get a few exercise bikes and treadmills, a couple universal machines and some free weights, and voila!...We’ve got ourselves a fitness center!”
Unfortunately, this perspective leads to one costly challenge after another as the life of your fitness facility advances. You may be surprised that I’ve used the term “life” to describe a facility full of expensive inanimate equipment. But make no mistake…a fitness center is a living and evolving environment, subject to the ever-changing trends and technologies that shape the fitness world. By underestimating the myriad of considerations involved in developing a successful fitness amenity, you are certain to set yourself up for increased expense and administrative overhead down the line.
As one of the largest worldwide suppliers of commercial fitness facilities, Advantage Fitness Products focuses on five primary areas developed through our years of specialized experience. We work to create effective solutions that minimize short-term and long-term costs while maximizing our client’s investment made in fitness.
Whether a Spa Director charged with upgrading the facility’s fitness amenities or a Developer creating a fitness center design from scratch, you must plan for the evolving nature of fitness. From routine placement of electrical wiring and power sources, to the choice of proper floor materials, fitness facility planning allows you to anticipate unavoidable changes and adjustments in advance, saving considerable costs when these changes are executed in the future.
The design of a fitness facility should reflect the look and feel of the environment in which it resides. A modern hotel or metropolitan condominium complex, may call for a more futuristic look with high-tech equipment, featuring digital monitors and panels, sleek in style and sporting clean silver and black tones. Whereas, a destination resort with a Mediterranean theme may require softer and warmer styling, with less techno-glitz and a more comfortable feel. The gym interior design should not stand in contrast, but rather complement the identity of the entire facility. One size does NOT fit all in terms of fitness equipment, and a trained fitness consultant can help figure out what fits for you.
The equipment and amenities featured in any fitness center should support the needs of its clientele and assist in the achievement of their goals in wellness. Guests at luxury resorts will expect a significantly higher level of quality and quantity of equipment, entertainment integration, and other items that may enhance their fitness experience. By contrast, guests at hotels designed for the typical business traveler may require a more practical facility with simply the essential elements to maintain a baseline level of fitness while grinding it out during their hectic business trips. They would gladly trade bells and whistles for durable and functioning equipment….The necessary elements to break a sweat in between meetings and corporate dinners are essential here.
At the end of the day, a fitness facility is a significant investment. That investment needs to be managed carefully in order to maximize its value and its potential returns. Look for ways to anticipate future costs and thereby reduce and control their amounts and mitigate facility interruption. An extended-service agreement is something that will pay dividends again and again and can easily be measured in the elimination of costly operational expenses and equipment downtime. All too often these expenditures are rarely budgeted for or anticipated, but most certainly will occur.
Arguably the area in fitness that’s most often overlooked is: making money. At AFP, one of our most valuable areas of support is in helping customers generate revenue opportunities from their investment in fitness. Personal training packages, specialized group-exercise offerings, boutique retail, and in-room fitness accessories from yoga mats to exercise balls…these items allow your customers to enhance their experience on property and often well after they’ve returned to their own homes and daily lives.
Like any investment, a fitness center brings inherent risks and significant opportunities. Whatever the scope of your investment in fitness, do yourself a favor and don’t underestimate it as merely an “exercise” in simplicity.
Bryan Green is President and CEO of Advantage Fitness Products, a company dedicated to providing fitness solutions to non-fitness companies. AFP offers a full complement of services including Planning, Design, Supply, Service, and ongoing facility Support to help make fitness a valuable and profitable offering for clients across several industries including: Hospitality; Professional & Collegiate Sports; Education & Recreation; Property Management; Corporations; Municipalities & Government Organizations; Medical, Health & Wellness Organizations; and Private Clubs. For more information regarding Advantage Fitness Products and our solutions, please call us at 888-895-0547.