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Adapting your Hotel Gym to the Growing Market Trend

Has your Hotel Gym become old and a cluttered hot mess? Here’s how to rethink your floor space and aesthetics to create a more pleasing environment for members in order to serve the market opportunities.

You may not have noticed, but your health club may be shrinking and becoming old. Not the entire building, of course, but with functional fitness gear, spa and tanning services, personal training areas, group training, and other fitness trends taking root, your Hotel Gym may be running out space and/or not updated to satisfy the needs of your loyal customers.

Design and environment matter, and not just for safety or liability reasons. How you utilize space directly affects revenue, retention and loyal customers for your hotel. Today’s Hotel Gyms don’t just have to accommodate multiple trends and equipment upgrades, they have to compete with the boutique aesthetic and market needs that’s become more commonplace in the hotel industry.

Younger demographics, in particular, are more sensitive to design. Tech companies, such as Apple, place a great deal of emphasis on sleek, minimalist packaging and clean graphics. It’s commonsense that when faced with two products of similar functional ability, the one with the better aesthetics wins out every time.

Rethinking your space and environment is also something you should do on a regular basis. According to The IHRSA Health Club Business Handbook, “…once every ten years, most clubs need a total overhaul/reconfiguration if they wish to maintain market momentum and remain competitive.”

Hotels will get greener and healthier

Millennials are expected to represent 50% of all travelers to the USA by 2025, according to the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. ”Companies need to define their strategies based on this demographic group’s personality traits and habits—they travel a lot; are early adopters of technology; like personalized interactions and are spontaneous. Satisfied millennials will actively promote their businesses on social media channels. i.e. Increased emphasis on health and well-being”.

Adopting a Boutique Mindset

Outside in the market place, some health clubs are competing against boutique clubs by appropriating some of the design effects and unique programming of popular studios. Whether or not you take that step, you should look at how space and aesthetics are utilized in a typical boutique establishment.

One reason why boutique studios make bold choices is simply because a lack of resources and space can force more creative solutions. “Every square foot has to be maximized for revenue generation,” says designer Bryan Dunkelberger of S3 Design, who shared his expertise in IHRSA’s Guide to the Boutique Studio Phenomenon. “It all starts with how you’re generating income.”

According to The IHRSA Health Club Business Handbook, “Design, too, can also affect demand. New clubs, especially when they are impressive in terms of layout, function, and design, always create fresh demand.” A good place to start is “spatial creativity,” where color choices, lighting, arrangement of architectural elements, and other factors can transform small spaces, making them appear larger than they are.

While consumers expect more of their environment on an aesthetic level, they aren’t prepared to sacrifice the tools they want for their workouts. Equipment is a more complex challenge when it comes to space and aesthetic considerations.

Rethinking Your Cardio Space

Part of what’s crowding out your club space is the exponential increase in equipment associated with new functional fitness modalities. As an IHRSA article once put it: “Mats, partitions, basketballs, kettle bells—you need to put them somewhere when you’re not using them. If you don’t include enough storage space, your health club will look cluttered and disorganized.”

More gear on the floor shouldn’t take away from your bread-and-butter: the cardio room.  According to the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, treadmills and weight/resistance machines are the two most popular offerings utilized by health club members. That’s closely followed by stationary bikes and ellipticals/cross-trainers.

Industry statistics on space allocation backs this up. According to The IHRSA Health Club Equipment Report: Spending, Utilization & Programming Trends, cardio machines take up the most space in clubs at 20.1%; followed by traditional strength equipment (15.7%); group exercise areas (12.1%); and functional training spaces (8.2%). Of cardio machines, treadmills are an average of 33.9% of available equipment, followed by ellipticals at 25.6% of floor inventory. When rethinking your space requirements, this is the place to start.

Innovate to Renovate

The challenge is to maximize your treadmill/elliptical cardio space without sacrificing aesthetics—all while being cost-effective. This requires equipment that is exceptionally versatile, technologically up-to-date, and pleasing to the eye.

Clubs looking for options that satisfy these lofty demands—while also creating a buzz with consumers—should consider SportsArt’s ECO-POWR line of cardio equipment. These environmentally-friendly machines harness human energy, then feed it back into the club’s power grid, making them energy sustainable, an especially appealing feature to younger demographics who may otherwise be tempted to opt for boutique studios. To see the Verde, Verso, and other eco-friendly products in action, visit SportsArt’s booth at the IHRSA 2018 Trade Show on March 21-24 in San Diego. In the meantime, visit their website or call 1-800-709-1400.

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