MAKING THE CASE FOR FITNESS… New Year’s resolutions mean fitness and wellness centers will experience the busiest time of the year. If your club is lacking the proper facilities—or worse, lacking fitness facilities completely—what’s holding you back?
Club fitness facilities are often “the most active recreational component in the modern club. It boosts the per- ceived value of membership and greatly increases member engagement,” said Frank Vain of the club facilities planning firm, The McMahon Group. Vain urges all clubs to strongly consider investing in fitness opportuni- ties for members. “Members eat at their club because their friends are there and it is a personal, comfortable, home-away-from-home setting. This is also why members will work out there,” Vain wrote in the firm’s pub- lication The McMahon Report.
If you are reluctant to add or expand fitness facilities because of competition from fitness clubs in your area, Vain believes these competitors actually increase the importance of adding a fitness facility. Commercial fit- ness providers report a high membership turnover rate due to the users’ inability to establish social connec- tions. Private clubs can leverage this advantage. “Club managers report that the biggest benefit of adding a fitness facility is increased member engagement and socialization,” Vain said. “Members who work out are at the club more often, sometimes several times per week. They meet a whole new group of members, ones that are not in their other spheres of engagement like their golf game or social circle.”
Affluent members are becoming increasingly focused on health and wellness and are seeking these opportuni- ties elsewhere if not offered at your club. “Don’t miss the opportunity to add an activity that your members want,” Vain advised. “The club fitness center, with space and programs that get people doing things together, is a perfect place to build relationships and derive extra value from club membership.”
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