Read our CS exclusive interview with Linda Mitchell, the director of marketing and PR for Newtown Athletic Club (NAC) in Newtown, Pa., about how the addition of a 41,00-square-foot sports training center will affect NAC and its members.
CS: Do you think the Sports Training Center will change the dynamic of the club? If so, how?
LM: The dynamic of the club will be changed by the fact that we now have a 41,000-square-foot indoor athletic field house, in which we offer a 10,000-square-foot Rocks Starz All Stars Cheer Program, a Big Leagues Baseball Academy training program, and in the off season, a 31,000-square-feet indoor turf for local athletic teams, tournaments, competitions and more.
In addition to these already impressive offerings, we can now host larger events that are both sports related and non-sports related. This facility is second to none in the area and will allow thousands of community members to participate in year-round sporting activities that will encourage a lifestyle of teamwork, recreation, fair competition and more.
CS: Are NAC’s members excited about the center?
LM: Over 700 people attended the NAC Sports Training Center grand opening, which indicates how excited people are to have a world-class indoor sports facility in the area. This type of space is at a premium, and is already largely booked.
CS: With the addition of the Sports Training Center, what types of services and amenities will now be available to NAC’s members?
LM: NAC members will be able to participate in any of the programs offered at the NAC Sports Training Center. The programs are not included in the membership, but the convenience of having them available within the 20-acre NAC complex is invaluable. There will be times when we host special events for our members in the new facility, and now there are many more options for us to host large events that have a wider appeal to the general public as well.
CS: What did everyone think of the grand opening?
LM: At the grand opening people were in awe of the large size of the space, especially in comparison to our previous Big Leagues and Rock Starz facilities. They found it to be not only spacious, but beautiful, clean and flexible in terms of the space that could be utilized for many different types of sports and events.
CS: Will the Sports Training Center be a major profit center for NAC?
LM: We fully expect the new Sports Training Center to far exceed the success of the old facility. The old facility was already profitable. Even with the increased operating costs of this larger facility, the potential to be profitable is almost limitless.
The NAC Sports Training Center, in order to maximize its potential to generate revenue, is being positioned along with the entire NAC complex, as “not just a gym….but a venue.” We are developing an entire events department with its own director and staff, to drive events to and through the NAC. This initiative will allow us to not only rent our space, but to plan and execute events for clients as well. In this way we hope to exceed revenue per square foot of similar and even larger facilities.
CS: What type of manpower and hours goes into creating a project this size?
LM: The creation of this project from inception to completion was achieved through the stellar efforts of the director, Josh Tyler, the owner, Jim Worthington and his partners, and Rick Apple, the president of Newtown Apple Construction, a subsidiary company of the Newtown Athletic Club.
As a result of our tremendous commitment to the “Big Build” expansion, which has spanned almost two years at a cost of over $12 million, and will culminate in May with the four-acre outdoor pool complex, we established our own construction company, which handles all of our jobs as well as general construction for other clients.