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The Creative Process Behind the Jewel Box Concept, Sports Club/LA

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Artist rendering, courtesy of Sports Club/LA.

Artist rendering, courtesy of Sports Club/LA.

Millennium Partners Sports Club Management, LLC (owners of The Sports Club/LA) announced in May that the company will introduce a new eco-friendly and technologically-innovative club concept called the “Jewel Box.” Smaller than the brand’s normal-sized clubs, the Jewel Box clubs focus on artfully blending “cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art architecture,” with eco-friendly attributes.

The first Jewel Box club, Sports Club/LA — Chestnut Hill, is set to open in February 2013. We asked Travis Murray, the general manager of The Sports Club/LA — Chestnut Hill, a few questions about the club, and where the idea for the club concept came from.

Q: How does the Jewel Box club “artfully blend cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art architecture” What design elements will members notice in the club?

A: From the moment our members walk through the door at Sports Club/LA — Chestnut Hill, they will be set on an unparalleled sensory experience. The entire environment was planned to enhance and elevate the member experience.

Our operations and design teams have created an unrivaled fitness experience from start to finish, by leveraging the latest in technology, architecture, fitness and interior design. The new concept called the “Jewel Box” was developed to ensure that the essence and amenities of the our larger clubs are creatively integrated into this new, more compact, eco-friendly, technologically-advanced club.

Upon entry, the focal point of the member lobby is a two-sided floating fireplace that anchors the feeling of warmth and community of the club. As they continue to through the club, they will have an array of workout options including stunning sunlit yoga, Pilates, group cycling and group exercise studios, dedicated functional-movement areas complete with state-of-the-art equipment and specialty lanes of indoor Astroturf for high-performance sports training. After their workouts, members can opt to relax in the salt-infused steam room, the multi-sensory member lounge or enjoy a healthy snack at the organic juice bar.

Q: What eco-friendly, technological attributes will the club feature?

A: The club’s eco-friendly, technological attributes not only lower our carbon footprint, but make our member’s lives a little easier. The entire club will be paperless, from the membership application to guest receipts. Complimentary Wifi and Macbooks are available for members.

Q: What feature of the club, eco-friendly or otherwise, do you find to be the most interesting or revolutionary?

A: Our new REV™ studio is unlike any other indoor cycling experience. Our glass-enclosed studio features 40 top-of-the-line bikes, but that’s just the beginning. Members spin their wheels on simulated rides, races and tours, all brilliantly projected on a panoramic screen previously only available in IMAX-equipped theaters. Strapped into heart rate monitors, and fueled by our industry-leading instructors, the entire experience is taken to the next level courtesy of the one-of-a-kind parabolic-lit ceiling that creates lighting effects to compliment the energy of the class. This brilliant, fully-integrated, multi-media indoor ride can only be experienced at Sports Club/LA – Chestnut Hill.

Q: How did the club “listen to members” when developing the concept. What type of feedback had you received from members?

A: In addition to our well-known fitness offerings, our members frequently comment on the club environment — the sense of ease and community that it brings them, the space it allows, and the comfort of the amenities. When building Sports Club/LA — Chestnut Hill, we wanted to amplify the member experience, by incorporating amenities that help our members feel their best. Examples include; spacious well-appointed locker rooms, pristine saunas and salt-infused steam rooms, an exclusive member lounge set in a changing high-tech environment, innovative and stimulating childcare, and of course, access to highly experienced fitness professionals.

Q: Do you think a focus on eco-friendliness is important for health clubs to look into? Do you think eco-friendly clubs have carved a niche in the club marketplace?

A: We are committed to developing and building eco-friendly clubs and practices, a component that is essential in the new Jewel Box concept. Being eco-friendly is a part of the Sports Club/LA’s DNA, and we believe it should be important to all industries.

Q: How did Smaiyra Million (the CEO of The Sports Club/LA, and brainchild of the concept) come up with the Jewel Box concept, and why did she deem it important?

A: The company’s leadership recognized that the replication of our signature large-scale footprint clubs was financially difficult to replicate in today’s economy. We wanted to preserve what makes our lifestyle brand so special — beauty, energy and most importantly community. In designing the smaller clubs, the term Jewel Box was coined to visually paint a clear image of how the essence of our larger clubs would be translated into a smaller footprint.

The Jewel Box concept will also fill a void in the marketplace. While large cities around the U.S. have seen a boom in extensive gym and health club offerings, these are still very minimal in the suburbs. The Jewel Box concept, a blend of artful architecture and innovative technology, aims to fill this need by bringing all the luxuries, amenities and innovative health and wellness offerings that Sports Club/LA has become known for, to communities outside the city; a concept that no other health club has been able to do thus far.

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Rachel Zabonick

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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