Winning the Heart of Santa Monica
How can you tell if your club is cutting edge? Being approached by MTV to participate in a reality show may be one indicator. In 2011, 220 Fitness, a club in Santa Monica, Calif., was asked by MTV to appear in the show “Chelsea Settles,” a documentary series about a recent college graduate pursuing a career in the fashion industry in Los Angeles.
“MTV approached [us] a little over a year ago in regards to a new show they were casting for,” explained Matteo Baker, the founder and owner of 220 Fitness. “They liked 220’s atmosphere, the talented staff and the fact we were new and hip. We were introduced to Chelsea and she was a sweetheart. All of the staff was pulling for her. Watching her lose the weight, while feeling and looking better, was a real joy. It’s the best part of being in this industry.”
220 Fitness may be considered “new and hip” due to its interesting look and premier location. The club — named after the phrase, “second to none”— is situated on Main Street in Santa Monica. The club features floor-to-ceiling glass windows and high ceilings in order to give its members an outdoor sensation.
A relationship with the outdoors and the community was Baker’s goal. According to Baker, 220 Fitness has encouraged green initiatives, such as walking and biking to the club, and has continually supported local schools and events.
According to Baker, 220 Fitness prides itself on offering one-of-a-kind group fitness classes, such as Karaoke Cycle, Kangoo Jumps and XY Training, a class that incorporates high intensity interval training and yoga. “We pride ourselves in constantly evolving and adding new, fun, unique, all-fitness-level classes,” he said.
In order to discover the latest trends in Group X, Baker hired a consultant whose sole job is to travel around to different clubs, and research what classes clubs are offering. “It’s her job to keep abreast of what’s hot in the industry,” said Baker.
Much of 220 Fitness’ success has been derived from the club’s fearlessness. “We’re not scared to try new things,” said Baker. “Our openness to evolve and try new processes, classes and training techniques gives us an edge.”
In addition to 220 Fitness, Baker founded 220 Wellness, which lies across the street from the fitness center and offers physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy services. “220 Wellness is the sister business that brings the total wellness aspect together,” said Baker. 220 Wellness accepts PPO Insurance for some services, and some of 220 Fitness’ memberships include chiropractic screenings at 220 Wellness. In the future, Baker has planned to incorporate 220 Wellness directly into the buildings of additional locations.
“The concept I had in mind was to combine the smaller, more specialized studio-based facilities that had cropped up all over the city, with the more traditional, common gym philosophy,” explained Baker. “And then to fuse the studio gym concept with a wellness component, thereby encompassing all aspects of fitness and health.”
The club will always strive to be “second to none,” said Baker, in terms of both fitness and wellness. “220 has created a footprint in the area where fitness all started. 220 is all about having fun and enjoying fitness.”
Matteo Baker’s Keys to Success
- Finding and developing talent.
- Taking risks.
- A fun, enjoyable environment for staff.
- Constantly striving to be better.
- A super clean facility.
- Listening to customers.
By Rachel Zabonick