Where the West Gets Fit
From the logo, down to its decorations and vibe, Jackson Hole Health and Fitness in Jackson, Wyo., has a definite “western” vibe. Multiple animals native to Wyoming, including mountain goats and buffalo, are just a couple of the western trappings mounted throughout the club. Situated near Wyoming’s Teton Mountains, this theme isn’t out of place in the town of Jackson.
“We are completely western, in keeping with the spectacular backdrop of the Teton Mountains and the Old West tradition, surroundings and lifestyle that are so richly embedded and preserved in Jackson,” explained Jan Harms, the owner and a partner of Jackson Hole Health and Fitness. “Our colors, décor, finishes and art all combine to lend a western feel to our club.”
Jackson Hole Health and Fitness’ western theme is the brainchild of three partners — Jan Harms, Chuck Lakovitch and Jack Tawney. The team opened the club in May 2010, after being presented with an opportunity to take over a previous gym that had exited the location.
“One of my partners, Chuck Lakovitch, was born and raised in Jackson and always had his eye open for opportunities for a health and fitness space,” explained Harms. “He found the location and called me to come look at it, and run numbers on it to see if it made sense … there was a club in that location before us that was let go and run down, but there was every indication that the Jackson community would support a good product that was run well.”
Striving to fulfill the needs of the community and offer a “good product,” Jackson Hole Health and Fitness’ partners have worked hard to make it the place “Where the West Gets Fit,” which is the club’s tagline.
A fully-equipped facility, Jackson Hole Health and Fitness features wall-to-wall strength and cardio equipment, 30 to 40 group exercise classes per week, a state-of-the-art cycling room, personal training, outdoor classes “and the friendliest staff in the West who want to take care of you,” said Harms.
Though, getting the West fit doesn’t necessarily come easy. As a popular resort town, the city of Jackson experiences ebbs and flows in terms of population saturation.
“Running a club in a resort community that is dependent upon tourism and current economic conditions creates a unique set of variables,” said Harms. “Our club has had to learn the local market and understand the influx and exodus of people in and out of the valley throughout the year. We have had to break the mold of traditional membership plans and embrace the tourism demographic, as well as supporting our membership base.”
The club has embraced seasonal traffic by offering a variety of different membership options, including non-resident and temporary memberships, for those who consider Jackson their second home, or who are just visiting.
Harms and her partners use aggressive marketing strategies to draw in visitors, guests and members, to keep the club’s presence in the community at the forefront. “We’ve used every medium possible to get our name, location and fitness philosophy out to the market, including the local newspaper, the local chamber of commerce, social media, sponsored events, etc.,” said Harms. “From the uniqueness of our look, including our logo and western theme, to the programs, product, operating philosophy and presence we have in the market, Jackson Hole Health and Fitness is different and unique.”
According to Harms, Jackson Hole Health and Fitness’ uniqueness created a one-of-a-kind experience for members that led to the club’s success. “Our philosophy is to make each person that walks through the door feel like this is the place to be for fitness in Jackson,” she said. “By creating positive experiences for members and guests alike, we have created a product that people talk about.”
By Rachel Zabonick