Twenty years ago, Wellbridge opened its first club in St. Louis. And on August 27th, the fitness brand entered a new era with the launch of its new location in the city — a $10 million, two-story, high-end, 40,000-square-foot offering that replaces the old location.
According to JoAnna Masloski, the COO of Wellbridge, the new location is a “labor of love” and represents a club for the future. Here, she shares insights into key aspects of the project and the driving forces behind it.
CS: What ideas have you brought to life in this new club?
JM: The pillar of Wellbridge is “Believing in Better” and including active lifestyles, and every aspect of the new club represents this. We had an opportunity to create new member lounges, social areas and community sections of the club that take it to the next level in service and lifestyle. The goal is to encourage members to stay after they play with those people they’ve just been active with.
CS: What other features of the new location are cutting-edge?
JM: We have six boutique studios in the club, so we’re really trying to create that studio atmosphere, but yet still have the multi-sport options and services.
For example, one studio is Alloy, which offers a fusion of different formats in the mind-body space. What we’ll do in there is everything from aerial yoga and Intrinity to what we call Power Barre. We have so many members that love barre, but they’re used to doing it in a Group X setting — and this is really that next level where you can truly enhance your barre format. It’s also a fusion studio, where we will offer these concepts, and then six to nine months from now, we’ll be changing it up. If our members love aerial yoga we’ll still offer that, but maybe there will be another format in the mind-body space that we want to add, and that’s where it will be done.
CS: Is community a major aspect of this project?
JM: Yes, we know that group fitness is a big one that builds community. But those people tend to go out and grab a drink, like coffee, after class. We’re trying to create spaces in the club where they can do that right outside their studio instead of outside the club.
CS: Are there any other trends you incorporated into the new location?
JM: This has already been done at a lot of studios, but the lighting, the club-like atmosphere — now it’s in our club. We know that people want that and there’s a little bit of energy and excitement there. I think that’s a big feature, the music and the lighting. Whether you’re going to use it or not you get the opportunity to feel like you’re a part of that group.
Another feature that stands out is our five-lane saline pool. We had a pool at the old club, but it was mainly used for fitness aquatics programming. At the new club, we’re already see that our lanes our completely full with triathletes, and we love that it’s inspiring that new group to come in and try the club. We’re really excited about some new populations we’re seeing in the club and that we’re able to serve them.
CS: How has St. Louis responded to the club?
JM: St. Louis has responded very well. We’ve had the mayor out, all the media stations have come out — which in today’s landscape, multisport players don’t get a lot of that hype, because the boutiques are that hype at this point. And really this club has gotten that energy back.
CS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JM: I’m most proud that all Wellbridge associates (employees) have really been empowered to help us build this club. We have clubs all the way from Baltimore to Albuquerque, and each contributed somehow to this new club opening, whether they were testing a new concept for us, trying new lighting or brainstorming about the Alloy program. What we were able to do is look at different associate’s strengths, ask for input and then have them help us open it. As a Wellbridge team, we’re really proud so many associates stepped up and wanted to give input and wanted to help. They’ve been the ones that built this.