IMAGE COURTESY OF CLUB NORTHWEST
Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the October issue, the conversation features Scott Draper, the general manager of Club Northwest.
1. What was your first job in the health club industry?
I began at 15 years old as a tennis instructor for a small parks and recreation program.
2. How did you get your start at Club Northwest?
In 1991, I purchased an existing racquetball club. Within five years, we had grown membership and fitness offerings to the extent that we needed a new, bigger space. In 1996, we purchased a 59,000-square-foot building and did a complete conversion to create Club Northwest. Our doors opened on February 10, 1997. Since then, we have added lots of square footage, grown membership to 10,000 and brought non-dues revenue to an average of well over 50 percent of our total income.
3. If you had to pick one thing about Club Northwest you’re most proud of, what would that one thing be?
The inspiring work our “serriors” (warrior servants in wellness — what we call our team members) do. Most smart people said it couldn’t be done. A health club of the size and scope of Club Northwest just wouldn’t work in Grants Pass, Oregon. People said it would be “too big,” “too nice for the area” and have “too many amenities for our little burg.” Now, 21 years later, we are happy to serve those same people and many others as successful members. For 21 years we have been betting on the spirit of people. We’ve been betting on “Well Together.” Everyone wins when a few put everything they’ve got on “Well Together.”
4. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome, either personally or professionally?
I have had many challenges that felt big to me. Being a leader takes confidence, humility and faith. I have had challenges in being enough for many leadership situations that have presented themselves over the years.
5. How did you overcome that challenge?
For each leadership challenge I can truly say I overcame, the common denominator was I surrendered to Club Northwest’s highest mission, which is our members’ and guests’ experience of wellness here and now.
6. What is the best piece of leadership advice you’ve ever been given?
Love conquers all.
7. What’s your favorite part of being in the fitness industry?
Seeing young leaders grow and serve others with confidence and humility from the heart.
8. If you weren’t in the position you’re in now, what job do you think you’d be doing?
I would be a veterinarian.
9. What’s the best leadership book you’ve read?
The best leadership book I’ve ever read is “Love Without End” by Glenda Green.
10. What’s a trend you’ve noticed in the industry that other operators should be paying attention to?
Love conquers all. Find your “why” and live it.