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Clean Up Your Gym’s Act


“No one likes to workout in a dirty gym.”

According to Anton Conlon, the COO of Gold’s Gym El Paso in Texas, this may seem like a common-sense statement. But in reality, cleanliness is a factor many club operators underestimate when evaluating their value proposition.

“Ask yourself the question, how often would I go into a gym where the equipment, floors, bathrooms and showers are dirty? Cleanliness is extremely important,” explained Conlon.

As a result, Gold’s Gym El Paso emphasizes cleanliness in a variety of ways — including investing in its janitorial and housekeeping services and staff.

“One thing I’ve always said to myself as an operator is that I will not skimp or cut corners with payroll on janitorial services or housekeeping,” explained Conlon. “We have somebody who is head of our housekeeping, Tony, who has been with us from Day 1. We’ve always rewarded him with small pay increases, and we make sure we have more cleaning staff than other clubs necessarily would have, to make sure our members are happy with the facility we provide them.”

Gold’s Gym El Paso has also cultivated a culture that values cleanliness, by making it a priority for all employees — from Conlon himself to the sales staff.

“I make sure that everybody, as soon as they walk in, does a full walkthrough of the gym to make sure everything is in place and tidy — myself included,” he explained. “And if anything is unclean or untidy, they have to take care of it straight away or alert our housekeeping staff.”

According to Conlon, leading by example is important when establishing a culture that emphasizes cleanliness. “I’ll also do a walkthrough of the gym every hour or two, and if I need to pick anything up or clean something, I will absolutely do it,” he added.

Although cleanliness may seem like an insignificant factor to your club’s overall experience, for Gold’s Gym El Paso, it’s one of its top selling points.

“We charge a premium for members to be in a premium club, so therefore we have to give a premium back to them as members — which includes offering them a clean gym,” said Conlon.  

BONUS Tips from Anton Conlon:

Partner with a reliable janitorial company. “We’ve got a really good relationship with the local janitorial company, which provide us with all our cleaning materials. We make sure they come in every two days to ask our cleaning staff what they require, so that they never run out of what they need in making sure our facilities are immaculate and clean.”

Create an overlap between cleaning shifts, to ensure a proper hand-off process between shift changes.

Clean underneath equipment. “Every two months our housekeeping staff will pull out all the treadmills and dust underneath them. Underneath treadmills is where you get a lot of dust. Dust will kill treadmills, and all of the sudden you have maintenance issues popping up. Good cleanliness means you have good maintenance as well.”

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

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

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