If there is one section of your club that is guaranteed member usage, it is the locker room. With members flowing in and out of them all day long, it is essential to ensure they are up-to-par and a step above competitors.
Chelsea Piers Fitness’ locker rooms stand out because they are designed to replicate a spa. This includes offering robes and oversized towels. “We have a host of amenity items, including products from MALIN+GOETZ; plus, members have the option to luxuriate in either a steam room or sauna,” said Keeth Smart, the regional general manager for the New York-based fitness brand. “The goal for locker rooms is to always provide a clean experience.”
To keep locker rooms in tip-top shape, the Chelsea Piers Fitness staff do a deep clean of the entire area after the morning rush and at end of business. In addition, members of the hospitality team are involved with keeping locker rooms clean by clearing out any full lockers at closing. This ensures they are cleaning the inside of their lockers, as well as the outside.
According to Bryan Dunkelberger, a principal for S3 Design, each locker room should house its own janitor’s closet to allow for easier cleaning and maintenance, as well as a hose bib under the sinks. “We also recommend as much tiled surface as possible on the floors and walls, not only for ease of cleaning, but also for durability,” he said.
On the operations side, Dunkelberger shared if you can afford a porter who is constantly cleaning and maintaining the locker room, that would be a bonus. If not, he recommends a regular cleaning schedule that is daily and sometimes multiple times per day, depending on the volume of use.
Safety and risk management are other aspects to keep in mind when it comes to running a successful locker room.
Chelsea Piers Fitness does this by having a locker room attendant in both locker rooms during most operating hours. Their job is to ensure there are never any water puddles or towels on the ground. “We also make sure our locker room attendants have a walkie talkie on them at all times to communicate directly with club management in case of emergency,” explained Smart.
However, safety and risk management start with the overall design of the locker room. “First, start with a clean and concise circulation pattern that allows staff to walk through the locker room quickly and assess any situation,” explained Dunkelberger. “Second, have staff look out for secluded areas where a person could easily hide.”
When it comes to risk management, flooring materials also matter. “If you are interested in adding to the slip coefficient, look at products like Nanogrip, which will increase the slip coefficient of tile and other flooring,” said Dunkelberger. “It also helps to add more floor drains in highly slip-sensitive areas.”
The design and layout of a locker room can not only help with risk management, but also elevate the overall experience of the club. According to Dunkelberger, installing wood or glass lockers, glass shower doors, or changing cubicles in front of the individual shower are a few design aspects that can architecturally elevate a locker room.
“If you have a steam room or sauna, installing a refrigerator close by with cold towels would be an added bonus, assuming you are providing towels and doing laundry,” said Dunkelberger. “In addition, a comfortable locker set up in a ‘U-shape’ is preferred over one large room with lockers around the perimeter.”
Besides overall design, adding an aspect of comfort or luxury is a good idea. Having unique amenities is always appreciated by club members. These include high-end soap, body washes and shower gels, towels and towel warmers, eucalyptus or lavender scents in the steam equipment, and hair dryers at the sinks or dry vanities. Dunkelberger said these small touches add a luxurious feel to any locker room.
Chelsea Piers Fitness does this through its partnership with MALIN+GOETZ by offering the brand’s body wash, shampoo and conditioner inside the locker rooms. Smart said this is a key differentiator from some of their competitors.
Taking design, risk management and overall member experience into consideration when it comes to your locker rooms will help them run smoothly, creating a spa-like experience for your members.