Jim Worthington, the owner of Newtown Athletic Club, shares what’s trending in facility design and how they implement them in their facility.
As health club owners and operators, you are always looking for ways to improve member experience and continually grow. A great way to accomplish this is through renovations of your facility to incorporate new design trends.
Newtown Athletic Club (NAC) in Newtown, Pennsylvania, did this most recently through its new locker rooms.
“As we have continuously expanded and renovated the club to improve, each area has been gutted and redone to keep pace with our growth,” said Jim Worthington, the owner of NAC. “After 40-plus years in the industry, the locker rooms have received this special treatment several times. The pandemic delayed our most recent plans to address this area, but we were finally able to accomplish this renovation.”
Worthington said their goal for the new locker rooms was to create a luxurious, high-end space for members in order to enhance the overall experience at the club. NAC worked with Ohlson Lavoie Corporation and Hervey Lavoie to design and implement its vision, which was to utilize the most innovative ideas from across the globe in the resort and spa space. These elements included the finest finishing, lighting, décor, furnishings and technology.
A major facility design trend NAC incorporated into the locker room renovations was the use of natural lighting.
Locker rooms tend to be in the middle of a building where no daylight is available. However, since their men’s locker room space was located on the periphery of the building, NAC was able to incorporate this concept.
“The men’s locker room features an adjacent outdoor courtyard allowing tons of natural light to bathe the entire space, indoors and outdoors, in the warmth of the sun,” explained Worthington. “This is unique for a locker room. Also, the men can relax outside on loungers in the warmer weather.”
Additionally, NAC implemented the trend of overall wellness.
“We were looking for a more relaxing and spa-like experience for our members, so we could continue to drive our mission of being the highest quality health and wellness lifestyle club,” said Worthington. “In the women’s locker room, we added a salt sauna and a well-appointed, luxurious lounge area that creates an ambiance as if you are entering a spa rather than a locker room.”
Overall, Worthington explained they were focused on making the locker rooms more of an oasis versus a space for members to leave their belongings and shower. They wanted it to be a space where members could feel rejuvenated.
“Hervey Lavoie of Ohlson Lavoie Corporation ensured we were addressing any new trends in the industry as well as creating a truly inviting area and experience for the members,” said Worthington.
Another one of the trends implemented into the renovation was modern-designed lockers.
“Holman Lockers provided our state-of-the-art lockers,” said Worthington. “The modern design, materials and technology offered by this company was a perfect fit for our vision. Express lockers are becoming a trend as many members are showing up prepared for their workout, going directly to their studio of choice and just need somewhere to drop their keys and phone. We also installed charging stations in all our lockers so our members can charge their devices during their workout.”
Overall, the fitness industry will continue to see new trends emerge over the years. While renovations add to your cost, they allow you to stay competitive and continue to give members the best experience possible.
“We knew improving the locker rooms would significantly improve our member experience and increase our member length of stay,” said Worthington. “This would ultimately increase our average spend per member by keeping members in the club longer.”
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