Members are unique individuals — they don’t all like the same things. Having the one amenity other clubs don’t, can ensure some loyalty from your members. Lauri Leight, 46, of Baltimore, Md., never found a group fitness class she liked — “you name it, I’ve tried it,” she said.
Then, Leight tried an Air Yoga class at Canton Club and finally fell in love with an exercise class. “It’s honestly the most fun hour you can have at a gym, ever!”
Leight has belonged to Canton Club for two years. She became a member because her boat is docked at the marina where Canton Club is located. Around the same time, Leight became a runner. Yoga was recommended to her as a good way to cross-train with running to prevent injury. She tried yoga at a private studio — she enjoyed it, but was eventually bored with the routines.
When Canton Club introduced Air Yoga about a year ago, it immediately struck an interest with Leight. “The combination of yoga, acrobatics and gymnastics appealed to me,” she said. “I was a gymnast as a child, so doing back flips and hanging from the ceiling sounded fun to me.” She took an introductory class as soon as it was offered and was hooked. Leight paid an additional fee for Air Yoga classes, but said it has been money well spent.
Leight said Air Yoga is never boring. Routines are never the same, they constantly vary and members can expect to lean and sway, even hang upside down in their silk hammocks that hang from the ceiling. Leight joked that it may not be for everyone — you definitely have to have a sense of adventure she said.
Leight enjoys the full body workout she gets from Air Yoga. The yoga has benefited her running as well. She said she has gotten faster, a result of opening up her hip flexors, her arms and abs are more defined, and she has had far less running related injuries since starting Air Yoga. Leight also uses it as a stress release. “At the end of the class, you stretch out the hammock and just lay there for 10 minutes. You have no worries at the end of that,” she said. Several friends of Leight’s have joined her for a class or two as guests and they love it as well, they’re jealous their gyms don’t offer the class.
Canton Club is a great fit for Leight. “It’s a beautiful club. It’s on the water and there are windows everywhere, so you get to look at the water when you’re working out.” She likes that the club is much more personal than gyms she has been a member of in the past — it’s easier to get to know people. The Air Yoga class is a fairly small group with good instructors, who feel like they’re an ally, Leight said. “It feels like a family at Canton Club — they know you by name.”
What kind of amenity or class can you add to your club to add value for the member? Get creative and play to the strengths of your staff — it doesn’t have to be a Group X class. Try a running club or nutritional meetings.
What kind of membership deals can you make with the local businesses around you? Leight got involved with Canton Club because she was offered a free membership through a marina, now she pays extra for Air Yoga classes. What opportunities do you see for your club?
Clubs have endless opportunities to engage their members and make their club a place that members value. Aim to make your club stand out to members one way or another. -CS
By Ali Cicerchi