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Pump Up Your Fitness Center Offerings

The fitness center is a more critical component than ever. Here’s how to make sure you keep your bottom line fit.

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Cherryl Marie
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Your guests want to get healthy and the “be well” movement is getting turbocharged these days. And that means keeping a healthy routine at home and on the road. Remember, travelers are looking for the best fitness options, and if they can’t find it at your hotel they may just stay elsewhere.

Here’s the skinny on best practices, who’s leveraging this trend right and how you can keep your hotel boost revenue while you’re keeping your guests healthy and happy.

1. Bring Zen into your fitness centers with group Yoga, Pilates or Barre classes. Travelers, especially those on business, could use a little stress relief and these types of group activities stimulate just that. Offer yoga mats and a dedicated room that allows your instructors to set the right ambiance for guests. Create a reoccurring group activity calendar and provide the details at check-in. Who’s doing it right? The Standard Hotel in Miami, which offers a Yoga program featuring a wide spectrum of globally-inspired Yoga practices.

2. Offer personal training sessions for guests who prefer the one-on-one motivation. If you can partner with some of your city’s reputable celebrity trainers, invest in the idea and soon, their followers will translate into your hotel guests. A great example? US Grant in San Diego partnered with the credited fitness group, ON DEMAND DREAM TEAM, to offer their guests private workout sessions when booking the hotel’s “Work It” package.

3. Is it time to replace your gym equipment? If so, look into top-of-the-line equipment that offers a wide selection for your guests. Provide variety such as stationary bikes, treadmills, stair climbers and weight-assisted stations. If you can manage to close on a great deal with a first-class brand, give them a shout-out for “sponsoring” this great space in the hotel. The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills branded their fitness center, PRECOR, the state-of-the-art equipment provider. But be careful to not overcrowd your floor. There’s nothing worse than a fitness center with too much clutter.

4. Do you have a great view? Capitalize on your natural surroundings by letting your guests enjoy it during their workouts. Sometimes there’s no better excuse to skip a workout than to blame it on the fact that you have to stare at a wall or full-length mirror of yourself for an hour. At Calistoga Ranch in northern California, guests are treated to a bird’s eye view of the Ranch’s vineyards while working out in the resort’s half-outdoor, half-indoor gym.

5. Sometimes guests want to work out on their own time, and behind the comfort of closed doors. More hotel chains are giving guests the option to get their workout indoors, or more specifically, in the privacy of their own rooms. Many of Kimpton Hotels’ guestrooms come equipped with yoga mats and workout routines accessible on their TVs, inviting guests to “strike a pose” whenever they want.

6. Take it one step further and spin together some fun options for your guests. Incentivize them by inviting them to roll through the town by bicycle. At Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, staff empowers guests to “work hard and play hard” with their “check in. check out” promotion – a complimentary bike rental included with their hotel stay.

7. Lure your neighbors with a local gym membership. If your center is robust enough in offerings, there’s a great chance that the locals in the area would consider allocating their fitness membership allowance for your hotel gym. The River’s Edge Hotel in Portland formulated an equation that seems to work well – a local membership that allows residents to not only have unlimited gym access, but discounts on spa and salon services as well.

8. Step it up and take the weight off your guests by creating a workout shoes and clothing rental program. Most people will opt out of working out while traveling because of the extra baggage it requires, so why not eliminate that burden. At Westin Hotels, guests can look fashionable in New Balance while working out, all for a small $5 fee. Shoes come with new socks, which guests can keep, and all they have to do is leave the rented items in a mesh bag upon departure.

9. Elevate the workout experience with entertainment. Let your guests listen to their own music genre of choice by offering iPod docking stations, or by providing pre-loaded iPods. Position HD TVs around the facility that features a variety of programming, including sports, news, entertainment and so forth. Mandarin Oriental offers pre-loaded iPods and personal TVs on their equipment so that guests can keep themselves entertained while they burn off those calories.

10. Fuel your guests with small snacks and keep them hydrated with ice-cold beverages. Offer them food symbolic of the area. For instance, it would seem fitting for Hawaii-located hotels to feature freshly squeezed pineapple or guava juice to guests. At The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, fitness center guests can enjoy some freshly picked Washington Apples.

By improving your hotel’s fitness options, you can make yourself more attractive to prospective gym buffs who are preparing to book their trip. Collaborate with the right partners and execute every detail carefully. Soon, your reviews, guests’ enjoyment and overall hotel reputation will shape up nicely. So don’t sweat it!

Cherryl Marie
Hotel Interactive® Editorial Division
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