Five Valuable Strategies to Effectively Promote Your Hotel Fitness Center
By Kurt A. Broadhag President, K Allan Consulting | March 25, 2012
Up until recent hotel fitness centers were seen as an added amenity for guests. In the broad picture these were intangible income generators for the property with little thought given to the allocation of space, design, and budget. Hotel guests would make reservations without considering the quality of the fitness center. Infrequently health conscious guests would be pleasantly surprised to find an in-house fitness center upon check-in. Fast forward to today - more and more hotels are jumping on the "fitness train" committing time and money into the development of their fitness centers - a trend building steam as the realization unfolds that the fitness center is becoming an importance component in the hotel business model.
What caused the shift in emphasis? There are a whole host of factors all based upon a more health conscious society. This shift is further fueled by the large influx of baby boomers getting older and taking an interest in their health. The bottom line - the fitness industry is booming and businesses must reinvent themselves to take advantage of this upward growing trend. Now, it is almost unheard of for a hotel to not have a fitness center.
So time and money is invested in your hotel gym in hopes of satisfying the "status quo." Now these guests will be even more impressed upon check-in. But why not look at the bigger picture, something beyond the star ratings. There is an additional market to try and capture - those making their travel decisions based upon health related criteria. Tapping into the health conscious market and using the hotel fitness center to draw guests will help redefine itself as a tangible, income generator for your property. Following are five strategies you can easily adopt to promote your hotel fitness center both in-house and out.
1. Develop standards companywide
Hotel guests come to expect similar standards with multiple property locations. The gym within these properties should be no exception. Guests satisfied with their workout experience will be more likely to stay at other hotels within the portfolio with similar program components, design, and equipment assuming their thoughts on customer service and accommodations are also positive. By developing standards and marketing the program to your guests you are creating yet another sales tool to tap into repeat guests. The first step of the process begins with developing a general concept for the fitness center and creating a name for the companywide fitness center "experience." Since the major variable within different locations is the property size standards can easily be developed based on the number of rooms within each hotel. With this formula you can determine exactly what amount of equipment can be installed for each property and the general size for each fitness center. The second component would be the brand of the fitness equipment. By creating this companywide standard you can take advantage of discount purchasing by setting up preferred vendor status with the top manufacturers. Other topics to include in the standards include program components, customer service, and cleaning/maintenance protocols. Once these have all been developed the companywide program can be launched and marketed.
2. Develop effective literature