Emerging Trends: Five Steps in Making Your Hotel Gym Less Traditional

By Bryan Green Founder & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products | November 27, 2011

1. First, build the right foundation

Before you look to add an enticing piece of new exercise equipment or replace a worn floor covering with a colorful rubber surface, ensure you have the right foundation of exercise balance to begin with. Often, the simple act of rebalancing your fitness equipment to better fit today's more popular guest exercise demands will go a long way – and this might not cost you as much as you think. For instance, circuits of single station strength training equipment are currently being replaced by "functional trainers;" a larger but consolidated and more cost efficient cable-based exercise station. These units accommodate a wider range of users given their infinite adjustability and substantial exercise variety.

In terms of cardiovascular equipment, if your facility still has stair climbers, but finds itself short on elliptical trainers - you're officially way behind guest expectations! The same could be said for having a larger percentage of upright bikes vs. the substantially more popular recumbent versions today. These examples and others can be outlined and effectively addressed by working closely with a competent fitness facility supply partner.

2. Don't ever let the fitness center appear as an after-thought

How can you exceed your guest's expectations when it comes to fitness? Many hotels today offer the finest restaurants, pools, and spas available. There is simply no reason why you can't add your gym to that list of talked-about spaces on your property. In fact, doing so might get more attention than you anticipate. When it comes to a great hotel fitness center, size is by no means the most critical factor. Beyond exercise balance; energy, flow, and fun are the best ways to create an impactful experience. Natural light, entertainment (ambient forms via music and wall-mounted TV's as well as personal viewing screens on cardiovascular equipment) and engaging equipment are key.

When you feel good about the space you're in, your natural energy levels increase. Further, guests become more receptive to your offerings. Think how much time you put into lobby design…it's the same concept. Visitors will know you have paid attention here with strong use of color, functional planning, and of course, the right equipment. The translation? Your guests will know you care about their well-being as much as their comfort.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.