5 Fundamentals Every Hotel Fitness Amenity Must Include

By Bryan Green Founder & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products | March 31, 2013

For many operators in the hospitality industry, it makes sense that a constant focus on the property's fitness amenity would be unlikely given the balance of priorities. However, as we all know, guest expectations as they relate to an offering in fitness continue to grow each and every year. Because it is clear that the fitness center is a frequent part of the guest experience for many, it's critical to gain a solid understanding of the fundamentals every property must attend to, regardless of the size or stature of the space.

Equipment balance, entertainment, environment, cleanliness, and safety are the essential considerations for this high demand offering. Wellness trends are consistently evolving, and a facility can certainly not be viewed as a one-time investment in fitness equipment and space allocation. The common denominator between these hospitality based environments remains their relevance and appeal to the guests they serve. Exercise and environmental trends for the most part will consistently carry through regardless of what level of property you are tasked with operating.

Equipment Balance

In a commercial health club, users have time to spend strength training specific muscles or looking for group exercise classes to provide training variety. Today, the average business traveler carries 2.68 mobile devices with them, spends 37 percent of their network connection time during business trips at hotels (http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/2883/headline-keeping-hotel-guests-connected), and consequently needs a fitness amenity to accommodate such a time restrictive schedule. The resort guest is rarely different, as those who work-out indoors while on vacation, are typically simply trying to keep up with their health routine vs. seeing the sights or relaxing by the pool. The goal for both of these user types is to allow them to quickly and efficiently perform their exercise. This means help them get their cardio workout in and incorporate basic strength and flexibility equipment that focuses on multiple muscle groups so the work out is fast and functional.

Cardio equipment needs to be varied to assist users with various requirements due to age, physical condition, and potential bodily limitations. A baseline offering of treadmills, cross-trainers, and bikes are key. Additionally, consider an upper body ergometer to satisfy both upper body cardiovascular workout trends as well as ADA compliance. Functional strength training systems are all about cable based solutions with infinite adjustability. Today, less is more in the strength training category. Don't attempt to recreate the traditional "circuit' found in most big box health clubs. Rather, look for equipment that provides more exercise and adjustment flexibility on a series of smaller modular based equipment. You must also provide a limited, but modest dumbell and adjustable bench training area for free-weight work-out.

Environment

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.