Maximizing the Revenue Potential of Your Fitness Center
By Bryan Green Founder & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products | January 07, 2010
So often, hotel and resort managers view fitness centers and related services as merely a "value-added" amenity, provided to reinforce a positive guest experience. Granted, this is without question, a valuable role. But at the risk of sounding harsh, it's a perspective that is often short-sighted and may eliminate a wealth of profit-generating potential inherent to any fitness center when managed with an eye toward generating revenue.
I spend a great deal of time working with clients to illuminate the various revenue-generating vehicles that can be brought to bear with any fitness center, whether they be through retail offerings, training programs or other unique platforms. That being said, I thought it would be valuable to break some of these down and demonstrate just how a fitness center can go beyond merely pumping up your guests, and pump up your bottom line:
One of the opportunistic attributes about a focus in health & fitness is that it carries a unique and built-in merchandise demand. From workout apparel to bottled water, to headphones and yoga mats, a moderate inventory investment in these products supportive to fitness can be turned into easy and high-margin sales. It's not uncommon to have fitness-minded guests who forget to pack workout clothes or headphones for their ipods or for use with personal viewing screens on your cardiovascular equipment. Others may prefer to gain a workout within the privacy and peace of their own room or suite. This is more common than one might think with the growing popularity of yoga, mat and resistance-band based exercise modalities, and female guests in general. An in-room fitness workout is often a quick, safe, and potentially less intimidating way to stay fit while on the road for many travelers. With the increase in entertainment-based fitness equipment featuring viewing screens or digital music technology; rentable headsets, I-pods and other electronics devices or accessories can also provide an additional revenue source. Finally, every fitness environment also carries a sustainable demand for healthy refreshments and snacks.
Personal & Group Training Programs
When traveling on vacation, guests are typically looking for and willing to pay for, something more than they experience day-to-day at home. Better restaurants, better activities and thrills, better clothes and toy. There too exists this impulsive mind set amongst travelers that you can capitalize on within your offering in fitness. To this point, customized personal training and potentially group exercise services should be considered within any resort hotel environment or full-service property. Establishing such programs within your facility can generate considerable revenue through your fitness center. Obviously this carries a need for qualified trainers, but that doesn't mean you have to hire a full time training staff. There are independent training companies in every market that can provide ample qualified training staff to accommodate the needs of your fitness center's unique programs, whether for personal or group training. For a larger facility or those attached to spa offerings, several companies provide a 3rd party managed solution that often can be supported with as little as a shared revenue agreement. Personal training is always attractive for those quests who want that individual attention they may not pay for at home. It's the idea of being "pampered," even when they're breaking a sweat. Another aspect common to vacation travel is the preponderance of group activities. Whether its scenic tour groups, group fishing or diving exhibitions, group arts and crafts...travelers come prepared to engage in such group activities. A fitness center can capitalize on this with its own group exercise programming. Many facilities are seeing wonderful returns for group training in the hottest fitness trends such as yoga, outdoor "boot-camps", and other mixed fitness or fusion classes.