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Entries in lockers (5)


To Boost Member Retention, Prioritize the Member Experience

This is an associate feature post, sponsored by Digilock.

March Madness is right around the corner, which means the New Year’s Resolutions crowd has probably already started waning. As the January 1st frenzy fades, many health clubs and facilities are left with empty ellipticals, unused weight rooms, and one longing question: why did our members leave?

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Create a Five-Star Locker Room Experience with These 4 Tips

Locker rooms are one of the most relaxing and rewarding areas of your club. At the same time, they’re a labor-intensive challenge for you and your staff—and that’s putting it mildly. Once simple, utilitarian changing rooms, they’ve evolved into a defining part of most clubs, the room that members tend to visit first ... and last ... and, often, in between.

Village Health Club, Ocotillo, Chandler, AZ

“Our research indicates that members want their locker room to be a place where they can escape and relax for 30 minutes,” said Alan Leach, the area general manager and head of sales and marketing for the West Wood Clubs, a group of three premium facilities in Dublin, Ireland. “It should be an experience—like staying at a Ritz-Carlton. Our members expect these spaces to be something special.”

Creating a five-star locker room involves much more than keeping the floors clean or stocking enough towels; these mundane housekeeping tasks must, of course, be performed diligently, over and over again. But a closer look reveals that a number of other factors play a seminal role. Among them: a club mission and culture that emphasize consistent attention, a sophisticated tracking system, solid communication among staff, accurate measurement of results, and employee accountability.

1. Train All Staff to Take Pride in Locker Room Upkeep

As in any service organization, clubs must commit to, emphasize, and own the pursuit of customer satisfaction—starting at the top. Because locker rooms are an integral part of a member’s interaction with the club, the entire staff—not just the housekeeping and maintenance teams—must recognize that their upkeep and operation are ongoing group responsibilities.

“When hiring staff, we clearly communicate the importance of maintaining a clean, organized, and well-stocked locker room,” said Ken Brendel, a regional general manager for Active Wellness, LLC, based in Sausalito, CA. In all, the company oversees some 120 locker rooms at the 60 corporate and community fitness facilities it manages. “Every manager and team member is expected to maintain these areas by doing such things as closing locker doors, picking up dirty towels, and wiping down countertops, as part of their everyday duties.”

Active Sports Club, Petaluma, CA

2. Diligently Track and Communicate Tasks, Issues

Due to the need for repetitive tasks, along with regular attention, savvy clubs use a variety of paper and/or software systems—e.g., daily checklists, service logs, and preventative-maintenance databases—to stay on top of things. The West Wood Clubs, which serve a total of approximately 22,500 members, utilize the Club Vitals software program, for instance, which allows staff to take note of issues, track responses, and document solutions.

“After logging a problem, the maintenance team is immediately alerted, on walkie-talkies, about the need to inspect the situation,” Leach said. “If it’s something that can be fixed—it takes precedence over everything else.”

At Ocotillo Village, a Village Health Clubs & Spas facility, weekly inspections are conducted of spa heaters, steam generators, chemical feeders, and laundry equipment to identify deterioration, gauge life expectancy, and plan for timely replacements. Quarterly preventative-maintenance service is conducted on larger equipment.

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Everything You Need to Know About Health Club Locker Room Size

Locker rooms and their amenities and features have become increasingly important as health clubs compete to attract new members and retain existing ones, but choosing the right size for your facility can be tricky—especially since there are a number of factors that should be considered in addition to the basic square footage percentage. 

An upscale locker room design by Fabiano Designs.

“Like all good design, locker planning is a case-by-case puzzle that needs specific attention and understanding of the target market,” says Hervey Lavoie, architect and president of Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative in Denver, CO. 

To help club owners and operators determine the locker room size that’s best for each facility, we talked to three experts about all things locker room. 

Locker Room Size Rules of Thumb 

Since there are no specific industry standards on locker room square footage, expert opinions are varied—but most agree locker rooms should take up 10-15% of the facility’s overall square footage. 

“As a rule of thumb, the quick answer is in general about 12-15% of the overall club size, meaning if you have a 20,000-square-foot club, the total size dedicated to both locker rooms may be between 2,400–3,000 square feet total, or about 1,000-1500 square feet each,” says Rudy Fabiano, architect for Fabiano Designs in Montclair, NJ. “Likewise, a 60,000-square-foot facility may have between 3,500 and 4,500 square feet for each locker room. These are base numbers that should get modified depending on the various factors.”  

But keep in mind that there’s a limit to this rule of thumb—as units get smaller, the required locker room percentage may grow to accommodate the minimum fixtures and facilities required, Fabiano says. 

“Many times this will preclude the ability to have any locker rooms at all,” he says. “With smaller clubs, under 5,000 square-feet as an example, we may opt for common locker areas, with dedicated individual toilet and shower rooms.” 

It’s important to consider the types and number of fixtures required by the plumbing code, occupancy load, etc. in the club’s jurisdiction. 

Member Demographics and Membership Cost 

There are a number of factors that may cause a club owner to modify the locker room size beyond the 10-15% rule, including member demographics and membership cost. 

“To better determine the actual locker room square footage and number of lockers, the specific needs and logistics of each facility must be analyzed and addressed,” says Fred Hoffman, M.Ed., owner of Paris-based Fitness Resources Consulting Services. “If there is a much larger percentage of either of the sexes, the size of the changing areas should reflect that difference.” 

Hoffman also recommends that clubs consider the type of facility and member services; an upscale facility might choose to allot a larger amount of changing space per person to enhance the member experience. 

Consider “factors such as the demographics the club will serve, the number of member visits anticipated, and the cost of a typical memberships will affect size,” Fabiano says. “As an example, typically, the higher the membership cost, the more square feet per member should be allocated. Since personal space is a premium, higher end clubs typically provide more features, more space, bigger lockers, etc., versus a budget club, with minimum features and amenities.” 

When determining locker room size and number of lockers, club owners and operators should also consider the demographics of the surrounding community. 

“Is the club serving a residential market or a business work day market? Locker demand will be greater in a facility that is serving a work-day population,” Lavoie says. “A larger percentage of a residential-based membership will arrive dressed for working out and not need access to lockering facilities. Business-based membership traffic, for obvious reasons, has a greater need for changing facilities as they fit their workouts into their work day.” 

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Lock Out Thieves Targeting Your Health Club 

This is a Club Business Exchange featured post, brought to you by Keyless.Co

Willie Sutton was a prolific bank robber from decades past, who was in and out of prison for almost his entire life. Notorious in his day, the famed outlaw was once asked by a reporter, “Why do you rob banks?” According to legend, Sutton replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” 

Thieves who target health club lockers share Sutton’s mentality. It’s where the wallets, keys, watches, jewelry, and other valuables are found. It doesn’t help that lockers can seem like easy pickings, since locker rooms have a unique set of vulnerabilities.  

  • Locker rooms do not have surveillance cameras;
  • Are busy during peak hours;
  • Aren’t centers of social interaction (people mind their own business, and leave and exit quickly).  

It’s not always easy for club employees and members to recognize who doesn’t belong in the gym if they’ve made it to the locker room. That makes the locks themselves your club’s last line of defense. Has a Lock on the Solution 

Some of the top health club chains in the world have realized that the key to locker security is no key at all, and have enlisted Keyless.Co, a Texas-based company, as their go-to solution for locker security. As the name implies, Keyless.Co utilizes a combination system that’s unique in its durability (the locks last decades) and security (it’s the only lock on the market with a reprogrammable cylinder). 

Keyless.Co locks also:  

  • Have zero operating expenses, with no replacement parts or maintenance.
  • Are non-battery operated, with no wires or software.
  • Have custom finishes and come with a five-year warranty.  

One recent news story on a locker room theft said that the robbers used a “shim” from a soda can to pick the lock. They wouldn’t have been successful if faced with a Keyless.Co lock. 

Low maintenance and high security is a desirable combination, and Keyless.Co manages it with a sleek product that’s easy to install. And when you need attention, customer service is a priority with Keyless.Co. 

Keyless.Co offers zero interest rate on financing and a rent-to-own program, so if you think these cutting-edge locks are out of your price range, give them a call or contact them through their website:

So keep a lock on member loyalty with top-of-the-line security, and stop today’s locker-room Willie Suttons from turning your customers into victims.  


OJMAR Continues to Update and Improve

First established in Elgoibar, Gipuzkoa, in Spain’s Basque Country, in 1918, OJMAR began as a weapons manufacturer. In 1945, the company went public, and, after two wars and more than 25 years in weapons production, it shifted its focus to manufacturing locks and bolts. Ten years later, OJMAR narrowed its focus yet again, specializing in the manufacture of locks for cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

In the 1970s, the oil crisis took its toll on auto manufacturing and related companies in both the U.S. and Europe. OJMAR responded by developing a line of locks and locking systems for furniture. That move turned out to be a game-changer, with the company expanding its sales to more than 40 countries.

In 1998, OJMAR moved to a new plant in Elgoibar, and charted yet another new direction by launching an innovative range of mechanical and electronic locks geared specifically to the health club industry.

Read on to see more on where OJMAR came from and where it hopes to be in the future.

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