Derek Agnew, general manager of Zenergy Health Club & Spa, was confronted with this very problem. Located in Sun Valley, ID, Zenergy is a 50,000-square-foot high-end facility nestled among world-class resorts in the famed vacation spot. It was named one of the world’s most beautiful gyms by Men’s Journal and one of the “Coolest Clubs in America” by Shape magazine.
Zenergy was quick to embrace the diversity of fitness programming popularized by boutique studios, but their training area was insufficient for the growing interest in functional fitness, HIIT, yoga, and other specialty classes. New fitness concepts demanded more room, and the squash courts in Zenergy were in the way. Agnew realized that tearing out the courts could be the ideal solution to his crowded floor space.
“It was my last real goldmine piece of square footage,” says Agnew. “I knew had to do something special with it.”
Even if he could reclaim the space, Agnew wasn’t sure the extra room could accommodate the menu of activities he wanted to offer. To serve the functional fitness and HIIT audience, Agnew knew he needed power sleds, resistance running trainers, ropes, and more free weight selections, including kettlebells. And that was in addition to the room he needed for yoga and other workouts.
“I also wanted suspension training,” he says. “We had a TRX jungle gym that was a bit cumbersome and it was taking up a lot of space. I wasn’t sure how we were going to fit it all in.”
After Zenergy’s owners gave Agnew the go-ahead to remove the squash courts, the real challenge began. He had helmed the esteemed club through its many upgrades and renovations, and he had a high standard to uphold. Once you tear out the courts, you don’t get a do-over.
“The owners had the mindset that if we're going to do this, we're going to do it right,” he says. “They didn’t want any members to go into the space and know it had once been squash courts.”
Pivot: The Boutique Within