Setting Up a Commercial Fitness Center at Hotels and Resorts

Onsite commercial fitness centers have become an expected offering at any high-end hotel or resort. But even mid-level and budget accommodations are now benefiting from offering their customers a place to exercise while staying at their establishments. For vacationers, onsite commercial fitness centers are important for working off all of those wonderful, but high calorie meals typically eaten while on vacation. It is not uncommon for people to look in advance to see if a hotel or resort offers a fitness center before choosing a hotel for their vacation. Business guests often prefer hotels with well-equipped gyms that enable them to unwind from a full day of business meetings. An onsite commercial fitness center is especially important for fitting their normal fitness regime into their busy travel schedules, and many won’t stay at a hotel or resort without one.

When developing a commercial fitness center in a hotel or resort environment, there are a number of things to consider:

What level of quality is expected?

If the hotel or resort is high-end, customers will expect the fitness center to match. Care should be taken to select high-end, commercial grade equipment that delivers the workout experience expected by customers. Many won’t return to a hotel, no matter how nice the accommodations, if the fitness center doesn’t meet their expectations. Also, hotels or resorts seeking a hip or forward-looking image should consider including specialized equipment that may be new on the market. This will help convey that the hotel knows its customers and is current with the trends.

What will be the frequency of use?

Fitness centers with high traffic will require multiple pieces of commercial fitness equipment to reduce potential wait times. For example, business travelers with tight schedules often have little time to wait until a treadmill becomes available.

What is the space available for equipment?

If the space is tight, it is best to look for compact machines that allow more than one person to workout at a time.

What is the budget for the overall project?

In deciding how to spend the budget, look for a good mix of quality, commercial-grade equipment covering both cardiovascular and strength exercises. Home-grade fitness equipment may initially be attractive due to lower prices, but the quality will not likely hold up in a multi-use environment. To ensure the equipment lasts and conveys the image desired, be certain to look for commercial grade fitness equipment when designing a gym for a hotel or resort.

Today, there is a wide variety of commercial fitness equipment to choose from in the market. Below is a sampling of fitness equipment typically found in a hotel or resort environment.

Equipment for Cardiovascular Exercise

Treadmills, elliptical cross trainers, exercise bikes, rowing machines, and stair climbers are common equipment for cardio workouts. The treadmill is easily the most popular piece of cardio equipment in a commercial gym. Ellipticals have also become quite popular as an alternative to treadmills that may be easier on the knees. These machines provide a good workout by working on different core muscles, and are an absolute must for a fitness center.

Equipment for Strength Exercises

Weight benches, shoulder press machines, bicep curl machines, leg extension machines, leg press machines, sit up benches, and ab benches are among equipment designed for strength training. The selection of strength machines at a fitness center should be able to provide a full body workout, including the upper, mid, and lower body. A good commercial fitness center will also offer a range of free weights or dumbbells for strength training, and an open space with exercise mats for using them.