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How to Best Use Space for a Great Design

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Bruce CarterBruce Carter

No matter what the size of club we have dealt with over the years, whether it was 5,000 square feet or 200,000 square feet, there always seemed to be a need for more space. Therefore, getting the most successful use out of your available square footage is an optimal goal. However, it is common to try and "put four quarts into a 3-quart container." When this happens, the result is often an inefficient and non-functional operation.

In an effort to compete with larger clubs, the viewpoint by smaller operations can often be to try and offer more facilities and programs, even if the space does not sensibly allow this. So, the end results are areas that don't work well, overcrowding and uncomfortable traffic flows. Often, it's better to offer less, and then be the best at what you do, which can be better than offering a lot but only being average in everything.

This principle is a reason there's growth in single purpose or smaller boutique clubs. The concept is to offer a better specialized space and programming for spinning, group personal training, yoga or other classes.

Key questions such as, "how big should a group exercise or yoga room be," are only answered by looking at the overall facility and program offering relative to the size of the facility and then deciding how to divide up the spaces optimally, where the areas offered are going to result in the highest revenue per square foot for the club.

Therefore, there is no correct size for yoga, cycling or group exercise space. It all depends on your other offerings, type of club, competition, amount of total space available and your budget.

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