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The Top 10 Keys For A Successful Club Design

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Bruce CarterBruce Carter

Successful club design is the creative process of combining layout, facilities, mechanicals, materials, finishes, lighting and colors. There are key things you should and should not do to better insure success with design, whether it is a new design or renovation. What is described here can be looked at as a checklist to keep things on track for an optimal end result:

  1. 1. Design for people's positive experience. What do people see when they come in to your club? Better yet, what do they feel? Are they inspired, excited and will they want to come back for more? Does the environment provide energy where it is needed, yet also provide relaxation where needed? Remember, people are not buying a club, they are buying an experience, and they want to be motivated and welcomed. Most people need all the help they can get in starting and sticking with exercise, and proper design can be a tremendous asset for this. Design creates an experience, good, bad or indifferent. Make sure your club provides an exceptional experience.
  2. 2. Don't go for "generic nice;" go for a WOW or OMG response. Related to number one, many clubs end up looking nice or "Okay." The design choices may have some thought in them, but the extra work and experience needed to get a WOW or OMG is not there. Many think design is marginally important, and the club is mostly about the exercise and/or the price. Design should be looked at as an asset as much as any other component of a club. It is important to note that this can be achieved without having to spend a substantial amount of dollars.
  3. 3. Don't do it yourself. Successful club interior design requires many correct decisions and choices, and everything has to successfully interact with everything else. For example, when someone walks into your club, they will be seeing at least 30 different components of lighting, finishes, architectural features and colors. There are countless choices and prices available to choose from when deciding how your club will look and function. It is therefore best to consider using architects/designers that have extensive club experience.
  4. 4. Design with revenue per square foot in mind. The dynamics of club revenue have been going through a noticeable change. Many clubs are shifting from a primarily dues-based revenue situation to a better balance of dues and non-dues revenue (such as fee-based programs including group and personal training, hot yoga, barre classes, suspension training, etc). In addition, along with this trend is the need for the general membership to have more space for functional/core training and stretching so new designs may result in less space for traditional equipment and more space for functional and group training. Design should allow for the potential of maximum revenue.

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