Club Insider

Design Mistakes That Can Cost You Big

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Bruce CarterBruce Carter

Health club design has come a long way in recent years. Spaces that once existed to house equipment have evolved into more inviting and energizing environments, adding to the fitness success of a club.

Having a team that has cumulatively worked on approximately 700 projects over the course of 30+ years, there are certain things that consistently stand out as design weaknesses. Some are small, some are big, but they all can clearly have an effect on the bottom line. However, just a little attention on these can make all the difference in creating a highly desirable experience when in a club.

So much of what design does is to affect how someone "feels" and what they "experience" when in a club. This can be good, bad or neutral. If our experience is good, we are more likely to join and keep coming back for more. If it is bad, we don't join or we don't continue as a member. If it is neutral, then it's almost the same as bad. Remember feeling is what gets us to act, one way or the other.

Sensory Adaptation

If you are in a club regularly, keep in mind the psychological principle of sensory adaptation. This means that, if our senses regularly experience something over and over, after a while, the things that we recognized no longer will continue to do so. This could be smell, sight or any of the other senses. If certain design flaws are observed over and over by an owner or staff, after a while, they will no longer be "seen" as a problem, yet they still remain. So, taking a "new" look at a club is often necessary to understand what some of the design problems are. Here are some key design weaknesses:

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