Q: How have fitness facilities improved to meet the needs of hotel guests?
A: Gyms have improved for the customer in two main ways: first, hoteliers have learned to use gym space efficiently and creatively; and second, gyms have seen an explosion in technology. To begin with, hotels have taken a deliberate approach to the design of their gyms rather than letting equipment accumulate on the floor. They have invested in the equipment that guests want to use and cut back on equipment that sees less demand. Cardio machines will probably always be popular, but we see fewer and fewer steppers and spin bikes making their way onto the fitness floor. Traditional single station strength machines will always have a place in the fitness center, but the need for multi-use cable type systems like the Dual Adjustable Pulley is now especially a priority. This attention to the choice of equipment clears some floor space, which is important because today’s fitness routines and equipment focus primarily on core & balance. With unpopular machines out of the way, free space allows guests to do their mat and band exercises, cross fit, yoga and stretching.
The biggest improvement in the hotel gym, though, without question, is the integration of cutting edge technology. “Connectivity” is THE buzz word for cardio equipment. A treadmill, for example, can show a virtual landscape while being integrated with your smart phone applications through Wi-Fi. In an even more impressive turn, fitness equipment can now access the cloud, allowing you to tap into your home personal fitness statistics and routines while away. Thanks to thoughtful gym designs and industry leading technology, a guest can have a truly effective, personalized and entertaining workout and never leave the hotel.
Q: How have advances in the fitness industry improved hotel operations?
A: Progress in technology benefits not only the hotel guest, but also the hotel operator. Apart from providing opportunities for all sorts of branding, fitness equipment now also has technology in place to help operators with asset management. Years ago, a hotel gym was difficult to maintain. Rather than report a faulty piece of equipment, a guest might simply move to another machine. As a result, hotel gyms would run the risk of being unusable for long periods of time. An operator may not learn of problems until guest survey results turn up dissatisfied—or, in other words, too late. Today, smart equipment allows operators to get ahead of the problem. Fitness equipment now runs self-diagnostics and can report usage statistics. Diagnostic reports are sent directly to the manufacturer so that repairs can happen quickly. Getting routine maintenance also has become a matter of automation. Because of these vast improvements in asset management, the average life cycle of a piece of equipment has extended substantially. Hotels can now keep their gyms functional for a longer period of time with far fewer headaches.