Design / Experience

Recovery Spaces: How Restorative Services are Bolstering Post-Pandemic Revenues

As we rebound from the huge disruption and try to stabilize our business this year into next, it is important to remember some of the industry trends and goals that were in motion before and during the pandemic that shut us down. 

As I have said in the past, fitness clubs were long-prepared for the health and safety of our members through our culture of cleaning and attention to air qualities in the club; the same is true as we were moving from general fitness to delivering more comprehensive wellness to our members. Over the past few years the majority of clubs began offering recovery programs to balance the members’ need for fitness and wellness, while at the same time adding revenue as an add-on to the bottom line (see how the amenity space I designed for Gainesville Health and Fitness was able to pay for itself and create a $10K/mo additional revenue stream). Most clubs provided this through automated equipment such as hydromassage and human touch beds.  

I have always argued that people want an experience at the gym – one that is comprehensive and includes all aspects of their health and well being.  Amenities and recovery spaces allow members and guests opportunities to take care of their mental health by providing a thoughtfully-designed restorative experience.  Moving beyond the simple massage beds, theraguns, compression boots, and meditation pods – traditional soft spaces and massages  are features we will be seeing more from gyms in the future – most as revenue generation programs. 

The more thoughtful the design is tailored to your market, the more valuable the experience will be for your members and for your business. For example, if your gym is known for its high-intensity workouts, a recovery area that features deep muscle compression therapies, will likely appeal to your customers aching joints (and your gym’s market) more than meditation pods. 

Typically these spaces are open to members and available for non-members at a monthly or usage-based fee. Meaning not only that you now have a new feature of your gym that can be monetized, you have another lead generation opportunity to convert amenity space guests and regulars to gym members. And this can make a huge impact on your bottom line.

I think at this point it is generally accepted that being healthy and staying in shape is just not an aesthetic aspect of life, but a life-saving practice that was an important element in the COVID fight.  As we move hopefully beyond this pandemic, being the go-to places for not only fitness, but providing much-needed recovery and well-being spaces for pay only makes sense – they are the opposite side of the same coin. Let’s capitalize on our role in keeping society healthier and happier, and we will also keep our business healthy as well. 

Have you thought about recovery spaces for your fitness centers? What do you think “restorative” means for your members? Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss recovery spaces for your fitness club.