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CLUB REFURBISHMENT


Members may need a fresh induction after new facilities are introduced


MAXIMISING return


Refurbishments require a huge amount of capital investment, so what needs to be put in place to make the most of the opportunity they present? Kath Hudson reports


T


here’s little point in creating a wonderful, shiny new facility if nobody knows about it, if the programmes are wrong,


or if the staff don’t know how the new offering works. So at the same time as project managing the building work and keeping the centre running while the builders are in, operators need to work out how they’re going to maximise the opportunity the refurbishment will offer once work has been completed. We speak to some operators about their approach after a refurbishment.


ADVANCE PREPARATION A joint effort between Alliance Leisure and Denbighshire County Council, Ruthin Leisure Centre’s refit was completed at the end of September 2013. The refurbishment is the last piece of the puzzle to be put into place, as the


March 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


council has already worked hard over the last four years to change the culture, ensuring staff, programmes and services were performing well. Now the facility has been brought up to scratch too. The redevelopment, completed by


Alliance Leisure, includes an extension with a brand new fi tness suite, new changing rooms, a new entrance and open reception. Now phase two will start: refurbishing the corridors and adding a new studio. Alliance Leisure provided a team of


impact sales staff to drive membership sales, with staff also seconded from the other council facilities to support the launch and sales process. Marketing collateral, e-marketing and sales training were also made available. The council also improved retention by closely monitoring its members. “We don’t accept sleepers. If someone


hasn’t visited for a while, we follow them up. If they’re not coming, we re-tailor packages to suit them,” says Jamie Groves, head of communications, marketing and leisure at Denbighshire County Council. “We give them a proper induction and a warm welcome on every visit. Statistics are monitored on an hourly basis and changed if not working. We track all our classes, so we know if any are not performing.” Again, this initiative was put into place


before the refurbishment, putting strong operational standards in place to help maximise the impact of the new facilities. The class programme is changed


every three months, but since the refurbishment there has been an instructor on the gym fl oor at all times to invite people to try out new workouts: those whose membership doesn’t include classes are offered a


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 89


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