Category Archives: Construction

OUR SHOPPING SPREE

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Precor AMT

It’s Black Friday and that seems like a good time to tell you about some of the exciting new things we’ve purchased for the Club.  It’s an extensive list and a lot of time and effort was involved.  There were lengthy deliberations and three different road trips, but the orders have all been placed.  We’re now anxiously awaiting delivery of a great selection of new strength equipment, as well as some nice upgrades for the cardio area.

 

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Stepmill

The big-ticket items for the cardio area are Precor’s newly improved AMTs.  We have several of the original versions of this machine already in place and they are very popular…smooth, easy to use, and a great workout.  The new models deliver all of this along with an increase in stride length  and more versatility in stride pattern.  You can do anything on these things…use it like a standard elliptical, a stair climber, or even simulate a running motion.   At a list price of over $10,000 each, you ought to be able to fly them like helicopters!  Additional changes planned for our cardio lineup includes the replacement of some older recumbent bicycles and the addition of two more Stepmills.

Downstairs the area that will see the most changes is the free weight/bench press room.  Virtually all of the older equipment in that room will be upgraded to brand new Hammer Strength units, including the benches and the Smith machine, and we’ll also be bringing back a military press.  There will be two new plate-loaded machines, an incline press and a “Jammer” that should be popular with both athletes and with those doing multi-chain exercises.

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Hammer Strength Jammer

The dumbbell area will also see quite a few changes.  Along with new thicker flooring under the dumbbell benches, the majority of the machines in this area will also be getting replaced.  This includes the big Body Master multi-station cable crossover.  It will make way for a unit from Life Fitness that is very similar but has some great additional features that make it quite a bit smoother and more functional.  It will have both a single and a dual pulley lat pulldown, and a dual pulley seated row.  The old piece served us well for many years, but it’s time for it to be retired and this new unit will be much nicer overall.

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Hammer Leg Press

We will also be squeezing a few select pieces into our stable of weight machines on the main floor and replacing a few others.  Lower body enthusiasts will be happiest about these changes, as among the new pieces there will be three different leg presses and a prone leg curl.  We’re making space for these additions by shrinking the lounge area back to its previous (before remodel) dimensions.  This won’t decrease seating capacity, it will just shift it closer to the front entry.

We sincerely feel that the addition of this new top-of-the-line strength equipment will give people using the main weight room a training experience that is  unsurpassed in both quality and variety.  Our hope is that these changes will also eliminate their need to use the weight room on the second floor, because major changes are going to be taking place there as well.  

Deciding on a strategy to re-equip the upstairs  training area gave us many challenges and was the driving factor behind the three road trips.  We are replacing every piece of equipment in that room and we wanted to make sure we got it right.  As our long-time members will remember, for its first decade or so we used that space as a women’s only area.  It gave novice users who weren’t comfortable in a coed environment someplace less intimidating to work out.  Love it or hate it, it was our imperfect solution to an imperfect world.  Then a few years ago someone threatened us with a discrimination lawsuit, so we had to open it up to everyone.  It wasn’t the end of the world, as the room’s users still tended to be novices and predominately female.

When our big remodel took place we made some equipment changes in that room;  we moved some very good older machines in there that we no longer had space for downstairs.   Memories of the past had faded and more and more men began finding their way up to use them.  Gradually and inadvertently the space lost its identity and it was no longer the quiet, safe haven it was intended to be.   So we’ve embarked on a plan to change that.  While we realize our plan may be a little controversial, our intention is to return that room to those exercisers who aren’t yet comfortable downstairs.  We plan to make it the best-equipped beginning weight training room possible. 

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Optima Leg Extension

Our search for the perfect equipment for this room was a little like  the story of Goldilocks.  The first line we looked at was just a little too basic and simple…we thought our members would expect more.   The second was a bit too advanced…we felt like there were too many adjustments and it was too close to what we already offered downstairs.  Finally on the third try we felt like we’d found the right fit, the Optima Series from Life Fitness.  It’s a solid line of equipment with a good selection of the most popular machines.  It will fit just about anyone with one or two simple adjustments, but it’s not quite as advanced or as heavy-duty as the equipment that’s downstairs.

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Optima Lat Pulldown

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Optima Dual Pulley w/ Touchscreen

The second part of reclaiming this room for beginners was determining how we could make it clear that this space was reserved for novice exercisers.  We already play mellower music in that area, but obviously that isn’t enough.  We joked about switching to a pink and baby blue color scheme, but that seems like overkill.  So instead we’re going to give the room a new name and hope that by posting it conspicuously on the wall everyone will get the point.  Once the new equipment is installed the upstairs weight room area will be called “starting strength“.

While we won’t be barring anyone from using this space, our intention in re-naming the room and bringing in a line of weight equipment more suitable for beginners is that the space will regulate itself.  When you add in all the great new equipment we’re adding downstairs, there really shouldn’t be any reason for someone that’s comfortable on the main floor to come upstairs looking for more.  We sincerely hope that this is the case, and that both our experienced users and our novices find a great selection of  fantastic equipment that suits their needs.

All of this new equipment is coming from several different manufacturers and will start arriving the first week in December.  Our hope is to have everything in place before we begin the new year.  We also have several projects scheduled (pool plastering, wall repairs, additional storage and cabinets installed) so things will be a bit hectic with selective closure of portions of the building.  Fortunately December is about as “quiet” of a month as we get around here in terms of Club usage, so you shouldn’t see any major disruptions.  Just plan to be a little flexible as we make these improvements and be prepared for some exciting changes.

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END OF SUMMER SHOCKER and OTHER NEWS for SEPTEMBER

January in August?

It’s no secret that New Years is a busy time in the fitness industry, or that late summer, when people are outdoors more and off on vacation is typically fairly quiet.  So we were blown away by the number of new members who joined HealthQuest during the month of August.  Enrollment fees were up 262% over last year, and it was the busiest month for new memberships that we’ve ever recorded!

So how did this happen?  We haven’t done any advertising, no grand re-opening announcements, nothing at all.  All the credit has to go to our great marketing team, our members!  You’re out there spreading the word, bringing in your friends and family, and sharing with others all the things that we’ve done to remake HealthQuest into a better place.  It’s both rewarding and humbling to have so many fans out there excited about what we’re doing!

While we’re very pleased with the direction the Club is headed and the response it’s drawn from the community, we still have a long list of additions and upgrades planned for the future.  Just like a fitness regimen, there can be no standing still… if you’re not moving forward it means you’re falling behind.  With that in mind I’d like to announce a short list of improvements that you’ll be seeing in the near future.

The biggest one will be the resurfacing of the swimming pool deck.  While this is primarily just a cosmetic and safety upgrade, it is one that is overdue.  The pool area needs to be closed for a week to perform this work, so we had hoped to do it back in the winter of 2010 when we had the pools shut down during our remodeling.  But the product doesn’t perform well in cool weather so we had to delay it.  In 2011 we were still doing work in the locker rooms so we missed another year.  So now the time has come, and the area around both pools will be closed from Sept. 10-16th.

Another improvement for the outside of the building that is scheduled to arrive soon is some playground equipment for our child care area.  We have a structure being custom fabricated by Recreation Creations for the bark area, and while we don’t have a ton of room out there, it will have a mix of play components for the kids to climb on and to work on balance and strength.

42 inches…about the same height as our front counter!

For the big kids in our functional training area we will be bringing in a pair of Armor-Plyo-Boxes.  At 36″ and 42″ these will only be used by our most athletic jumpers, but it’s something that they sorely need.  If you’ve ever seen them stacking boxes or bumper plate on top of other boxes you know it looks like they’re risking their lives.  These new boxes are solid, sturdy, and infinitely safer than anything else on the market.  A missed jump will still tear your shins up, but at least catastrophic failure is no longer in the cards!

Something just about everyone should enjoy is some new mats for out stretch/ab area upstairs.  We’ve had less than great success with the previous mats we’ve used up there, so we’re trying out a couple of new ones.  Our aim is to find something that is comfortable, long-lasting, and easy to keep clean.  You’d think that would be easy but for some reason it always seems to be a struggle.  There will both a regular mat and a thick mat; try them out and let us know what you think.

A few other odds and ends…we’ll be installing roller blinds in the Cycle Studio and on the cardio deck over the front entrance to cut down on glare.  We have added a few more satellite channels and will be reprogramming all of the TVs on the cardio equipment so that they receive them.   And we’re working on getting wiring into the women’s locker room so that we can install a phone/intercom in there for emergencies.

This is also the time of year when we look at what equipment we’d like to replace or upgrade for the New Year.  So if there’s anything you would like to see please write down your idea and drop it in our suggestion box.  We give all requests serious consideration and try our best to accommodate as many of them as we can.  You’re our marketing department and we want you to be happy!

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HealthQuench

 

Motion activated water bottle fillers---we got 'em!

I am happy to report that new drinking fountains have been installed at three locations in the original building!  Two of the units (one upstairs on the cardio deck, one near the main weight room) have bottle fillers incorporated into their design.  This allows you to easily fill your own bottle with chilled filtered water.

We already have two of these fill stations located in our new addition.  Since that area opened in July, our members have used them 90,000 times.  We’re selling less bottled water, and we’re OK with that.  That’s a lot of plastic bottles that won’t be thrown away, and that’s a very good thing!!!

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Here Comes the Crazy

Because most people had January 2nd off as a holiday, this Monday will be the first “full week” of the month.  In this business that means we can expect to be very very very BUSY!  New week, new month, new year, and everyone’s excited to start it off in a healthy way.

Under normal circumstances this spike in Club usage can be a challenge.  Unfortunately for us next week isn’t going to be “normal” at all.  We’ve come to a bottleneck in our construction project, and the timing couldn’t be worse!  It reminds me of the movie “The Perfect Storm”.

Beginning Sunday evening we’re going to be prepping for the new flooring that is going downstairs.  This will affect the main corridor from the front door to the backdoor and the old hallway that goes down to Studio 1 for most of the week.  Then on Monday the area over and around our temporary reception area will be getting sheetrocked, so it will need to be closed off.   We’re being hit high and low, front to back, and it’s going to be a real challenge.

There will be times during the day when our reception area will need to be moved.  We still plan on using the back doors as our main entry, but that too might need to change at times.  Fortunately we don’t foresee having to take any equipment out of service, but with so much work going on in the main corridors you’re not going to be able to take the most direct route to get to it.  Just think of it as an extended warm-up!

The good news is that we’re getting very close to getting our front entry back.  Our new reception desk was already delivered, so once the flooring is down we should be able to make that change relatively quickly.  This will also allow us to move the coffee lounge back downstairs where it belongs.

Making it through this next week is going to be a challenging hurdle.  But the finish line in is now in sight, so if we can all keep focused on that-rather than on the temporary inconveniences-we’ll be just fine.

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Everyday We’re Shuffling Shuffling

Perhaps the biggest challenge we’ve had  during our construction project has been the never-ending game of musical chairs we’ve been forced to play.  Big moves, small moves, some lasting only a few hours, others lasting many months, it seems like we’re constantly rearranging something.    Prior to starting the remodel we had about as much equipment packed into the Club as was possible, so when we began losing space to the wrecking ball, finding a spot for everything became impossible.

Unfortunately we didn’t have an excess of storage space to begin with…we were already using an off-site location to house some of our stuff.  So when the remodel began and we found ourselves needing to empty out entire rooms, we were faced with a huge problem.  We had tons of stuff that needed to be relocated…and much of it was a real hassle to move.   Some things had to go away for an extended period of time, while others would need to disappear (for days or months) and then reappear later in another location.

From the beginning we’ve tried to keep as much equipment available to our members for as long as we possibly could, while still staying one step ahead of the construction crew.   From there it would often get complicated…figuring out what could stay, what had to go, and how long until it could be brought back.   For a while we rented a storage trailer that we kept in the parking lot; other things went to an off-site storage unit.   As part of our addition we added a fairly large storage room to the back of the building, but it’s been entirely taken up with construction materials.  And while we did add a significant amount of storage space into the existing building, very little of it is currently available for us to use.  Somehow it worked out that those spaces will be the very last things that get finished!

Lately more and more stuff has found its way into makeshift storage areas scattered throughout the building.  We’ve had an area tarped off in the upstairs weight room for months.  Lockers and other large items have found a temporary home in Studio 1.  Many of our day-to-day supplies have migrated several times lately…they started behind our temporary front desk, then moved into the lobby, and now are residing upstairs in a corner of the cardio deck.  Keeping track of what we have and where it is has been a real challenge.

Thankfully the worst should finally be behind us.   While we will still be closing some areas and moving things around for a few more weeks, from here on out we should be gaining space instead of losing it.  More equipment will be coming out of storage and being placed back in service.  The tile, fixtures, and other building materials that now jam our closets will be taken out and installed.  At long last the end of all the shuffling may finally be in sight!

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The Big Push

The newly refurbished cardio deck

With the new year fast approaching we’re anxious to get as much space as possible out of the “under construction” category and put it back into service.  We expect to make major headway in this effort over the next few days.

We passed a major milestone over the Christmas holiday and reclaimed the main cardio deck on the second floor.  With the return of this 2000 square feet of floor area, we were able to make some major moves in terms of relocating cardio equipment.  All of the pieces that used to be above the men’s locker room were cleared from that space, as were about a dozen pieces from downstairs.

As we move sequentially through the process, the next step is to complete the remaining flooring on the second floor.  That is scheduled to occur over the next few days, and while it will present some challenges (access to some areas upstairs will be limited at times) once it is completed we’ll finally be able to begin “stretching out”.  There will be three new alcoves for cardio equipment…one overlooking the parking lot, one above the lobby, and one above the weight room.    The large multi-use space over the men’s locker room (where we used to have cardio equipment) will now be totally devoted to core and stretch.

With the completion of the new spaces upstairs we will be able to move the remaining equipment out of  “Studio 1” and begin work on that space.  We will also have room to bring in some new cardio equipment.   As soon as all of the equipment has been placed in its permanent location we will be attaching the new personal TV screens.  Unfortunately there will be a brief transition period (1-2 weeks) when no music or video options will be available on the cardio equipment.  But once the new equipment is in place you will have complete control over what you watch or listen to, with approximately 50 channels from which to choose.

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Night Moves

Say bye-bye to our lovely plywood walls and railings!

Tonight after we close the steelworkers are coming in and will begin installing the new railings on the second floor.  We’ve been using bare plywood for temporary walls in various locations for the past 16 months.  It will be a huge burden lifted when they are finally gone.  Not only will things start to look much more finished, but it should really open things up so the Club feels even more spacious!

During the day the focus has been on completing the remodel of the space the women’s locker room used to occupy.  The framing, rough plumbing and rough electrical is all wrapping up, and by the end of the week most of the sheetrock should be installed.  The addition to the men’s locker room is coming together nicely; you can already tell the new glass block window is going to let in a lot of light, and the steam room looks very spacious.

Since the weather has been cooperative we haven’t rushed to switch back to using the front door.  Up until now there’s been a lot of building materials and construction debris going in and out, so we felt it was better not to add all of our foot traffic into the mix.  However once the drywall is complete we’ll probably make the changeover and move our old front counter into the spot that the new front counter will eventually occupy.

It would have been nice to have the new front counter installed already, but that just presented too many problems.  Things have to happen sequentially, and the desk couldn’t go in until the flooring was done, and we didn’t want to do the flooring until we were done moving heavy equipment over it, and we needed the heavy equipment to put up the railings, and the railings couldn’t go up until the framing was done, and on and on it goes.

Installing the finish flooring upstairs will take place next week.  That’s going to be a little tricky when we get to the space over the men’s locker room.  There may be some times of limited access to those areas, but it shouldn’t last for more than a day or two.  Then we’ll turn our attention to the floors downstairs.  That’s going to be a lot more challenging, as we need to do the entire main corridor that runs from the front of the Club to the back.  We haven’t figured out exactly how we’re going to accomplish this yet, but it will involve breaking it down into sections and working at night.  Again it will probably mean some areas will be closed off for short periods of time, and we’ll also need to be creative about where we direct traffic and how we access certain rooms.  We also have to correct some drainage issues with the floor in the men’s shower area…which may block access to the pools and spa for a couple of days.

We really want to have things as close to wrapped up as possible by the end of the month.  We should have all of the cardio equipment that is downstairs back upstairs, and the coffee lounge that is upstairs back downstairs.  We’ll be using the front entryway, the elevator will be in operation, and the small weight room and the big new stretch/core area over the men’s locker room should be operational.   The men’s locker room addition….maybe…if it’s not done it will be close.   

 The only major area that won’t be in service is the fourth fitness studio/basketball room.  Again it’s that “sequential” problem…we can’t move the equipment that’s in there back upstairs where it belongs until the floors are done and we have the elevator back in service.  But that room just needs cosmetic touch-ups (floor refinished, paint, basketball and kickboxing equipment installed), so it will just be a few weeks into the New Year when it should be ready for action.

We will then have just two relatively minor areas that won’t be complete.  One is the coed spa that will be outside next to the small pool.  We’re still working through some issues with the flooring and aren’t sure when it will be finished.  The other is the juice bar.  We’ve decided that we want to get everything else done and running smoothly before we  tackle that project!

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