Category Archives: Uncategorized

WE WON A YELPY!

PLUOY_Facebook Shared_1200x1200     What a nice surprise, an award from Yelp for being one of the top rated businesses in Napa!  I must confess that we don’t keep track of what’s happening on our Yelp page as religiously as we probably should. We don’t get notified when new reviews are posted and without some kind of reminder I just don’t think to look at our account.

For business owners, Yelp has been a bit of a scary proposition. While the ability to get honest feedback about your operation can be invaluable, you’re also aware that just one or two unhappy customers (justified or not) can have an undue amount of influence over your rating and how you are viewed by others.

Yelp gets to pick and choose which reviews show up and count towards your rating and which ones are hidden from view.  This seems a bit odd; some of our lower reviews are from 7-8 years ago (before we remodeled) while many 5 star reviews from this year remain hidden from view on a “not recommended” list.  That doesn’t seem to make much sense, but I guess I should just be happy that we’re trending in the right direction.

Something else that made me very happy was reading the following review that was written by “Michael M.” back in February.  While any good review is much appreciated, his really hit home for me personally.

When HealthQuest came into being back in 1990 we had two primary objectives.   We wanted a facility that would meet the needs of people who took their training seriously, and we wanted to have a friendly atmosphere where anyone would feel comfortable.  The primary reason we’re still here 25 years later is that we never lost sight of those main points, as evidenced by Michael’s review:

I am a gym snob.  I have lifted literally hundreds of tons in dozens of gyms and I do not give good reviews lightly.

The variety of equipment here is incredible.  I have been able to find equipment for any type of workout I could imagine, and it is evident that this is a gym put together by someone who appreciates the finer points of training.

1) They have high quality bars.  Both Olympic bearing with no knurling and several brand new Rogue power bars. They just got a Safety-Squat bar!!! I was so stoked for this…I have never even seen this outside of a University weight room or Professional training center.

2) There is no shortage of clips-I never have to slow down my training to hunt for these

3) Their layout makes geographical as well as functional sense- Olympic lifting is located in a large/open area.  Chest/back are together and Show Muscles are together…in an area with tons of mirrors.  Whether you are there to move weight, or to get your flex on, you are able to do so, without getting in the way of someone who wants to do the opposite.  They even have a “kindler, gentler” noob weight room upstairs as well as a dedicated area for mobilizing/ core work.

The amenities are excellent, but more importantly so is the atmosphere.  Members become friends, and people speak to each other.  This is a very happy place where I feel continuously motivated.

Solid execution, I am a huge fan.

Wow, we appreciate the support Michael!  A big “thank you” also goes out to everyone else who takes the time to write a review, gives us feedback personally, or drops a note in our suggestion box.  We value your opinions greatly and we’re continually trying to find ways to improve what we do.  While we may never find that perfect music channel that everyone will love, we’ll keep trying to make the Club better any in as many ways as we can!

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PLAIN BROWN WRAPPER—CHANGES ARE COMING

Like the Wizard of Oz...all curtain and no action!

Like the Wizard of Oz…all curtain and no action!

     Over the next few months we have a number of upgrades planned for the Club.  You may have noticed the tarps that just went up in the lobby and surmised that something will be happening in that spot soon.  Well, you’d be wrong!  While expanding our food & beverage offering is still our goal, we’ve put those plans on hold temporarily to work on some more pressing matters.  We just grew weary of looking at the unfinished floors!

     Speaking of floors, one of the first projects that we will be starting is a facelift of the upstairs stretching room.  We’ll be replacing the carpet with a cushioned rubber floor.  We’ll also be installing wood panels and mirrors on some of the walls to help make the space more functional.  Finally, we’ll be taking out some equipment, adding some others, and trying to get things stored a little more efficiently.  That room  can get surprisingly busy, so we’re trying to make the most of it!

     Another space that will be getting some sprucing up is the dumbbell room.  New lighting will be going up very soon, and later this fall a thicker, more cushioned floor will be going under the benches.

     While we’re on the subject of dumbbells, we’re also working on ways to make some of our dumbbell storage work a little more efficiently.  We have new 4-tier racks ordered for the Power Studio, and when those arrive it’s going to let us get rid of those pain-in-the-butt vertical racks.  We’ll then take the existing 3-tier racks from the studio and use them downstairs in the weight room to get all the hex dumbbells off the floor.

     Another big upgrade will take place in the locker rooms.  The men will be getting all new locker doors and they will be outfitted with electronic locks.  No more keys!  On the women’s side we will be upgrading all of our daily use lockers as well.  All of the new locks (men and women) will have 10 digit keypads that require you to enter  a four digit code and then confirm the code before it will lock.  This should eliminate all the snafus we have with the current locks.

     We’re also shopping and getting ready to replace some equipment in both the weight room and the cardio areas.  If there’s something you’d like to see, be sure to let us know.  HealthQuest is always looking for ways that we can make the Club better for our members!

 

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Pulling it Together

I'm sorry, you're out!

This weekend the new men’s locker room had a transformation….out went the intense colors on the lockers, and in came a beautiful color that mirrors the Corian countertops…Sycamore Tan.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a seemingly minor change have such a major impact on a room.  The colors in the space all blend harmoniously.  But what’s even more amazing is how much bigger the room now appears.  I guess that’s the difference between colors that seem poised to leap out at you and colors that blend into the background.

 

How much better is that?

 

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Bridging the Gap

The new bridge into the addition takes shape

Those of you who visit us in the mornings or early afternoons have undoubtedly heard all the banging and sawing going on underneath the plastic “big top” along the back wall.  Today I thought I would give you a look at what’s been going on in there.  The enclosed stairwell that used to occupy that space has been removed, and a wide, open bridge is being built in its place. 

This new structure will  connect the existing second story space (above the women’s locker room) with the new addition.  Incorporated into this “bridge” will be an open balcony where some additional cardio equipment will be placed.  This area will have a nice view of our soon-to-be expanded weight room, which will be taking over all the space that is/was Studio 2.

In the next few days the plastic tent will be moving a few feet to the east (towards the front of the building) and the remaining portion of the bridge will be built.  This will push the entrance to what remains of Studio 2/Spin to the west.   We won’t be losing any more space, but we will need to re-rearrange some  of the equipment in the weight room.

A remnant from the past

In the process of tearing out the aforementioned stairwell, we uncovered some reminders of our buildings previous incarnations.  When we opened the Club 15 years ago we didn’t have the crisp white ceiling liner we have today, the facing on the insulation underneath was painted.  The ceiling in Studio 2 was a pale lilac color, while the weight room had something that resembled chocolate milk.   Not only were the colors bad, but the insulation was constantly coming unstapled and hanging down.  I’m so glad we got rid of that look!

In a couple of spots we’ve even uncovered evidence of the building’s life “before HealthQuest”.  Long-time Napans will remember it was originally Grossman’s, a hardware store and garden center.  Then it spent a couple of years as Sunrise Building Center.  Behind the walls, protected from our paint, were a few remnants of the Sunrise colors….a bold green and yellow stripe.  Must have been picked by a University of Oregon fan!

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NO CONTEST!!!

  

Last month we decided to mobilize our forces for a great fundraiser, the Napa River Rock & Stroll.  The event raised $34,000 to support child abuse prevention programs at Cope Family Center.

Our team was hard to miss, and not just because there were so many of us.  With our “Hammer Time” t-shirts and HealthQuest hard hats we made quite an impression.  We were the clear winner when it came time to announce the prize for “Most Creative Team”.

A total of nearly 800 runners and walkers took part in the 6K, and our group definitely represented the Club well.  There was no prize for “Best Team Spirit” but we would have walked away with that one if they did.  It was a great demonstration of the wonderful spirit that is shared by the HealthQuest community.

Thank you to the planners and participants who made the event a big success.  We’re already looking forward to next year (Sept. 24, 2011) and can’t wait to do it again!

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Avoiding the Death Ray

     Take a quick glance around my office and it’s quite apparent where my focus is right now.  There are blueprints on the wall, copies of floor plans covering my desk, files full of sketches and photos at my feet, and samples of wall and floor finishes scattered about everywhere.  Most of my day is spent doing everything I possibly can to make sure the new improved HealthQuest exceeds everyone’s expectations.

      In a general sense the finished project will still resemble what’s shown on the blueprints that are displayed in the lobby.  But a closer inspection will reveal that hundreds of changes have been incorporated into the design.  Some of these modifications are bigger than others, but all have been made with the same intent–to make visiting HealthQuest a better experience for our members.

     A tremendous amount of thought has gone into making sure things look great when they’re done.     But we’re also very focused on functionality and long-term performance.   We admittedly made some poor design choices 15 years ago when we opened this facility.    We’ve learned a lot since then, and are doing everything possible to avoid making similar mistakes again.

     We now have a much better understanding of how our facilities will be used (and abused).  We’ve identified the areas that need additional protection.  We’ve learned which materials hold up and which ones fail, where we need more room and where we can get by with less.    We’ve selected fixtures and finishes that we know will stand the test of time and keep the Club looking great for many years to come.

      No new design is ever perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to think through even the smallest details.  In an upcoming article I will chronicle some of the things we have planned.  In the meantime, I’m providing this link to an article about a new hotel in Las Vegas that made a “glaring” mistake in the design process.  This gives a whole new meaning to “sitting around the pool and getting toasted”!

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Cause & Effect?

I ran across these three things separately this morning, but felt like they told an interesting story when combined.

The first, a short PSA, warns that feeding our children  junk food may turn then into  addicts.

OK–that was a little over-the-top.  But judging by what’s being offered (and apparently eaten) in America’s fast food establishments, it may be closer to the truth than we realize: 

Exhibit A:  Carl\’s Jr. foot-long \”superburger\”

Exhibit B:  Dominos new breakfast pizza

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