The leading hospitality fitness trend is offering customers a full-scale gym and wellness center that provides choices, in an effort to attract travelers who want a customized approach to staying fit while being away from home. Recognizing this, Marriott International, Inc. decided to re-think its fitness center strategy for the company’s 12 brands and 4,400 properties in 87 countries and territories around the globe.
“We are now addressing a new generation, specifically, millennials,” said Dan McGlasson, Jr., facility equipment specialist for Marriott Fitness at Marriott International. “They are less into selectorize machines. They want to be moving and having fun and doing more CrossFit-type exercises. How can we evolve and stay ahead of the curve?” said McGlasson.
As a result, Marriott International upgraded its existing 2,500-sq. ft. fitness center at its corporate campus in Bethesda, Md. “This space serves two purposes” said McGlasson. “A functional fitness center to serve the needs of Marriott corporate headquarters, and a showcase to bring through different groups and decision makers for the [Marriott] brands, so they can see the latest and greatest in equipment, lighting, artwork, technology and flooring.”
The newly renovated 5,000-square-foot center debuted in September 2015 and is broken into five zones: a traditional aerobic equipment space, functional training space, traditional free weight and training area, turf lane and welcoming area. Each Marriott brand can then select zones/fitness elements they want to incorporate into their hospitality environment.
“Franchisee owners and general managers [for Marriott] tend to come through here,” said McGlasson. “We wanted to direct people where to go to different zones to exercise and do new activities.” It was at this point, McGlasson and Marriott engaged Ecore.
Marriott has been working with Ecore for about 15 years. “We’ve worked very well together over the years,” said McGlasson. “It wasn’t just about a program and pricing. We want to partner with companies on products that make all of us better.” With this renovation, there was a renewed focus on surfacing.
The traditional aerobic equipment area in zone one required a hardwood flooring system. Boflex, a pre-finished, high performance plank hardwood flooring system, was installed. “Our full service luxury hospitality spaces like hardwood,” said McGlasson.
Zone two, the functional training area, needed flooring that would provide support to people experiencing more impact on their joints, so Terrain Rx was used. The floor looks like wood, but provides sound control and comfort underfoot.
The traditional free weight and weight training area is found in Zone 3. Due to the impact from dropped weights, ECOfit was the selected. Comprised of a 3.2mm rubber surface and 5mm Ecore rubber backing, ECOfit is able to provide excellent sound and shock absorption, specifically for Zone 3-type spaces, stated the company.
Arguably, the most important new piece of equipment is the Ecore Speed & Agility Turf, which divides zones one and two from zone three. “We created a 70-ft. long turf area that is 19 ft. wide,” said McGlasson. “The turf area has really been an exciting surprise.”
The fifth zone is the welcoming area, which features one of Ecore’s original products from the early 1900’s, Dodge Cork. “This is the first area people see,” said McGlasson. “The cork is a nice espresso color that looks really rich, inviting and relaxing. It’s a great way to draw people in.”
With 600 members and counting, the new changes to the Marriott corporate gym have been well received. “It’s worked out well,” said McGlasson. “People love our new direction. Fitness is going to play a big part in everything we do moving forward.”
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