For most people, the hardest thing about starting—and sticking with—an exercise regimen is having to actually go to the gym or health club. Homeowners lucky enough to have a gym on their community association's grounds, however, have an advantage. Nothing makes exercising easier than being able to roll out of bed and walk a few yards to your community health club. No driving 20 minutes to get there, no having to carry a gym bag or wait in line to shower. Having an on-site health club in your condo community offers the kind of ease and convenience for which most people would give a well-toned arm or leg.
So what goes into the creation and management of a health facility at an HOA? With a bit of capital, a team of experts and the willingness to take the plunge, an on-site gym can be a fairly painless proposition.
The Upside of Health Clubs
Today, more and more condo communities are adding on-site health clubs to their list of amenities. From indoor swimming pools to state-of-the-art exercise equipment to professionally staffed aerobics and Pilates classes, these clubs add enormously to the condo community—both for residents and in terms of property value. It's something that residents want either in their building or in the condo complex.
"Most people today understand the importance of fitness in their lives," says Wendy Bosalavage, president of American Leisure Corporation in Nanuet, New York. "The club is a place for them to meet their neighbors or bring guests. They don't have to join an outside club, so there's convenience. And there's also an exclusivity to it—the perception that "my building has something other buildings might not.'"
If an association's budget is on the flexible side, one of the best ways to determine the possible scope and makeup of a health club is to examine the demographics of the building. For a smaller community of older residents, a modest gym with a selection of basic exercise equipment might suffice. For a more mixed community of families, singles and seniors, a club offering classes or saunas and other broader amenities might be in order. "If it's mostly young people in smaller living spaces, they might want a social game room," Bosalavage says.