IHRSA Report Features GymAround September 2013


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For the complete magazine visit: www.ihrsa.org/club-business-international/

GymAround was founded with the goal to improve the quality of travel by filling the missing link between business travelers and fitness clubs. With our international network of over 200 clubs and preferential prices for our members, a healthy lifestyle becomes simple for traveling professionals.

Clubs in all major cities worldwide such as: Gyms in Paris, Gyms in Montreal, Gyms in Singapore, Gyms in Boston etc.

Website: www.gymaround.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gymaround
Twitter: @gymaround

Photos: iStockphoto

Published in: Sports, Health & Medicine
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IHRSA Report Features GymAround September 2013

  1. 1. Rob Does leads a frenetic professional life. As the director of media consulting firm MediaTest and founder and CEO of ITHAKA Research, both based in Amsterdam, he has a schedule packed with global travel. In 2011, he developed GymAround, a concept he says was “born of my personal reality of endless business trips. In my experience, everybody wants to stay fit and focused while they travel, but there are too many barriers to leaving your hotel. And there you are, running your boring treadmill in a far-too-small hotel gym without any inspiration or fun. So I thought, ‘What if I would make it easier and safe to leave your hotel, go to a nearby fitness club and really feel invigorated after a great session, including a class, a sauna, or whatever the club has to offer?” And that’s how GymAround, also based in Amsterdam, was born. So what is GymAround? Billing itself as “the missing link between global business travelers and great fitness clubs,” GymAround is a rapidly growing network of more than 100 clubs in 25 international cities. Business travelers can register to join the network free of charge at the website—www.gymaround.com—to receive steep discounts off the clubs’ daily rates (typically around 50%). Registration is free of charge and, once travelers register, they can go to the site, select a club in their area, and pay for and download what GymAround labels a “benefits code,” which will give them access to the club and the preferred discount. s a member club, there is no cost to join the GymAround network and there are no annual fees. Instead, Does and his staff work with each club to determine the preferred daily rate to be charged. When guests select your club online and buy a benefits code, the code is then sent to their mobile phones. Your club receives an email with the guest member’s transaction details. When the guest visits your club and presents the code, he or she pays the preferred rate directly at the reception. You enter the code online as proof of the visit and the guest is free to use the facilities. GymAround makes its money by selling memberships and benefit vouchers to the business travelers.
  2. 2. There are similar networks in existence, but, says Does, GymAround offers a different experience. “We are not aiming to have an enormous number of clubs in the network, but, instead are growing a quality base of pre-selected, premier clubs in all major metropolitan business cities,” he says. “Our network features such clubs and chains as club Dir in Spain, Orange Fitness in Russia, Dabliu in Rome, Merritt Athletic Clubs in Baltimore, Club One in San Francisco, and the Alaska Clubs. We also have some unique standalone clubs, such as the Chelsea Piers in New York, Iron Flower in Miami, and The Aspire Club in Bangkok.” In comparison to IHRSA’s Passport program, for example, Does notes that GymAround is very selective about both the types of clubs it includes and the geographies they cover. “We offer limited global coverage, whereas the IHRSA Passport program features a very large, stable U.S. base. If anything, the GymAround network offers a great complement to the program,” he adds.
  3. 3. The benefits for business travelers are clearly evident: stay fit and focused while traveling across the globe, and do it for a reasonable price. For clubs, driving traffic is certainly always an effective enticement. But, Does says, there is a range of more subtle advantages that underpin membership. “First of all, our partner clubs are recognized for being among the best clubs in any city, featuring the highest quality standards and best amenities,” he explains. “Second, GymAround brings in a new, international audience. We sell our vouchers to influential business travelers and they talk, tweet, and rave about their experiences. What better way to sell extra day passes, have extra promotion, and enjoy a high-class international audience? Finally, your own members will use and benefit from the GymAround network as well.”
  4. 4. Although the GymAround concept is young, Does is already taking steps to grow it. “While we started selling day passes to clubs, we are now remodeling our website to offer a range of other discounted services,” he notes. “In club Dabliú in Rome, for example, you can now buy a combination of a day pass with a personal trainer for a special price. In the near future we will expand this service and start selling PT sessions, special classes, weekly and monthly passes, and other amenities online to business travelers.” Does is pleased with the growth of GymAround, but he does envision a ceiling that keeps the network exclusive. “within a few years, we’d like to hit a target of 500 top clubs worldwide,” he explains. “For the time being, we’re focused on looking for partner clubs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Singapore, and Sydney.”