There is always so much to do when it comes to the end of the year. And this year, this most unusual year, is no different in that aspect. But really it is. Not only do you have the same old year-end challenges and tasks, but you’ve also got to figure out how to prepare for a new year where no one really knows what the “new normal” will be. Will more of the country be shut down than open again come January? Will an available vaccine let people get back to some of their old routines? If yes, which ones?
We at Heartline don’t have a crystal ball but we do know what precautions specific to fitness spaces are required to open – and stay open – safely to whatever extent your jurisdiction allows. And we know a lot about how multi-family properties work and what makes their fitness centers work for them.
That’s why it’s so important that you schedule a Heartline Amenity Assessment for your facility before year’s end or for the early days of 2021.
We’re all sick of being inside, we’re all craving social engagement. And exercise is often a social act as well as for the actual physical act of exercising for fitness. Your residents and members are missing that. They’re missing their “gym buddies” that they used to see on a regular basis and may not see in any other context.
But how do we ensure the best, safest environment for them in our fitness spaces? And how do we prepare for the “new normal”?
Heartline, through its team of experts, is best positioned to perform a comprehensive assessment of your fitness spaces. We start with a walk-through to take a look around and get a handle on just where your fitness spaces stand in regard to compliance with local and national covid precautions and restrictions while at the same time making residents, guests, owners feel comfortable and safe coming into the space.
The Amenity Assessment – What it Includes
This assessment is an approximately 30-page document covering everything from CDC Guidelines, general and coronavirus-specific Hygiene as well as community and lifestyle for your property. During the walk-through, your rep will work out a new layout for your space based on the current social distancing and other mandates. We accommodate local restrictions as much as possible in the Assessment and err on the side of safety when things are more up in the air at the time.
WARNING: We cannot recommend strongly enough that you do not try to “wing it” and create your own version of a safe equipment spacing and relocation.
Through your assessment, your rep will come up with the simplest solution – you do not necessarily have to move equipment if it’s not feasible at your facility. We’ll look at your demographic to make sure the most popular types of machines are kept in use. We want the space to feel safe and inviting. We don’t want it to look like a war zone with yellow or red tape all over the machines you don’t want them to use; benches and towel bins turned upside down. That’s not inviting or welcoming. We’ve got solutions that will allow those who are able to come to your fitness center to feel comfortable, like there have been changes – changes to make it safe – but also feel familiar giving them a sense of normalcy and comfort.
After the layout will be a thorough review of any issues discovered in the walk-through by equipment group as it is currently laid out in the space(s). This will include free weight areas and accessories. There is a way to set up the fitness center for social distancing while keeping the most popular machines available and helping users get their workout done with confidence that everything feasible is being done to keep them safe.
In the layout there will also be recommendations for additional gym wipe dispensers as needed and placement of signage as well as areas to block off so that they don’t become waiting areas for people to gather.
Your rep will also provide both the latest restriction policy on the number of people allowed in your fitness center at any one time as well as our own recommendations given your specific space and layout. Then we’ll recommend the lower number of the two. We also have some suggestions for how to maintain a limited occupancy including some property management programs you may already be familiar with.
Cleaning vs. Disinfecting vs. Protecting
It is extremely important you look at increased and improved cleaning and disinfecting at your facility – any public space at your property or facility. FACT: Even 100% effective disinfectants only last for an instant. Yes, wipe your table down with a Clorox wipe (or any other brand) and it has been “disinfected”. But in the next moment, the air flow could drop a VOC or virus or another pathogen on the surface. You won’t see it. But it’s there.
That’s why Heartline, during the early days of the pandemic, investigated best-practices in the haz-mat and anti-pathogen industry. We have a sister-company in the remediation business and we picked their brain and brought on some of their practices; we got the best disinfectant and an antimicrobial protectant application that is rated by the EPA to keep a surface safe from the coronavirus for at least 3 months. It protects from many other pathogens (e.g., Strep, MRSA) as well. The surface must be cleaned before a disinfectant can be applied and it must be disinfected before the antimicrobial protectant can be applied. All three must take place in that order to ensure the surface is protected for that prolonged amount of time.
Heartline Fitness is both professionally certified and insured for this specific service and backs it up with a free emergency return visit and re-application should there be an outbreak of the coronavirus after we have provided the D&P service.
Your Assessment document will include information on this affordable option for your fitness space. We have bundled our Disinfect & Protect application with your Preventive Maintenance contract so that your D&P is done throughout the year. This is not a one-time application. Quarterly is highly recommended at a minimum. Every preventive maintenance visit closes with a cleaning of the surfaces of your equipment – so it’s the perfect time to apply the disinfectant and then the protectant. Then you are safe for at least three months.
There is one more aspect of hygiene that your Assessment will address. The air. AtmosAir is a highly-effective add-on to your HVAC system that literally seeks out pathogens in the air, and on surfaces it has now been proven, and destroys them. That’s the simplest way to describe it without getting into the bi-polar ionization technology and other science behind it. In your Assessment will be details on how it works – including an accredited independent lab study proving the 99+% kill rate of coronavirus within 30 minutes! Your rep can answer any questions about this highly-effective installation.
After the re-opening considerations, which also include sample signage, we’ll provide some information on Service & Safety, Programming and Wellness – in case you want to tweak your space to give users a place to take things down a notch, meditate or just try some breath exercises to help them be calm and focused.
Throughout the Assessment you’ll get specific, actionable items – we’ll even list them all at the end so you’re not searching the document to make a list of your own. It’s right there in the Assessment for you.
Other Assessments Available
And where applicable, your Assessment will include short-term and longer-term recommendations for upgrading or re-orienting your fitness center. This of course, would be predicated upon a discussion with property management or owners, but it’s meant to be a path to making your amenity fitness space a real asset to your property. An asset that brings in a return.
All of that is what our Amenity Re-opening Assessment gives you.
Heartline also offers Amenity Assessments for:
- Renovations and Upgrades
- Repurposing space
- Safety & Risk mitigation
- Space Assessment for New Construction
At the end of the day, fitness centers are the #1 amenity. So why not make yours something to show off, something to help build the community and lifestyle you want to project to prospective tenants and homebuyers? We track the fitness industry, fitness trends (not fads). And we’re tracking changes happening since covid. Let us help you raise the bar.
We know that the pool of renters is shrinking now with the cost of money being so low. So, to bring in those new renters, you need this amenity and the community it helps build. And HOAs and condominiums, lots of new buyers are hitting the market. They’re looking for the right community fit and the best amenities. Even during this trying time of covid. Possibly even more so post-pandemic. Here’s why.
Meeting the new demands of your residents may be difficult post-pandemic. If you had a good fitness center in the past, what covid has brought for us in the fitness industry is that good isn’t good enough anymore. Great probably is not great enough either. In the “new normal” you’ll have to have an exceptional fitness center – with exceptional program offerings too. This is due to the shutdowns in the commercial sector and all of the free or low-cost virtual exercise and wellness classes that have been made available to the public by commercial gyms and other companies to keep their customers engaged. Your residents are fully aware of these new and exciting offerings and it’s likely many have taken advantage of them. To bring them back to a “same-old, same-old” fitness center with no programming at all is a mistake, to say the least.
There are things you can do to move your amenities toward exceptional at any budget. We’ve designed and improved every kind of fitness space you can think of – from 400 sq ft to a 125,000 sq ft amenity space, everything you can imagine! Our team knows where you can make some small adjustments that will make a big impact if you’re open now or opening soon. Or that you can work into your 2021 budget.
And, when you’re ready to take a big jump into exceptional, we can do that too!