Leisure Centre Washrooms Must Uphold Clean Reputation To Maintain Membership Boom
With Christmas all but a distant memory, there’s every chance New Year’s resolutions to ‘join a gym and get fit’ have also sailed beyond the horizon. Whether or not individuals make much use of facilities once signed-up, UK gym and leisure centre membership is at an all-time high. According to the latest State of the UK Fitness Industry Report, last year saw a 1.9% increase in the number of fitness facilities, with member numbers, having grown by 5.3%, now exceeding 9 million. It means one-in- seven people in the UK owns a gym membership.
With participants breaking sweat to beat a path to their local leisure centre, what sort of service are they being offered? The gym equipment itself might boast state-of-the-art billing with the capacity to record performance as well as what the user ate for dinner the week previously, but what about the actual changing rooms? After all, the washroom area will be the first point of contact for nervy, leisure centre novices, and as is well-known - first impressions count for a lot. The washroom environment could make or break a visitor’s leisure centre experience. If the area’s unkempt, malfunctioning or both, there’s a chance he or she will decide one visit is more than enough. Get it right, however, and the centre might have itself a member for life – or until Christmas, at least.
By ‘get it right’, we mean provide washroom/changing rooms which are clean, welcoming, safe and convivial, as well as offering necessary privacy. Provision of high-standard, low-maintenance sanitaryware is key to upholding the appearance and performance of such areas. As commercial washroom refurbishment specialists, Interfix is able to highlight a number of failures which appear common to leisure centre washrooms.
For instance, imagine entering a shower area, dripping and exhausted following an arduous workout, to encounter a system low on pressure and barely capable of producing a trickle of water? It might seem a minor operational issue, but the cumulative effect of matters considered relatively trivial can be hugely negative.
Blown or damaged cubicles are another all-too regular occurrence. This is often the result of the chipboard-made facilities becoming worn over time. Interfix offers changing booths featuring solid-grade laminate panels to offset this problem and provide a safer, more durable private area.
Good design is essential to an aesthetically-pleasing leisure washroom area. A visually-attractive facility is likely to be treated with more respect by users, making it less-likely to fall prey to vandalism such as graffiti. Strong, bright shades applied to easy-to-clean walls, floors and ceilings are vital ingredients in the creation of a ‘feel-good’ changing area. With hundreds of people passing through the washroom’s doors throughout the weeks and months, maintaining its fresh appearance presents a challenge - but not an insurmountable one given the appropriate choice of décor and hard-wearing fittings.
If gym and leisure centres are to capitalise on the current visitor boom, the membership offering has to include the highest washroom, as well as exercise, facilities. Otherwise, just as it was breaking stride, the UK industry could run out of steam.