CA plans work on Supreme Sports Club

With rival set to move in, gym will be open 24 hours

July 11, 2004|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

Facing the threat of a mega sports facility opening in Columbia's Gateway Commerce Center, the Columbia Association will expand the Supreme Sports Club's operating hours and make more than $220,000 in capital improvements.

The Supreme Sports Club is scheduled to begin operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week on Sept. 7, Howard County's first gym to be open at all hours, said Rob Goldman, the association's vice president for sport and fitness.

In customer surveys since 1985, Goldman said 10 percent to 12 percent of users have indicated that they are not satisfied with the club's hours -- 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays; and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

He said the new hours would remove time barriers that prevent people from using the club and also keep up with industry trends.

"We want to make sure that we provide the best customer service so that should a competitor open in our market, we'll have happy customers who won't even consider going anywhere else," Goldman said.

CA is also temporarily reducing the price of its high-end membership package. Until the end of the month, it is offering 25 percent off the two-year package plan plus membership. The membership grants access to most of the association's facilities -- including 23 outdoor pools, three gyms, two golf clubs and an ice rink -- as well as the women's gym and specialty classes.

The 110,000-square-foot Supreme Sports Club in Owen Brown will be the closest Columbia Association gym to compete with Life Time Fitness, which is scheduled to open off Robert Fulton Drive next year or in early 2006.

Life Time Fitness -- a health and fitness company based in Eden Prairie, Minn. -- typically operates 24-hour, 150,000- square-foot facilities. It has 33 fitness centers in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. Five more of the facilities -- which usually include two full-size gyms, two indoor pools, racquetball and squash courts, rock-climbing walls, a spa, outdoor pools, and tennis or volleyball courts -- are scheduled to open this year.

Thursday night, the Columbia Association board approved adding $54,000 to the fiscal 2005 operating budget and $80,000 to the conditional 2006 operating budget to change the Supreme Sports Club's hours. The board also approved adding $221,500 to the 2005 capital budget for improvements.

The planned capital improvements to the Supreme Sports Club include painting the building's exterior, improving the landscape, revitalizing the coffee area, adding art in the foyer, renovating the exterior signs, replacing furniture and adding a plasma television to the lobby lounge.

"It's a pretty thorough face-lift for the club," Goldman said.

The board also approved $148,000 in the fiscal 2005 operating budget and $220,000 in the 2006 conditional operating budget for housekeeping improvements at the sports club, the Columbia Athletic Club, the Columbia Gym and the Columbia Swim Center.

Goldman said the additional 2005 operating expenses would come from the association's projected surplus of $4.3 million for 2005.

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