The Arena District Athletic Club is not your standard Downtown Columbus gym, and General Manager Bill Brown will be the first one to tell you that. He’s been with business since its inception nine years ago. His 20-plus years of hospitality experience combined with a lifelong love of sports have come together to create something truly special.
In addition to cardiovascular machines with attached TVs and standard strength equipment, the Arena District Athletic Club also offers unlimited spinning and cardio classes, personalized health assessments, certified personal trainers, an on-site massage therapist, laundry service, special wellness and fitness events, a free online nutrition support system, free two-hour parking per visit, a locker room that would rival some salons (you have to see it to believe it) and much more.
However, it’s the little things that truly make this fitness center uncommon. Brown told the Arena District, “We do charity events for Operation Feed, Wounded Warrior Project, the American Heart Association—things we think will be close to our members’ hearts. It keeps members engaged, and that’s really the key to retaining members.” Let’s take a look at what makes this Arena District staple so exceptional.
Q&A with General Manager Bill Brown
Arena District: What puts the Arena District Athletic Club a cut above the standard Downtown Columbus gym?
Bill Brown: Here’s the thing. When you compare fitness centers they basically have the same things. Where we try to set ourselves apart is through personal service. We’re a fairly small facility and our staff has all been here for a pretty good length of time. I’ve been here since we opened. We’re able to directly connect with our members and cater to their needs, concerns and problems that may come up. They can come directly to us and get a solution immediately and then go about what’s important to them, which is trying to get healthier. That, and we try to maintain the cleanest facility in town. Those are the two features that set us apart.
AD: In what ways are you hoping to grow in the future?
BB: As the Arena District grows, we grow. That’s what’s exciting with Columbia Gas coming across the street; the addition of Flats II is exciting. At this point there seems to be a new supply on the way. Our members seem to be very pleased with how we run the operation and we always strive to be better in that. When members are basically our primary feeder of new members, then that’s a great reflection on the facility.
AD: What do you think sets the Arena District apart from other areas of Columbus?
BB: To me it’s a just a unique energy in this area that I think sets us apart from other areas of the city. If you go downtown it’s certainly a lot more congested, access to things is a lot more challenging. Here, you’re in the city but you’re a little bit on the fringe so it’s easier to get around. I think the different businesses that have located here give it a nice character. It’s more of a community than it is an area of town. We have good residential, retail, offices. So it lends itself to being kind of a fun area to be in.
AD: Would you say you’ve had a positive experience being located in the Arena District?
BB: Oh yes, very positive. It’s really a sense of community, like I said before. And we really kind of view ourselves as the community center of the Arena District—a place where people not only come to work out, but also to socialize with their neighbors and co-workers. So we try to provide additional programming that meets those needs like running groups, special yoga classes and special charity spin groups.
Learn more about the Arena District Athletic Club
The Arena District Athletic Club is located at 325 John H. McConnell Blvd. Suite 150 beside Sunny Street Café. The facility is open Monday-Thursday 5:30am to 10pm, Fridays from 5:30am to 10pm, Saturday from 8am to 6 pm and Sundays from 9am to 5pm. Anyone interested is eligible for a five-day guest pass to see if the facility is the right fit. For more information, contact Bill Brown at 614-461-7785 or [email protected]
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