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Facility Profile - July 2007

A Silky, Smooth Swim

The Sports Club/LA in Orange County, Calif.

By Todd Quartararo


T
he Sports Club/LA is one the most premier sports and fitness complexes in Orange County, California. The 130,000-square-foot facility is designed to meet every fitness need. Offering something for everyone who walks through its doors, the Sports Club/LA prides itself on surpassing members' needs.

While yoga and kickboxing are extremely popular classes, the club also offers a golf pro, a fit 'n' fun program for children and a fit lab complete with registered dietician. This trendy Southern California club has all the amenities including a full-service spa, salon, and bar and grill.

Looking to set itself apart from the other clubs, the Sports Club/LA in Orange County also offers a junior Olympic size pool. The aquatic facility offers private swimming lessons to both kids and adults, as well as master swim classes. During the summer, members can also partake in water aerobics.

Troubled waters

Because member satisfaction is so important, facility managers and pool staff became concerned with constant comments about the pool water.

The Sports Club/LA's swimming pool ran on a standard chlorine system. "There were some problems with the old system," said Swim Instructor Steve Eisenhower. "It would break down or the water would be cloudy."

Working with members on a daily basis, Christy Liljeblad, new member concierge at The Sports Club/LA, knows the ins and outs of members' needs and concerns. "There were a lot of complaints about dry, irritated skin and red eyes," Liljeblad said. "Members were concerned with the cleanliness and clarity of the water."

Spending nearly 20 hours a week in the pool, Eisenhower knows firsthand how harsh the water was. "My skin always used to dry out, and the water would destroy my bathing suit," Eisenhower said. "Complaints about the horrible chlorine smell were often heard. One of my biggest clients used to complain that swimming in the water would congest her and cause her to have bags under her eyes."

When some of the club's own members started to inquire about saline chlorination, the staff knew they were onto something good.

"Some of the members have similar systems in their own residential pools," said Rick Benedict, building operations manager for The Sports Club/LA. "They started to request the saline chlorination system for the pool here at the club."