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Facility Profile - January 2009

Pumping Iron

Monterey Sports Center in Monterey, Calif.

By Matt Roberts


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ocated on the breathtakingly picturesque Monterey Peninsula, the Monterey Sports Center sits in a prime, hard-to-miss location. Taking up half a city block, it is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the city's five recreational facilities.

Boasting 77,000 square feet, the Center offers services and amenities including two indoor pools, waterslide, sun deck, a three-court gymnasium, fitness centers, sports café and pro shop, fitness assessment center, babysitting service, two group exercise studios, swimming programs (for all ages), Pilates, sports camps, on-site physical therapy, personal training, weight-loss programs, triathlon training and much more.

Since opening its doors in 1992, the Center has prided itself on staying current, with both equipment and programs and services, to keep more than 3,000 members coming through its doors daily.

As one step to ensuring it's ahead of the curve, the Center's management wanted to make improvements to more efficiently move group exercise guests through those doors—literally. Until recently, guests going to group exercise programs would check into the Center using punch cards, which could be time-consuming and slow the flow through the security doors. Although the Center had an ID card system, not all programs offered interfaced with its recreational program.

This method had several drawbacks. Since the punch cards weren't computerized, they didn't offer an easy way to centrally manage who was in the Center at any given time, so security was an issue. In addition, managing paper cards was often an administrative challenge for the front-desk staff. For example, at peak times, a line would form, which management worked hard to avoid, knowing the importance of efficient access to the facility.

When issuing more than 5,000 cards per year, management decided to make ID cards available for more of its programs. It was during this expansion that they turned to El Segundo, Calif.-based Advantidge, a provider of a full range of secure ID (including eco-friendly) and card issuance systems.

After evaluating the Center's current needs, Advantidge identified the appropriate card solution that would easily and cost-effectively integrate into their existing systems.

"Now, with this improvement, we can offer an ID card people can scan and reload for a wider range of programs we offer. This has saved us a lot of time and has been a really great help in making our procedures more efficient," said Dianne Nielson, administrative assistant, Monterey Sports Center.