Facility Profile - July 2010
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Healthy Growth

Dedham Health and Athletic Complex in Dedham, Mass.

By Emily Tipping

In the end, they chose to use wooden laminate and carpet tiles in cardio areas and walkways because it's easy to clean and easy to replace. But they still needed a flooring solution to go under the heavy weight equipment.

"You've got a concrete floor and you can damage it. You also want something easy to clean and take care of—something colorful with some life to it," Gainsboro said.

A conference they attended introduced them to SofSurfaces' DuraFLEX interlocking pavers. "We were impressed with it because you could drop heavy weights on it and not damage it. It had a variance of colors and a great warranty," Gainsboro said, adding that since the installation, they've been pleased with their choice, and with the service they've received from the manufacturer.

Ultimately to find success in the health club market, Gainsboro said you can't just expand for expansion's sake. "You have to decide what you want to be," he said. "You should be trying to maximize your present facilities to be sure each one is running smart—it's intelligent, it's profitable, it's clean. And you have to look at who you want to come in."

For Dedham, delivering exercise as medicine has been a key approach. Their $60 in 60 program encourages local physicians to refer patients to the facility. Around 1,000 participants take part in the program each year.

As part of their focus on health, Dedham requires all of its trainers to have a degree in exercise physiology or better. "That's what the medical community accepts," Gainsboro said. Clients who come in for physical therapy can use the gym at no charge if they come in early for their treatment. "Our physical therapists show people how to do that, and it gives much better outcomes."

Gainsboro attributes Dedham's success to continual planning and razor focus. "We've been around for 36 years," he said, "and one of the reasons is because we try to stay focused, to have a five-year plan and continue to evolve with the marketplace."


Dedham Health & Athletic Complex: www.dedhamhealth.com

SofSurfaces Duraflex: www.duraflex.com