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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People profile: Thomas Mack, Europa-Park

Managing director, Europa-Park

Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 8
Mack runs Germany’s leading theme park
Mack runs Germany’s leading theme park
People are getting more fitness-conscious and like to have access to a health club while they’re on holiday

Why did Europa-Park open a health club?
Since the theme park opened in 1975, it has steadily expanded: last year we welcomed 5.6m visitors, making it the second most visited tourist attraction in Germany.

This growth has made it necessary to add accommodation in order for guests to experience everything on offer. The first hotel was built in 1995, followed by four more and we now have capacity of 4,500 beds across the park.

When we built our most recent hotel, the New England-themed Hotel Bell Rock, we had the opportunity to buy a neighbouring health club –the Boston Red Sox Gym. It was ideally positioned so we could make it part of the hotel.

Every element of our offering contributes to the quality of our visitors’ experience and the health club is now as important as any other element. People are getting much more fitness-conscious and like to have access to this type of facility while they’re on holiday.

What facilities does the Boston Red Sox health club offer?
On the ground floor there is a 400sq m gym, with Technogym and Power Plate equipment; a dance studio offering classes including Zumba and yoga; and a spin studio. Personal training and EMS sessions are also on offer.

Because lots of our guests want to chill out after spending all day walking around the theme park, there are ample relaxation facilities, including a wellness area with four saunas and a steamroom, two chill out areas and a rooftop terrace with sun loungers. There are also indoor and outdoor pools.

Who can use it?
Hotel guests from any of the resort’s five hotels can access the facilities and classes as part of their stay. Each four star superior hotel also has its own wellness and spa area with treatments and guests can interchange between them, but the Boston Red Sox gym is the only health club at Europa Park.

Memberships to the health club are also on offer to locals for €50 a month and Europa Park’s 3,800 employees can buy a membership for €25 a month.

What are the challenges of operating within a theme park?
Other than maintaining good staffing levels in the gym – as sometimes people are unfamiliar with the equipment – it’s the same as a regular club. We’re keen to ensure all guests have a high quality experience, so are constantly re-evaluating, investing and listening to customer feedback. This summer, further renovations are taking place, with the addition of new training equipment to keep the facility up to date.

How does the health club complement the overall theme park offering?
It’s part of our drive to give guests more options, increase our service, lengthen their stay and provide a USP. The health club also helps to offset some of the resort’s seasonality, because memberships are sold all year round, and we use the club as part of the hook for our ‘Feel Good’ weeks, which we use to boost trading in the shoulder season.

The health club at Europa-Park features a range of group exercise options
The health club at Europa-Park features a range of group exercise options
Europa-Park welcomed 5.6 million visitors in 2017, making it the second most visited tourist attraction in Germany
Europa-Park welcomed 5.6 million visitors in 2017, making it the second most visited tourist attraction in Germany
Europa-Park welcomed 5.6 million visitors in 2017, making it the second most visited tourist attraction in Germany
Europa-Park welcomed 5.6 million visitors in 2017, making it the second most visited tourist attraction in Germany
Europa-Park welcomed 5.6 million visitors in 2017, making it the second most visited tourist attraction in Germany
Europa-Park welcomed 5.6 million visitors in 2017, making it the second most visited tourist attraction in Germany
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/882917_983843.jpg
Thomas Mack, the MD of Europa Park – one of Europe’s biggest theme parks – on why he bought a local gym, relocated it to the park and is investing in the fitness business.
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