Monday, October 09, 2006

Friday Evening Visit

Saturday, the last day of the show, was a busy day for me so I'm only now getting to post what happened Friday evening and Saturday. I apologize for the delay.

Friday evening after the show ended, I headed to the Crunch Fitness facility on West North Avenue in Chicago to meet with Barry Baumfalk, the general manager, and get a tour of the facility. Barry is a former Kansas Citian, so he was willing to stay past 5 pm on a Friday to give me a tour. The two-story gym, which is located on the third and fourth floors of a building in an upscale shopping/dining district was a good-sized location. The most interesting feature was a slide that members and staff can use to get from the fourth floor to the third floor. Some people actually do use it, Barry said. It was located behind the front desk. Another interesting feature was the peek-a-boo showers that we've all heard about at Crunch. However, Barry assured me that when members are using the shower, the positioning of the lighting is such that only the person's head outline is clearly revealed and the body outline is faded back. No one was using a peek-a-boo shower at the time I was there so I can't relate to you exactly how faded back the body is.

The facility also has some funky chairs, a large chess set that you can stand on and that takes two hands to move the pieces and a large group ex room with a glass garage door that can be opened up when the class is too large to fit in the space (which actually happens, Barry said). The club's spin room has a movie screen so spinners can ride to a movie and a microphone for karaoke spinning. For the more subdued crowd, the facility offers a quiet yoga/Pilates studio and an outdoor sun deck on which yoga classes are occasionally held.

The facility is outgrowing its space, and Barry hoped to be able to expand the facility in the near future. He showed me plenty of storage space across the hall that could be turned into a much-needed second group ex room.

After my quick visit with Barry, I hailed a taxi and headed back to the hotel where I planned to grab a quick dinner and then blog about my day, but my plans were waylaid when Marty McCallen, our national sales manager, asked me to join him and Matt Sinkovich, our West Coast sales rep, for dinner. We had an enjoyable meal at the restaurant next door to the hotel and then sat in the hotel lobby area catching up. I finally left the growing group of evening revelers at about 11:30 pm and headed back to my room too tired to blog, but hoping for time to do so the next morning. I'll blog about Saturday's events in the next entry.

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