As published on BethesdaNow.com -- by Aaron Kraut, August 11, 2014
Sport&Health Clubs was looking for a location to fill in the gap between its Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Frederick facilities.
When the opportunity came about for a brand new, 32,000-square-foot club at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Sport&Health CEO Mark Fisher said the company of 22 locations jumped.
The only real question was what to call the place.
“I probably asked everyone that question except for you,” Fisher said last week, when asked why Sport&Health decided to label the facility as its Rockville club. “We spent a lot of time talking about that. We didn’t really want to create any confusion in the market, since we already have a Bethesda location. At some point down the road, White Flint might ultimately be a frontrunner as kind of a sexy, redefined location. It’s hard to figure out but we felt like Rockvile for now was the right commitment for us.”
The location (11594 Old Georgetown Rd.) will offer a few fresh features — the types of amenities you can build into a brand new development.
There will be a rooftop terrace area set aside for “sunrise cycle” classes, personal training and social events, a namaste mind-body studio, suspension yoga and “forward motion video,” a large screen set up in a group cycling room that can simulate riding a stage of the Tour de France, among other amazing terrain.
“We’re doing a lot of things to differentiate the club and the services to kind of claim that fairly high demographic point,” Fisher said. “We really dialed it up or stepped it up a notch.”
Fisher said the club is targeting the first week of December to open. It’s offering the first 100 charter members 30 percent discounts on club dues. Sport&Health usually does a soft opening for its pre-enrollment members.
The gym is set to be one of the many attractions in Pike & Rose’s "crown jewel" building, which will also include a music venue, luxury movie theater and restaurants a few blocks away from the White Flint Metro station.
Fisher said the project, built by Rockville-based developer Federal Realty on the old Mid-Pike Plaza site, fits the “lifestyle development” model that aligns with a high-end health club. And the company sees the large amount of new residential units and retail space that’s planned in other places around White Flint.
“The area in general, whether we want to cal it White Flint or North Bethesda or Rockville, we see that entire area as having huge upside,” Fisher said. “We think the growth potential there is significant. Obviously, the population density and the demographics are really there for us. We also felt like it was really underserved in the fitness market. We felt it was a good place.”
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