Worst, Best and Most Interesting Health Clubs and Gyms

Worst club I’ve ever, ever visited: a daily-rate visit (NOT a client!) one evening when I was on business in California – truly shabby.

Missing baseboards, peeling paint, old creaky equipment, treadmill rows only 18” apart, weight benches that extended into the path of selectorized equipment (yes, you would be hit), bad ventilation, dark parking lot. The Health Club from Hell.

Best club I’ve ever visited: the Verandah at the Hilton Anatole here in Dallas. Really nice facility, with a rubberized outdoor running path (not really a track) through a private park.
N-i-i-i-i-i-c-e. Also pricey, of course.

Most unusual feature I’ve ever seen at a health club: an outdoor fireplace!

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Leslie Nolen, Radial's president, is the nationally-known expert on the art and science of selling health and wellness.


  1. Rob Bishop says

    One of the best I can remember–Newtown Athletic Club–HUGE club with TERRIFIC service and truly something for everyone!

    Barely a business–small club in Wilkes-Barre, PA. No one at the desk when I walked in. A guy working out said to just leave the day fee ($5) on the counter, the owner would be back later. Really?

    Most interesting–Phoenix Fitness in Allentown. Built into a 50 year old warehouse: original wood floors, exposed brick walls, 10ftx10ft sliding cargo doors and the single largest group fitness room I’ve ever seen with an actual stage for instructors. Their goal was to stuff the place with equipment, carve up the space and cover the original architecture. They wanted to compete with the Retro Fitness that opened near by. Both clubs are now out of business.

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