I recently participated in a focus group involving the Lake Bluff Park District with emphasis on the Health & Fitness center. As a long time and regular user of the facility, I was challenged to find any items that need improvement or resources and activities that would be good additions. Unlike the expression, “all hat no cattle,” our fitness center is all cattle and not enough hats to pay for it.
This is a resource rich operation and one of the hidden jewels of Lake Bluff. The conclusion of the focus group; there are four compelling reasons to consider membership in the Lake Bluff Health & Fitness Center:
- It is the best health and fitness value proposition anywhere in the area, public or private
- The facility is a fresh and clean space with abundant quality equipment, track and gym operating at hours and days to accommodate every need
- A staff that is competent, friendly and helpful
- Programs for all ages and needs, including child care, programs for youth and seniors, and classes, both group and individual
The Fitness Center, like the Park District, is a community resource that goes underutilized owing to the fact it remains unknown to many in the area and the small population of Lake Bluff.
As for the Park District, this is a well-managed and fiscally responsible Board and Executive staff with but one problematic operation, the golf course. Golf is suffering everywhere from declining rounds played and interest in the game translating into revenue challenges. The problem is recognized and remedies have been implemented with the use of Casper Golf Management to drive the marketing programs and pricing strategies.
The other facilities operated by the Park District; the pool, including the new kiddie pool, the beach, parks and playgrounds, tennis and platform tennis, are all popular and in regular use, but with excess capacity. Lake Bluff Park District resources are abundant and expected, if not demanded by many who live here but rich for a small population. After all, it is not possible to have half a Fitness Center, Beach, Pool, and especially half a golf course.
That is the challenge for the Park District and message to the community; use it or lose it. The unique features of our Park District; the pool and the value proposition of Fitness Center should be especially appealing to Lake Forest residents as well.
Perhaps it is time for our Park District Fitness Center to launch an ongoing marketing initiative to insure all Lake Bluff residents, established or new to the community and nearby, are aware that it exists and of its remarkable value.
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