Managing Risk: Fitness Centers

Managing Risk: Fitness Centers

Many of us have been there: We start a new diet and fitness regimen, and everything goes great…until we have to travel. And then we fall off the wagon. To prevent this wellness detour, guests increasingly are requesting fitness rooms and healthier menu options, and the hotel industry has been responding.

The AP reports that the number of hotels with fitness rooms increased from 63 percent to 84 percent between 2004 and 2014, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. On top of that, in-room exercise equipment nearly doubled from seven to 13 percent during the same time period.

And young guests are driving the trend. According to a 2015 survey cited in the article, 45 percent of millennials and 38 percent of Gen-Xers said spa and fitness centers were influential in their decision to book a room.

While hotel guests benefit from the new focus on fitness and wellness, the facilities can be a source of liability for hotels. Distinguished has processed more than 400 claims in the past 10 years at a cost of over $2.5 million. A single treadmill accident cost $495,000 to settle!

Hotel owners and managers are responsible for providing a safe and secure environment free from hazards. Basic safety guidelines include:

  • Making sure equipment is in safe condition and has ample warning and safety instructions posted
  • Selecting equipment with guest safety in mind. For example, weight machines with stacked weights are safer to use than a free weight machine requiring a spotter.
  • Maintaining all equipment per the manufacturer’s recommendation. Any defective equipment should be tagged immediately and taken out of use.

For a helpful checklist on how you can better protect your organization, please review our Managing Risk Bulletin on fitness centers.