Houstonian Club Celebrates Thirtieth Anniversary
In January 2010, The Houstonian Club began its fourth decade of serving the upscale Houston fitness crowd. While a health club’s thirty-year anniversary may not be unique, it is certainly not an everyday occurrence. The factors that have helped The Club grow to about 6,000 Memberships may provide beneficial insights.
The Houstonian Club started selling Memberships in 1978, and when it opened in January 1980, a health club in a 125,000 square foot building was decidedly not commonplace. (In fact, the original Club operators had The Club designed so that it could be converted to a two-story office building, if the new mega-health club concept failed.) From the very beginning, The Houstonian Club exhibited innovation. Some current examples: all of The Club’s 180 weekly Group Fitness classes have been designed by the Group Exercise and Aquatics staffs. The Club recently added a second underground parking facility, so every Member can have covered parking. This November, The Club christened a new indoor tennis facility, the only indoor courts in the immediate area. Innovation is crucial in building and maintaining a competitive edge.
The Club has always operated with the understanding that people will only accept elite pricing if elite service and products are delivered. This was never truer than when, in 1992, The Club was purchased (along with the adjacent Houstonian Hotel & Spa) by The Redstone Companies. Redstone’s reputation of demanding the highest standards from its affiliate companies and personnel set a course of quality and continuous improvement that allowed The Club to add an additional 4,200 (net) Memberships while maintaining an annual attrition rate of approximately 4 percent. Club Members expect all areas of The Club – programming, activities, facilities, services – to be superior to any club in the area.
When The Club opened in 1980, its operators planned to have a relatively small number of Members, so the staff could concentrate on providing a level of service comparable to the country’s finest private clubs. Although The Club now has a rather large number of Members, the policy of unparalleled service has never changed. From the early 1990s, when Club staff participated in several years of Stephen Covey-based training, to present day, when the staff (at all levels) continually engages in service seminars and dialogs, service to the Member is paramount. Almost all the Members (1,500+ each day) are greeted by name when they enter The Club. All four wet areas are continually staffed to ensure Member satisfaction. Many employees have 25+-year careers at The Club, and throughout The Club, Members are smiling and generally fit. All these are tangible examples of the level of service The Houstonian Club provides.
In today’s times, a thirtieth anniversary is worthy of celebration. But rather than resting on past success, The Houstonian Club’s operators plan to continue raising the bar in the areas of innovation, values and service. In every industry, there is always one company at the top, and in Houston, Texas, it’s
The Houstonian Club.
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