15 Nov 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Leisure Opportunities issue 749, 2018 is now out!

Blogs:

Read blogs by writer:

Liz Terry
CEO,
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
editor-at-large,
Health Club Management

Tom Walker
Journalist,
Leisure Media

Our guest writers:

Aleatha Ezra
Director of park member development,
World Waterpark Association

Jennifer Fields
Communications Coordinator,
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Brad Irwin
Partnerships development manager,
Natural History Museum

Michel Buchel
President of Ecsite and CEO of NEMO, Amsetrdan,
NEMO

Julie Becker
Communications and Events Manager,
Ecsite

Eva McDiarmid
Chief Executive,
ASVA

Kurt Janson
Policy Director,
Tourism Alliance

Peter Ducker
Chief executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Maria Zolotonosa
Project Manager,
Ecsite

Ian Taylor
CEO,
SkillsActive

Ufi Ibrahim
Chief Executive,
British Hospitality Association

John Goodbody
Sports Journalist

Sam Coulstock
Customer Relationship Director,
Springboard

Lucy Schweingruber
Fundraising and Events Manager,
Ecsite

View all guest writers

Nimble thinking

23 Apr 2013
by Liz Terry, CEO, Leisure Media
These new entrants to the market may be shaking things up, but there's no reason facility owners can't take a leaf out of their book and get more creative

Designing, funding, building and running facilities is an expensive undertaking, but because the majority of people's out-of-home leisure-time activity has traditionally taken place in and around some kind of facility, operators have always had to bear the costs associated with this infrastructure.

But it's becoming clear that in every sector, they're facing new competition from operations which are seeking to profit by offering equivalent experiences to customers, while bearing none of the costs associated with facility operations – and they're doing it in innovative, creative ways.

Health clubs have high fixed operating and maintenance costs, but makers of fitness apps, home fitness videos, home workouts and outdoor fitness boot camps can capture much of the same audience for the same purpose at a fraction of the cost.

Spas are facing a competitive threat from non-spa hotels which are putting together 'spa retreats' by bringing in experts to offer classes and treatments, but without needing the investment in infrastructure associated with a full-blown spa operation.

I could go on, but you get the point.

Added to this is a new generation of popup operations which use existing or temporary locations to launch time-limited, often highly creative leisure experiences on a low-risk basis. These operations are thriving in every part of the market and we cover them with a special report in the latest issue of Leisure Management on page 42.

Pop-ups have the advantage of a low entry point in terms of costs, enabling operators to test concepts and locations without high risk, and some pop-ups have been so successful they've morphed into permanent operations.

So should facility owners be worried about this fluid and entrepreneurial approach to creating leisure experiences? Perhaps. However, people love new things and let's face it, some leisure operators are pretty set in their ways and dreary – it seems as though having concrete foundations makes it difficult for some to be nimble in their thinking. I for one welcome this trend of innovation, creativity, change and general deliciousness.

These new entrants to the market may be shaking things up, but there's no reason facility owners can't take a leaf out of their book and get more creative with sub-letting and sharing facilities to generate new revenue streams or get some pop-up action for themselves.

The fact London's South Bank has been hosting not only a pop-up restaurant, but also a (sell-out) pop-up hotel – in a boat – on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall – no less, shows that even the most established institution can get into the trend.

So a threat – perhaps – but the motto needs to be, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.



Tags: Leisure Management  hotels & hospitality  spa & beauty 

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