Worried:Transitioning from Bodies In Motion to David Barto
by wla123 at Citysearch
I went from Bally's (awful) to 24 Hour (slightly better) to Bodies In Motion (much better) in the past 10 years. I didn't mind paying more for Bodies In Motion b/c it wasn't crowded, had superior equipment and people (staff/other members) were friendly.
Over time, some of the equipment has become dated. Cardio equipment (step machines, elipticals, etc.) have worn out to where the machines keep breaking or certain ones have an issue (cable slips, rotation isn't smooth, etc.). Sadly, they replace the cardio equipment people like to use with equipment people dislike and don't use. Some of the plate/pin-based machines have issues as well, like the protective leather on seats and pads is torn. There's boxing ring that barely anybody uses. I originally thought it was a cool feature but it basically takes up space where there could be additional, usable equipment to benefit all members. And, they have a problem with the urinals in the mens' room - always leaking (no pun intended). Regardless, the gym has been solid yet creaky, which is probably why it's being transitioned to David Barton. Well, that and competition from Equinox and 24 Hour Fitness' summer makeover.
I had hoped Bodies In Motion would get a needed upgrade with new equipment, floor layout and amenities. But, I'm increasingly concerned about the transition to David Barton Gym. The photos and promotional materials I've seen, along with various online articles, suggest this place is going to lose its sensible Westside vibe and morph into a club-like atmosphere with pillows, soft lighting, dj-s/turntables and other gimmicks that are very much un-Westside.
Trainers and members alike have been apprehensive with both groups considering other nearby gyms. My membership expires in a few months, which gives me enough time to see the transition through and decide whether to stay. Currently, it looks like they're changing the clear glass to placing a thin film with pink and yellow undertones. They haven't painted yet but the paint blotch samples on the walls look fine (meaning not lame). The female employees are wearing t-shirts that say ""Look Better Naked."" Um, o-kay. The male trainers are wearing Barton-branded shirts and it looks like they got off relatively easy. Rumor is, they're going to increase rates; members will likely have an increase but new members will be paying significantly more.
If you pull up online articles on other David Barton gyms (NY, Chicago, Miami) or on the concept in general, they are not entirely positive (clubby, over the top, chapter 11 in early 2011); which is why I'm hoping folks involved in the Westside renovation retain the current atmosphere of serving the professional types who live in the Westside. I hope they knock out some walls to maximize space, add new equipment, fix a few things and keep the atmosphere in tact. I suspect, however, that it's going to turn into a club scene-like carnival and I'll be looking for a new gym. Hopefully, I'm wrong.