The New York Times reports that hotels are toning up their treadmills. That is long overdue. And in the process if hotels made the fitness available 24 hours it would help. But as the article notes, some hotels (Westin) are going all the way and providing a la carte service including equipment in rooms for those who would rather exercise in private. Neverthless, there is a woefully large number of hotels that continue to have fitness rooms in the corner of a dark basement with minimal equipment. That transcends brands and, oddly enough, it is the full service hotels that operate on a de minimis basis when it comes to gyms. That is particularly true of European hotels where not only are the hours of operation limited but also the size of the treadmill – a little lateral movement and the guest is likely to find himself/herself on the floor in a hurry.
While the spotlight on fitness centers is good for both operators and guests, hotels that levy huge charges (as in some facilities in Las Vegas) and those that mix in outside residents to sustain a higher level of service and equipment run the risk of alienating regular guests who end up waiting due to the added rush and not knowing their way around unlike the locals.