First gym still a favourite
Cityfitness founder Dominic Rogerson might be out to conquer Auckland, but his heart remains at his first and favourite gym in Porirua.
Mr Rogerson just opened his 19th Cityfitness on Queen St in Auckland’s CBD, a two-storey centre which he plans to expand to three storeys, adding a top-ofthe-range yoga and pilates studio.
‘‘ It’s our most prestigious location. The location’s fantastic,’’ he says.
The gym is his second in Auckland, which is now the company’s main growth area. However, Mr Rogerson’s favourite gym is the one he opened as Porirua Cityfitness on Walton Leigh Ave in 2000.
‘‘I always refer to this club as my favourite club, I’ve got a very soft spot for Porirua. ‘‘This is definitely home.’’ Each of his clubs has a distinctive culture. Queen St is bustling, busy and cosmopolitan, while Porirua is laidback and full of friendly, loyal clients, Mr Rogerson says. ‘‘ That’s what Porirua is about.’’
Cityfitness might now be an efficient empire stretching from Banks Peninsula to the Sky Tower, but its initial expansion was as relaxed as Porirua itself.
Mr Rogerson never intended to franchise at all. ‘‘ It’s just, opportunities have come up,’’ he says.
He soon realised that the business had serious growth potential. ‘‘We had grand plans to expand to four clubs, but when we got to four clubs we realised that the business model we had was very strong, so that gave us confidence to go further afield.’’
He now employs 750 staff and plans to own 30 gyms across the country within five years.
The secret of the gyms’ success is constantly scrutinising the business for ways to improve quality and stay ahead of the pack, he says. ‘‘ We’ve really looked hard at our own business and made changes accordingly.’’
Personal trainers were once jacks-of-all-trades, but Mr Rogerson now recruits specialists. ‘‘ We’ve brought on key staff who are experts.’’
The club has also expanded its group fitness programme and is rolling out a yoga and pilates studio brand called Abundance. Porirua, naturally, was the first Cityfitness to trial Abundance, and its studio boasts six imported Reformer pilates machines, and can be heated to 36 degrees C for hot yoga.
Local loyalty: Cityfitness founder Dominic Rogerson has just opened a swanky new branch in Auckland, but is not neglecting his first gym in Porirua – it was the first to trial the company’s new Abundance yoga and pilates studio brand. Testing the facilities is pilates instructor Sarah Bishop.