First gym still a favourite

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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