On Wednesday, Mountainside Fitness, the state's largest locally owned health club and a D-backs corporate partner since 2008, unveiled its newest 13,000-square-foot location -- Mountainside Fitness Platinum at Chase Field, the first public fitness center housed inside a U.S. sports venue.
"This being our 10th Arizona location has a great deal of significance for us," said Mountainside Fitness CEO Billy Malkovich. "It represents two firsts: the first Mountainside Fitness to open in downtown Phoenix and the first commercial health club to open inside a Major League ballpark in the United States. The facility provides tremendous exposure for our brand and also allows for our suburban customers to have a downtown/at-work fitness option. Our opening serves to strengthen our support for and our relationship with the D-backs. Their amazing partnership and vision made our opening possible. "
D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall added, "It's a perfect fit. It's a corporate partner that's done tremendous work in the community, expanded wisely and has a phenomenal member base in Arizona. For us, it was a natural fit to help create an opportunity with an existing partner in an area that we had available.
"This shows how we creatively take our partnerships to a whole other level. It's not just putting logoed signs up on the outfield wall. It's 'What more can we do to drive business for you?' In this case, it was exploring an area of the ballpark that had available space to help create the first-ever fitness club in a professional sports venue. We continuously try to find new and pioneering ideas of trying to improve this facility, and we did it again today. It's a win-win for all of us."
With a contingent of staff from both companies on hand for Wednesday's ribbon-cutting and opening ceremonies, the two-level facility located just a few steps beyond center field features state-of-the-art fitness equipment, showcasing advanced strength training, specialized cycle and group fitness studios, a steam room, a café, and a cardio mezzanine with personal TVs. The club also offers personal training and more than 60 group fitness classes per week -- even during D-backs games.
Mountainside Fitness founder and president Tom Hatten, who started the gym when he was student at Arizona State University in the mid-1990s, was already a familiar face around at Chase Field thanks to his seat on the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation's executive committee in addition to being a diehard D-backs fan.
"To have those memories of our hometown team from the 2001 World Series," said Hatten, "and then be the first fitness center in the United States to be here is just ridiculous. Yesterday, I had [D-backs managing general partner] Ken Kendrick, Derrick Hall and Luis Gonzalez stop by to check it all out, and they went into the locker rooms to grab their numbers. Luis got No. 20 and hugged his locker. If I never made a dime in this for the rest of my life, I'd still say that this was pretty cool.
"Doing everything we've done in this industry, this takes it to another level, because you get recognition from an organization that's already so highly regarded. And not just in Arizona -- in sports and in business. The way they go about things -- from their executive team to the staff to the players -- to have the opportunity to bring our fitness center inside a facility like this ... it's one of the neatest things we've been able to do as a company. It's surreal. You're always working to get to the next day and hopefully build something, and then you have something like this where you step back and say, 'Wow!'"
Equally impressed was D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy, who took time out of his offseason schedule to stop by for a tour of the new facility with his family.
"This may be even bigger than what we have in our clubhouse," said the D-backs' ace. "We players may have to come up and work out here!
"For anybody who works, lives or comes downtown to work out, this is great. You have the cardio upstairs, free weights, biking and virtual classes. It's a fun atmosphere for those who want to be more physically fit. You can get some cardio in at lunchtime, or you can head over after work, work out, shower and go right out to catch a D-backs game."
Josh Greene is the director of publications for the D-backs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.