Denise Duda recently retired as Director of Fitness and Wellness at Orchid Island Golf and Beach Club in Orchid, FL. Having accepted a new challenge up in New York for just a few months a year, Denise now being semi-retired opened up to us about her work, her programming and her secrets behind her incredible success at one of the leading Platinum Clubs of America.
What Denise never neglected was her time within the corporate hospitality industry. She brought that education and those member-centric ideas with her to her roles in fitness. Doing so paid dividends as Denise is viewed as one of the leading fitness directors in the country.
From her method of welcoming new members and getting them involved in the program, to her supervising what are in effect three different departments – fitness, wellness and the spa – Duda created a beloved team of experienced instructors and a program that included one of the best-attended group exercise programs in Florida, if not in the country.
Telephone, Telegram, Tell A Grandmother… Word Of Mouth Is Your Marketing Tool
Denise believes that once you hook a client, word of mouth around the club or facility is by far the best marketing tool available to any director of tennis or fitness. Building a group excercise program relies not only on the strength of your instructors, but also how you time the classes so that people stick around the facility and “double-up” on classes with one visit to the fitness studio.
Pilates Is The New Star
Throughout Covid and even now, as we as an industry come out of the pandemic, it appears that Pilates is the new star within the fitness arena. Although group exercise is making a comeback, Pilates really never lost traction. Slower to come back, says Duda, will be the spa side of the business – massage and facials – as clients are still somewhat apprehensive about those services and the level of social distancing possible.
In terms of her own teaching on the floor? She says that most fitness-lovers see only what is in front of them in the mirror – their front! Remember the posterior and that most of our strength for posture and sport comes from the back. “Don’t neglect your back!”
Please join us as we reflect on a career that will be hard to match within fitness. Denise Duda joins the BTB podcast.