Best Gym - 2009
The Gym 111
Located right in the thick of downtown Delray's restaurants and nightclubs, the Gym 111 is a decidedly metropolitan experience. Other gyms buy up cheap strip-mall space in the suburbs, then pack the floor with loads of cheap equipment and a few cheaply paid employees — the better to offer cheap rates to the droves of gymgoers they hope to attract. By contrast, the Gym is a relatively small (7,000 square feet), second-floor walk-up. But it somehow feels both spacious and intimate — maybe because there are only several people working out and because the staff is friendly. (Must be the health benefits!) It gives the Gym the vibe of a neighborhood café. All this is by design. "We only want 350 members," says Jason Snyder, the Gym's director of sales and marketing. "I know every single member's name. That's our thing here. If you have too many members, you can't achieve the customer service level we want." The Gym, which opened last fall, currently has about 200 members. It sports an array of shiny new state-of-the-art equipment. Its trainer-guided programs emphasize real-world movements — not just to gain strength but to get the kind of balance and coordination that athletes strive for. At $72 per month, it's roughly twice as expensive as the corporate gyms, but it may be the difference between going to a place you enjoy versus one you dread. Or to put it another way, the difference between paying regular visits to a place that boasts of "billions and billions served" or one that advises you to make reservations.