Caring for Members at Windy City

Windy City

A couple of weeks ago, I went to visit Windy City Strength and Conditioning for a photo shoot as they are our upcoming cover story.

I’ve known Justin Marcis, the owner of Windy City, for years. While his story is a fascinating one – I can’t tell you too much as you’ll have to wait for it in the September/October issue – his space is no less intriguing.

My jaw dropped when I turned the corner at the entrance of the Affiliate. A large mural of the brand’s logo greets you at the front. When you walked into the space, a high-ceiling warehouse room is broken up by shipping containers. Sleek gray couches were position for members to chill in, and lockers line the walls. It is definitely different than many of the other gyms I’ve been to.

Favorite Feature

However, my favorite feature didn’t have to do with the huge space or the creative shipping container rooms. My favorite part was the banners that hung from the rafters. Athletes of the Month have been named since the gym opened in 2012. Each has had a professional photo shoot done, courtesy of the gym. Then the month, year and a photo are placed on a banner and hung up for all of the gym to see. Marcis said the Athlete of the Month is a big deal at Windy City, and I can totally tell why.

If you’re gym is all about your members – which it should be, seeing as how they are why you’re around – are you treating them as such? I’m not saying bend to their every whim or look to worship the ground where they walk. There needs to be boundaries and you are a business after all. But what are you doing to show them they matter, that you care, that they are special?

For Windy City, it’s a banner every month. For you, it could be as simple as a monthly social media post. But whatever it is, what matters is showing your members you care about them. So, take a peek at the below photos and get an idea how you can start doing that today.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at