After being closed for more than a year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Staenberg – Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver) just reopened its fitness center, and, while the outdoor, year-round, heated pool has been open for lap swimmers since the fall, the JCC Denver just announced family memberships are available for the newly renovated pool for this summer. “We’re excited to have the facility open,” said Tom LaCasse, General Manager of the JCC Fitness & Aquatics Center. “May 3rd was a magical date for us. We had members waiting at the door at 5:30 a.m. and were excited to see the fitness facility.”
To oversee the fitness and aquatics center, the JCC Denver has hired WTS International, an organization that specializes in fitness center management. Tom LaCasse from WTS International will be the new general manager of the fitness and aquatics programs.
Over the past several months, the JCC has been updating the fitness center to freshen it up for the re-opening including painting the entire fitness center, updating cleaning procedures, and revamping its programming in conjunction with WTS. The JCC Denver has created comprehensive COVID-19 processes and protocols — which WTS International has used to re-open other JCC facilities — to ensure a safe environment for everyone. These updates freshen up the space and elevate the member experience by providing a facility that is clean, offers more reliable service and programming, and is positioned to better serve the community’s fitness and gathering needs.
In early 2020, several updates were made to the outdoor pool including renovating the pool, adding several private cabanas to the pool area that can be rented out, adding a new play structure, lounge furniture, picnic tables, multiple large umbrellas to provide shade around the pool and updating the Snack Shack. “The members are amazed at how clean everything is,” said LaCasse. “We have spent a lot of time and energy on doing a really deep clean. The feedback from the members has been fantastic.”
LaCasse has been in the health and fitness industry for more than 30 years. He is a graduate of Metropolitan State University Denver with a degree in Human Performance. He has held a number of positions with nonprofit organizations, government facilities, corporate operations, and high-end health clubs. LaCasse is passionate about staff training and development with experience in facility acquisition, pre-sales and grand openings. He has developed and delivered multi-day sales training and has focused on membership retention strategies across the country. He was previously the state certification director with the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
“We can’t wait for the community to join us again at the JCC to work out and swim after such a long closure,” said LaCasse. “With the upgrades we’ve made and more on the way, we are certain our members will have a great experience. We’re also excited to reopen with a renewed customer service focus.”
More updates can be expected at the fitness center in the coming months including a new virtual platform with live and pre-recorded fitness classes, personal training and wellness programs. The platform will be free of charge as part of the fitness membership. Additionally, a new mobile app is being finalized, which will allow members to easily check-in, reserve a lap lane, view group exercise schedules and reserve a class, and purchase personal training, pilates, or swim lesson sessions.
The JCC Denver is one of the best kept secrets in Southeast Denver. “We are focused on great customer service creating a great customer experience,” said LaCasse. We like to greet everybody and have great conversations with them.”
“We’re not trying to compete with the corporate gyms of the world,” said Adam Zandman, Chief Marketing Officer for JCC Denver. “We’re trying to make it a facility where everyone feels welcome, everybody knows your name, and it’s a homey environment.”
That is very similar to the philosophy the Greater Glendale Chamber of Commerce has. “We are a long standing member,” said Zandman. “We’re proud members of the Chamber and we appreciate the support they give us and the opportunities they present us. It’s a community within our community as well.”
The JCC, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver CO 80246, offers a special summer family membership (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend) for $599. To learn more and to register for a membership, visit www.jccdenver.org/join.