True Fitness quietly opens Educational Center - SNEWS

True Fitness quietly opens Educational Center

Amid little fanfare, True Fitness recently opened a 5,000-square-foot Educational Center with several murals and furniture resembling True equipment inside its new distribution facility at the company's global headquarters in O'Fallon, Mo.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Amid little fanfare, True Fitness recently opened a 5,000-square-foot Educational Center with several murals and furniture resembling True equipment inside its new distribution facility at the company's global headquarters in O'Fallon, Mo.

"Many of our own employees haven't been inside yet, and they are dying to see it," Frank Trulaske, the CEO of True Fitness, told SNEWS in a recent chat. "We're hoping to hold a big grand opening celebration in January."

Originally scheduled to open this summer but held up by construction and permit delays, the center features two dimensions, Trulaske said: a showroom for facility floor planning and product merchandising, and a high-tech area for training sessions and meetings.

But this is no ordinary fitness equipment warehouse. Get this: The center incorporates several different lighting systems, curved walls, large 40-foot-by-10-foot windows and tiled and carpeted areas. It includes lots of open space in order to customize equipment configurations for various dealers and customers such as health clubs, hospitality or corporate fitness centers so they can really see what they'll have and how it fits and looks.

Another distinguishing feature of the True Educational Center is a huge 12-foot-by-64-foot mural that the company commissioned professional artist Richard Goodwin to paint on one curved wall.

"We call it a lifestyle mural," said Trulaske. "It shows healthy activities, such as golf, tennis and kayaking, plus nature scenes -- basically a hodgepodge of everything that we are all about. We're not just in the equipment business -- we're helping people live long and healthy lives."

On the education side, an expansive conference room is equipped with videoconferencing capabilities, a sound system, video and DVD production equipment and advanced machinery for live presentations. Even the furniture sports a similar design and look to the company's fitness equipment.

Not to be outdone, this area also has a 12-foot-by-64-foot mural depicting an array of manufacturing processes that is said to illustrate True's "Intelligent Engineering."

The center is dedicated exclusively to employee, dealer, customer, servicer and fitness professional education, training and meetings, accommodating up to 125 people. John Conti, True's national regional sales manager, is responsible for overseeing the facility and scheduling all sessions.

An outside consultant developed the design and decoration of the True Educational Center, Trulaske said, admitting that although the space was allocated long ago, a lot of additional costs cropped up.

"We're trying to be the leader here and needed something that was very creative," Trulaske said. "We spent more than we planned but we had to do it right since, at the end of the day, this had to be consistent with our mission: Deliver the best.

"We really needed to be able to show people our entire lines in the right setting," he continued. "This is really the right way to help people make decisions, and we gain a lot of credibility with commercial equipment buyers."

Trulaske is confident that this addition will be extremely helpful -- particularly when he thinks about the costs associated with hauling equipment to locally leased space, where most large meetings previously were held.

"We've had great feedback so far, and our goal is to keep improving," Trulaske told us. "I think people see True as a real player when they witness this kind of commitment."

Related

True Fitness profiled in St. Louis business paper

"It's True, fitness firm strengthens sales 600 percent" read the headline of the St. Louis Business journal last week on a story about True Fitness. Wrote the paper: "With little fanfare, O'Fallon, Mo.-based, True Fitness Technology Inc. has grown into one of the most ...read more

The Fitness Experience shrinks again, sells St. Louis to True

The Fitness Experience is continuing to shrink its numbers -- even sealing a deal to hand-over five St. Louis, Mo., area stores to True Fitness -- as a way to focus, to rein in expenses, to stay alive and, as President Doug Pearson told SNEWS®, to get stronger. With five ...read more

True introduces "value" line called Fitline sans True name

Launching by the end of the month at True specialty dealers nationally is a line of "affordable" fitness equipment called Fitline fitness that won't have the True name anywhere on it, its website or brochures. The Fitline equipment (www.fitlinefitness.com) was debuted at a True ...read more

True900.jpg

True Fitness unleashes updates to ellipticals

It’s nice to know that when consumers speak, companies listen. In November, a revamped line of ellipticals from True Fitness hit showroom floors at dealers across the country. The updated line of core-drive ellipticals is the company’s response to customer input, said True ...read more

True Takes on Lifetime Treadmill Warranty

True Fitness has now added its name to the treadmill companies that offer lifetime warranties. As of Dec. 12, the Missouri-based company will offer total lifetime warranties on its top-end treadmills models 500, 540, and 550 for an extra $200. These models have suggested ...read more

Operation FitKids partnership creating youth fitness centers

Not more than two weeks after the unveiling of a new national fitness initiative, Fitness! Right! Now!, the group has announced it will create several youth fitness centers around the country in partnership with its presenting sponsor, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), as a ...read more

TrueStretchsmall.JPG

True Home Stretch Gym

A piece of exercise equipment that looks like a cage for a large circus tiger or like a medieval torture device might turn you away. But don't let appearances deceive you. The True Stretch gym 500ss could be a great investment in your health and fitness, with a few caveats. But, ...read more

Quiet two-store test of Ativa for active women

The quasi-stealth openings of the new Dick's Sporting Goods stores for active women called Ativa continue, with management declining comment nationally, while local papers are running splash ads and big public grand-opening parties are scheduled. SNEWS has learned that a ...read more

FitnessTechnology_iFitMaps1SM.jpg

New fitness technologies look to educate and network users

Ever since the first TVs were mounted on treadmills, bikes and ellipticals more than a decade ago, technology’s relationship with fitness equipment has centered on creating a distraction – something for users to pass the time while getting in their quota of sweat and raised heart ...read more