Palm Beach Hotel Receives Preliminary Approval for Planned Fitness Center

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January 24, 2014 – The Breakers, one of the top-ranked hotels in Palm Beach, Florida, has received the local zoning commission’s approval to build a new fitness center. Construction depends on the Town Council, which has the final say; if the plan goes forward, the new center will triple the size of the hotel’s current exercise area. Construction would begin around June 1 and take three to four months to complete.
The hotel’s proposal calls for a 4,190-square-foot fitness center on what is now a rooftop terrace. The center will feature an ocean view and will presumably include a wider range of exercise equipment and machinery than is currently available. The present facility occupies a 1,400-square-foot space on the ground floor and, according to The Breakers’ attorney, James Crowley of the Gunster law firm, is outdated. Meanwhile the terrace area is underused.
However, there is a dispute over the hotel’s zoning rights, because the new fitness center would bring the total size of its beach club area to about 24,000 square feet. That would exceed a 20,000-square-foot limit set by the town in 1998, when it approved demolition of a hotel ballroom and previous beach club facilities. The hotel is seeking an amendment to the zoning rules, claiming it has not yet used 11,621 square feet of accessory space granted it for “future use assignment” during the 1998 ruling.
“Exercise is quite a different thing now from what it was in 1998,” notes Tracey Keats, President of EZFacility, a fitness facility management software developer in Woodbury, New York. “Travelers to highly-rated hotels expect a certain level of health club offerings, and it’s clear why The Breakers wants to be able to meet customers’ workout needs. The proposed facility update could attract new hotel guests and keep longtime ones coming back.”
One thing in the hotel’s favor is that the new facility would pose no traffic concerns. It will be open only to hotel guests and members, attorney Crowley explained, and there is ample parking.