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July/August 2009 home page

A Gem of a Gym
Bertha Leone, Crest

Photo Art Olson

The following is an interview with Rachel Thomas, Partner, and Mitch McIntyre, General Manager, at The Gym in Del Mar on Jimmy Durante Blvd.

1. Why did you decide to open THE GYM IN DEL MAR?

Rachel: My dad, Herb Turner, built the complex that houses The Gym in the early 1980s and our family now owns it. I have been managing the office complex since 1991. When DMWO closed its doors, several members stopped by to express their sadness about the loss of a local gym. Mitch and I discussed the possibility of giving back to the community. With my good friend, Laura Civilikas of San Jose, we decided to create a community focused gym with a family type environment.

My dad came to Del Mar in 1952. He still lives here. I live in Del Mar with my family. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

2. THE GYM IN DEL MAR seems almost zen-like, without the pulsing noise that are often found in other gyms. Is this intentional?

Rachel: Absolutely! We took a step back to see what we could do to give The Gym the look and feel we wanted, i.e., that of a small community gym.

We started by enlarging the entryway and adding a comfortable area to relax, talk and watch TV, a place to unwind where members can get to know each other.

We created an upstairs with an open feeling by eliminating redundant equipment and facing the treadmills toward the outside so members can enjoy the view while feeling the cool breezes. We even added a stretch area with thick mats.

3. What are the key values underlying The Gym?

Mitch: I have been in the health club industry for over 20 years, and have seen how a member can be just a “number.” We want The Gym in Del Mar to have a personal touch, where the staff gets to know the clients, greets them by name, listens to their feedback, and customizes the gym to their needs. You will find Rachel and I working out, talking to gym members and answering questions. When one of our members suggested the new rowing machines, we added them to the cardio equipment.
We are offering discounts to members who lost money when DMWO closed, and competitive rates to all members. We hope to win their trust.

4. What does the future hold for THE GYM?

Rachel: Although it is fun to be the new kid on the block, we want to give people confidence that we an established part of the community. We are hoping that the community will come and see for themselves…. and decide to join and stay.


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