REVIEW: The Ridge Downtown, Bozeman, MT.

The good:

1. The newly reopened facility is a HUGE improvement. It has almost doubled in size and has gone from being a juvenile with acne to a young adult with a full-time job. It’s cleaner, airer and has an improved cardio experience.

 

Cardio

Fountain

2. It is a small thing but I think it a good thing that they have installed a modern water fountain that encourages filling up your own bottle of water versus buying a disposable bottle of water.

Ridge2

3. The exercise studio is another BIG improvement over the old space as it has windows and is therefore bright and looks out into the street.

4. More cardio machines to choose from and better, more modern treadmills.

5. More weightlifting equipment.

6. The bathroom experience is much less ghetto since they took the time to do a facelift.

7. A small cafe with coffee and healthy snack options is probably a good add on.

8. They don’t blast FOX News here, as they do at the Fallon location. A real nice bonus.

9. Location still rocks.

The UGLY:

1. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to breathe in chemicals while someone cleans nears me while I am working out. This continues to happen despite the fact that myself and several other people have complained about it. As of today, 4/6/13, I have now had to ask every single female staff they employ, to refrain cleaning near me. I have had this issue go on EVERY time I have been at the gym in the last two weeks, meaning, it has happened 10 times, in a row. In what freaking universe it is OK to spray chemicals next to someone who is working out on a cardio machine? I don’t care if the cleaning supplies are “green” or all natural, it goes against every customer service ideal, EVER. Picture having a dinner at at restaurant and having folks vacuum or clean the floor while you are eating. You can’t picture it, because it DOES NOT HAPPEN! Why is it OK to vacuum or clean the gym during prime workout hours or at ANYTIME the facility welcomes paying customers? I have NEVER seen this happen at the gym on Fallon or any other gym I have been a member of. One time, when this happened the staff member stopped spraying on the machine but continued to spray and clean by putting the towel over the spray bottle. SERIOUSLY!?! WTF?

The BAD:

1. Not enough free weights in the weight room area. If you lift anything under 15 pounds and work out downtown, you are screwed. Almost every time I need a 12 pound pair of weights, they are gone to the studio. They have no 8 pound weights on the floor, either. Obviously, BUY MORE! Also, apparently, heavier weights are more important given they are given a shelf. Lighter weights are on the floor as, you know, smaller users, the elderly and those who are not lifting huge amounts are not as important. Again, unique to this gym and unsightly.

2. If you have equipment that breaks down and you only have two of that type of machine, fix it immediately. While it just got fixed, the Step Mill at the ridge downtown was broken for well over two weeks.

3. Everyone knows that kettlebell workouts are in and one of the most effective workout tools out there, for both men and women. I weight 125 pounds dripping wet and the smallest kettle bell they have is an 18 pounder. To be fair, they did expand the availability of these as before they did not have any until a frustrated member went out and bought a set to use at the gym (!!) But to not add 10, 12, 15 pound kettlebells? What gives?

4. Weekend hours blow. I was hoping that they would update hours to 7am on Sat/Sun instead of the 8am/12pm mix. Again, have never seen this before moving to Montana. 12pm on a Sunday for opening time? Really? The Fallon ridge opens up at 8am on Sunday, the Club on Rouse opens at 8am and so is Gold’s Gym.

I am not about to cancel my membership because in many ways, this gym is probably the best alternative to the others in downtown Bozeman, but I sure hope some of these issues are addressed. I have now left a vm for the general manager and messaged them via Facebook re: the cleaning issue. Let’s see how they respond to it as I plan to publish their response here and on my blog.

 

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