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Leisure Media - Heimat – elevated concept

New launch

Heimat – elevated concept

RSG Group has opened Heimat, a members-only concept fitness club and a new way to ‘work out and live well’, as Liz Terry reports

Sebastian Schoepe (left) with Rainer Schaller at the opening of Heimat Photo: RSG GROUP
Heimat in LA is the first of a new chain of high-end concept clubs Photo: RSG GROUP
The 75,000sq ft club, in West Hollywood, is spread over five storeys Photo: RSG GROUP
Heimat has been designed to feel like the home of a friend Photo: RSG GROUP
The luxury changing rooms have private showers and complimentary bath and shower products Photo: RSG GROUP
Restaurant design was by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio Photo: RSG GROUP
The rooftop bar also serves light plates Photo: RSG GROUP
The small rooftop pool is a social space with table service and a ‘Soho House’ vibe Photo: RSG GROUP
Cardio equipment at Heimat is by Technogym Photo: RSG GROUP
200 different classes a month are included in the membership fee Photo: RSG GROUP
The relaxation lounge at Heimat LA with complimentary towels and robes Photo: RSG GROUP

Rainer Schaller and his dynamic team at RSG Group, have unveiled Heimat, their latest creation, in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The 75,000sq ft club, billed as a first-of-its-kind fitness and wellness concept where members can “play, work, and ‘simply be’”, is the inaugural site for a new brand rollout, with additional clubs already in the planning stages for San Francisco, Dallas, Berlin over the next three years and locations also being planned in other world cities.

Schaller says he built his new brainchild around the philosophy that wellbeing is not just a physical pursuit, but a lifestyle to be nourished from morning to night, through work, rest and play.

“Having worked in every part of the fitness market for over 25 years, it was clear that the industry was missing an exclusive place where you could find every type of training under one roof and where members experience a feeling of familiarity and belonging,” he told HCM. “We believe in nourishing both the body and mind and felt the time was right to introduce Heimat.”

Built over five floors in a vast converted 1930s industrial warehouse, the club offers the latest fitness spaces and classes – open from 5.00am to midnight – and a luxury boutique spa, as well as a glamorous restaurant by award-winning chef Michael Mina, co-working spaces and a country club-style rooftop pool and bar area with cabanas, table service and sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills.

Heimat is located opposite a 1.6-acre cement works, which has been trading on the site for 60 years, however, this is relocating and the land has just been sold to LA-based CIM Group (www.cimgroup.com) for US$46.5m and is expected to be redeveloped for mixed-use and luxury housing, further improving the club’s environs.

Warm feeling
“Heimat is a German word used to describe that warm feeling you get when your heart feels at home,” says Schaller. “The club is designed to ignite all the senses by elevating the details – from the globally-inspired cuisine to original murals and the artwork and rich textures and materials that are used throughout the space.

“Our goal is to create an experience that you can not only touch, see, taste, hear and smell, but also one that taps into a sixth sense reminding you of a safe and beloved space,” he says.

Sebastian Schoepe, president and CEO of RSG Group North America, who worked closely on the launch with Schaller, told HCM. “Los Angeles is the perfect place to introduce a concept that sets a new standard for fitness and living well. We chose the city as the base for Heimat’s flagship because of people’s passion for wellness and the city’s track record for setting fitness trends for the rest of the world to follow.”

Everything in one place
Schaller, a serial entrepreneur whose businesses touch all parts of the health and fitness sector, has a strong interest in the arts, fashion, food, music and nightlife and these influences are very evident throughout Heimat.

The club’s consumer offering is delivered through four channels, called Invigorate (fitness and exercise), Radiate (spa and wellness), Nourish (food and diet) and Cultivate (community, networking and culture).

On offer for fitness are the nine purpose-built studios for everything from reformer Pilates and cycling, to TRX, dance, yoga, boot camp and boxing. Heimat also has a dedicated Technogym Kinesis studio, with ten stations.

Also available are functional and machine strength training from gym80, a dedicated stretching area and cardio equipment from Technogym. A Heimat app integrates the use of equipment for members to create a customer journey, while members are also offered a one-to-one dedicated personal trainer.

The full-service spa offers treatments by Hydrafacial, as well as nail care and a range of massages and body treatments. The spa has its own reception and treatments are not included in the price of membership or sold to potential members by the gym sales team.

The spa has a dry sauna, relaxation room and ‘European foot spa’ and members can access a range of holistic recovery services such as IV therapies.

All changing rooms have private showers and complimentary bath and beauty products.

On the menu
Heimat’s Mother Tongue restaurant (www.hellomothertongue.com) offers plant-forward menus for lunch and dinner with wild fish and farm-sourced meats and a range of healthy meal options. The unusual desserts are getting attention on review sites, especially Evoo, which is made with olive oil and served with honeycomb and had one reviewer write: “...I was questioning if I even need a boyfriend anymore. The Evoo was soooo good!”

The restaurant was developed in partnership with award-winning chef Michael Mina – a friend of Schaller’s (www.michaelmina.net) – and designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (www.mbds.com) and offers indoor and outdoor dining from 7.00am - 10.00pm Sunday to Thursday and 7.00am - midnight on Friday and Saturday Private dining for up to 10 people is also available.

Elsewhere in the club, an organic juice bar, an outdoor terrace with fire pits and lounge furniture and a bar offering small plates complete the foodervice offering.

The club’s ‘Cultivate’ programme includes ‘thought-provoking programming’ and private events featuring up-and-coming artists, tastemakers and ‘cultural connoisseurs’ and RGS is clearly building a vibrant community as part of its commitment to helping people ‘reimagine how to live well’.

Co-working lounge and clubhouse
The top floor of Heimat offers an expansive clubhouse, library, co-working lounge and event space that’s open from 10.00am to 6.00pm. Members enter through the Living Room, a welcoming space designed to feel like the home of a friend. As with all RSG Group properties, Heimat prioritises design and art with raw concrete elements and touches such as original graffiti by Mr Brainwash to combine high design with an industrial edge. Original murals and artwork throughout were commissioned from emerging Los Angeles artists, such as Abel Macias, Jessalyn Brooks, and Sophia Dherbecourt. The rooftop pool is open from 9.00am to 10.00pm, with F&B pool service until 6.00pm.

Growing portfolio
The launch of Heimat, takes RSG Group’s portfolio of fitness and lifestyle brands to 20, including iconic names such as Gold’s Gym, John Reed, and McFit. The company – one of the biggest fitness operators on the planet – has more than 6.4m customers worldwide, 41,000 employees and 1,000 locations in 48 countries.

Schaller opened his first gym in 1997, pioneering the concept of the discount, 24-hour gym in Germany with McFit and has continued to bring disruptive thinking to the fitness industry.

Memberships, by application only, cost US$350/month with a US$300 joining fee and one-year commitment. Given the pandemic has hit those on middle and low incomes the hardest, while the well-off have – in many cases – seen their wealth increase, Heimat’s focus on the upper end of the market is undoubtedly timely.

More: www.heimat.com

Healthy utopia
David Minton paid a visit to Heimat in Los Angeles to check out RSG Group’s latest tour de force
David Minton

Angelenos have long known that health is wealth and some of the healthiest and wealthiest are now heading down to North La Brea and Romaine Street in West Hollywood to get their fix at Heimat.

Housed in an iconic corner building that’s been gentrified from top to bottom, it’s reputedly the world’s first concept fitness club.

Heimat is a German word used to describe that familiar feeling of where your heart feels at home and home on this occasion is through the golden doors and into the 75,000sq ft club with pretty much everything that the US$350 per month membership fee, (subject to approval, a US$300 initiation fee, plus valet parking at US$5 per visit or US$30 a month) can buy you.

The one year contract includes all 200 plus classes and so many machines and functional equipment you’d never need to wait, including nine dedicated and branded studios.

For those going straight to the plant-forward, health-focused Mother Tongue restaurant, which is open to non-members and perched on top of the club, there’s a fabulous view to enjoy while contemplating the healthy utopia of Heimat that highlights all the current wellness trends in LA.

The top floor oasis does feel very ‘Soho House’ with its rooftop pool, swanky bar and private cabanas and where all the servers seem to wear golden tennis shoes – of course.

Everything about Heimat is cultivated to create a fitness, clubhouse and F&B experience. I didn’t get chance to work out as I’m not part of the community but did feel very much at home lolling about on the brown leather in the clubhouse, doing these 300 words for HCM while young ’uns all about me polished their latest film or TV scripts.

Over 9,000 people already follow Heimat on Instagram (they check all your social media before approval to join is given) and if even half that number (a guess) have already joined, no wonder the place is buzzing and has created such a vibrant atmosphere.

It reminded me of Third Space in Soho in the early days, with its Fresh & Wild shop, medical centre and dry cleaners sitting along side the architecturally-designed club which – to my mind – was an early-days ‘concept fitness club’ and of which I’m still a member.

Originally published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 7
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