Airparkers adopt DMB fitness centers as their healthy and very social club
By Dawson Fearnow
With three standalone multimillion-dollar fitness facilities, and a fourth location under construction in Chandler, Village Health Clubs & Spas is among the Valley’s most successful private health club companies.
And while the original location is in the Phoenix Arcadia neighborhood, you’ll have to forgive Scottsdale Airpark residents for adopting The Village as “their” health club, considering its locations in Gainey Ranch and DC Ranch practically bookend the Greater Airpark.
The Village’s ties to North Scottsdale actually go even deeper.
It all started in 1984, when a trio of successful businessmen banded together to create a real estate development firm called DMB Associates Inc. Headquartered in Gainey Ranch, DMB is the developer behind everything from Scottsdale’s DC Ranch and Silverleaf, to the new Eastmark community in Mesa, which is taking shape on five square miles of land that previously served as General Motor’s automotive proving ground. Few people realize this real estate powerhouse also owns The Village, which it purchased in 1990 and quickly set out to expand to Scottsdale and beyond through its DMB Sports Clubs division.
So what’s been the Village’s secret to success in the highly competitive health club industry? Like the name implies, it’s all about building a sense of community, says Village Clubs President Carol Nalevanko, who first joined the company more than 30 years ago.
“The Village is more about the people than about the facility,” she says. “Yes, we have beautiful clubs with state-of-the art equipment and facilities, but we are different than the standard health club because we put a high focus on the social element. We actually have many clubs within the club that bring our members together, including hiking clubs, swim clubs, triathlon clubs, running clubs, tennis socials and tournaments, fitness challenges, etc.”
It’s no wonder Gainey Village Health Club & Spa was once named the best place for singles to mingle by a local publication. But that’s not to say The Village isn’t popular with families. Quite the opposite, according to Nalevanko. “The Village is a great family club, we have child care for all ages and we also offer junior basketball leagues, junior tennis development programs and even summer fitness camps.”
More important, The Village offers some thing for everyone, from the casual weekend warrior to professional athletes. Both Scottsdale locations have an onsite café, a heated resort-style pool, a full-service day spa and salon, a dedicated Pilates studio, a dedicated Mind-Body Studio, and a Hot Yoga Studio. That’s on top of multiple gyms brimming with all the latest equipment, as well as group fitness rooms for more than 350 classes every week, including Kinesis, Gainey Village CrossFit, Zumba and more.
The Village is one of the few health clubs in town still dedicated to racquet sports with racquetball and squash offered at all locations. Plus, the DC Ranch location recently rolled out a stunning all-new $3 million, 10-court tennis center tucked into the mountain foothills of North Scottsdale.
The Village offers plenty for the golf fans out there, including an annual summer 9-hole golf league hosted at the private Gainey Ranch Golf Club. Plus, Village members receive preferred rates at all of the courses managed by Airpark company OB Sports, including McDowell Mountain Ranch and Eagle Mountain.
Most members consider The Village a home away from home, Nalevanko says. “You can spend your whole day at The Village. You can workout, play tennis, get a massage, grab lunch, get your hair done and start all over with a nighttime yoga class.”