Back when it opened its first location, Crunch gym had no air conditioning or locker rooms, so staffers had to invent novel tactics to attract members, such as enlisting a live rapper to accompany hip-hop aerobics sessions. Bereft of fancy trimmings, the staff relied on imaginative classes that combined exercise with fun to build a base of loyal fandom and positive buzz. Their judgment-free attitudes and creativity eventually paid off, giving them enough steam to accrue new equipment, several franchise locations, and a reputation for turning boring workouts on their heads.
Today, Crunch locations have all the expected amenities. They boast brand-name machinery and certified trainers, as well as involvement with dotFIT, an online fitness and nutrition resource for members. They also host a range of group fitness classes, covering disciplines such as Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and TRX.
Each of Seattle Sun Tan's 39 locations spans between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet of space dedicated solely to the art of un-sunbathing. Washington-state tanners strut down immaculate hallways dotted with framed original paintings and contemporary artwork before settling into private rooms where they may acquire their desired shade while enjoying the sounds of their own music or prerecorded subliminal messages piped in through the iPod dock perched near each bed. The Smart Tan?certified staff guides clients in selecting which of the five levels of UV bed best fits their tanning needs and whether they desire a short tan time, prefer to stand up or lie down, or wish to bask beneath high-pressure face lamps. Shop shelves offer home tanners quality products from Australian Gold and Swedish Beauty, whereas spray-tanning options from VersaSpa and SunFX both impart a natural-looking faux glow that takes mere minutes to apply and lasts for days.
Aiming to keep their clients looking and feeling great, Tropical Tans offers a variety of services, from B-12 injections and red-light therapy to custom airbrush tanning. Upon entering the low-lit, luxuriously appointed boutique, visitors can head back to private rooms to enter stand-up, lay-down, or hamster-wheel tanning beds. Or they opt for a restorative, UV-free session in one of the red-light-therapy beds.
Within its sparkling suites, Desert Sun Tanning Salon wields top technologies that bronze and freshen figures. After entering the soothing spa atmosphere, complete with golden walls and a mirage of a fishing village filled with sparkling merpeople, patrons can attract elastic double-takes with firmer, younger-looking skin from the red-light-therapy treatment. Quarter-hour sessions help stimulate the production of collagen and capillaries, plumping sunken cells, increasing circulation, and helping heal cuts or scars incurred by activities such as paper stacking or armed thumb wars.