Breathing New Life into Midtown Le Sanctuaire
Midtown Le Sanctuaire is definitely becoming the hippest club in Montréal. Why? Because the Midtown Group focuses on innovation, creativity, change, and most especially, the attention that staff pays to members. Richard Earney, the new General Manager, brings with him a solid experience in the most prestigious private clubs of Europe.
The first Midtown Club was founded in Chicago in 1970 by members of the Schwartz family who had a passion for tennis. Midtown now operates eight large upscale athletic and tennis clubs in North America, including one in Canada, in the heart of Montréal, in Outremont’s Le Sanctuaire residential complex.
For lovers of movement… and good wine!
Mr. Richard Earney, originally from New Zealand, is breathing new life into Midtown Le Sanctuaire. At the forefront of his strategy is drawing in talent. For instance, he recently recruited a leading sommelier recognized in the world of fine dining, Jean-Benoit Hinse. Jean-Benoit is now the Club’s Food and Beverage Director, and runs a wine club for members (also open to non-members).
LUXE interviewed Richard Earney, General Manager of Club Midtown Le Sanctuaire
How would you describe “the Midtown experience”?
We offer much more than any traditional fitness centre. We’re more club than gym, an urban wellness resort. With over 170 classes on offer per week, there are so many possibilities for our members to move. But they also have an opportunity to socialize and take advantage of various events (charitable activities, tournaments, art displays, music events, etc.).
We have all the latest equipment, world-class tennis school and courts, an unbeatably luxurious spa, childcare, a nutrition and rehabilitation clinic, a boutique, a restaurant and indoor and outdoor pools. The Midtown is a club devoted to wellness.
Children are a big part of our club, with a three-part program just for them: Fun, Fit, Focus… They can play sports, practise their artistic talents and have fun under the supervision of our carefully chosen employees.
Tell us about some of the latest equipment you have.
We’re focused on programming and creating an experience. Having more people in front of a coach or in a program has proven to help members achieve their goals. Midtown is leading the technology wave in Québec. We’ve recently opened the MCycle Studio, with over 70 bikes, including award-winning Matrix iC7s and virtual MYRIDE and MYZONE technology to measure heart rate and effort. An interactive light experience controlled by an iPad responds to the music. This is an exceptional studio. We have also installed MYZONE throughout the club, helping to make your movement measurable. Members are soaking it up, with more exciting innovations to come.
What is Midtown’s philosophy with respect to its staff?
We have 225 associates, more than any other health club in Canada, and they are the most important component of the club. Our clients would never absorb the feeling of belonging – the very essence of our mission – without the personal attention they get from our staff. We recently launched an associate training program, called We Inspire and Midtown U (Midtown University), a comprehensive career pathway for coaches. This is an industry first and connects our coaches to academies recognized globally.
Are you targeting a particular clientele?
Our membership is diverse. We’re welcoming more and more young professionals and families, who find everything here they need.
What do you offer the business community?
We’ve recently launched our Corporate outreach program, focussed on partnering with companies to support their workforce in improving their wellbeing, including bespoke programs and team away days. Our belief is that “active, social people lead happier, healthier lives”. Our Club is a place for networking, and with so much going on in the Club, there are so many opportunities to develop contacts.
In a few words, what is the new vision of Midtown Le Sanctuaire?
We want to inspire our members through Movement, Community and Personal Attention. The sense of belonging is our badge of honor. I invite past members to come back and “feel the difference”.
Text: Renée Senneville
Photos: Midtown Le Sanctuaire and Jimmy Hamelin