ST. GEORGE — After signing official documentation, Duane “Smitty” Smith, owner and operator of Desert Palms Health and Fitness Club, has announced his retirement, along with other changes that will be taking place at the fitness center.
“For the last six and a half years, Duane has poured his heart and soul into the success of Desert Palms,” said Chris Beckstead, the new manager of the health and fitness center. “The gym and the community are better for having had him at the helm.”
New management and new ideas
With Smith’s retirement, new leadership was recruited to steer the ship. Beckstead, who has been managing the St. George Recreation Center for over four years, was brought on board to direct the business.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the the Desert Palm Family,” Beckstead said. “I have had a very positive experience with the city of St. George, where I have developed a deep bag of tools to run a club like this. I can’t wait to use those tools to take Desert Palms to the next level.”
There will be some immediate changes taking place at the original St. George health club, according to Beckstead. Already, there has been movement toward replacing equipment, giving the building a face-lift, increasing the variety of offerings in the pro shop, adopting exciting new fitness classes and getting a new marketing strategy.
As with any venture, the single greatest investment that Desert Palms can make is in people. During the management transition, there has not been a single employee terminated.
“The worst thing new management could do is try and start over with new staff,” Beckstead said.
While some roles may change, the same staff will be there running the gym. In addition to investing in their staff, Desert Palms will be reaching out to the members of the gym. Customer appreciation events, member recognition programs and members-only specials will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months.
Former members of Desert Palms who have left but want to come back can do so at a discounted rate. From Nov. 9 to Nov. 20, if you sign up for a new membership and show your old membership card, Desert Palms will waive the one-time registration fee.
About Desert Palms
Desert Palms is located at 491 N. Bluff Street, Suite 101, in St. George. There are aerobic classes like high fitness, yoga, R.I.P.P.E.D., pilates and zumba. Other services include a pro shop, hot tub and sauna, as well as an array of free weights, machine weights and a full cardio theater. There is also personal training available.
For detailed information on classes, operating hours and other offerings visit the gym online or call 435-628-4617.