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Hidden Gems: Meet Ty Manegold of ROAM Fitness

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ty Manegold. Him/he/his team share their story with us below:

Wasting time in the airport, suffering through cramped flights, and only being able to choose between unhealthy food options, overpriced alcohol, or browsing unwanted trinkets leaves passengers feeling unhealthy, unproductive, and frustrated with the status quo. Our founders, Ty and Cynthia, experienced this time and time again during their travels, both for business and leisure. When they met during grad school back in 2013 at the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business, they knew they had identified a pain-point and one that had a solution. That’s where ROAM Fitness® airport gym and wellness centers come into play. The byproduct of an MBA program and fueled by the founders’ own desire for a better travel experience, ROAM was created not overnight, but its genesis began on the west coast. Fast forward eight years, and ROAM Fitness BWI provides tech-enabled workout equipment, modern facilities, and premium customer service all allow passengers and flight crews to remain connected to their busy lives while focusing on their bodies so they can board their next flight feeling happy, healthy, and revitalized.

In a post-COVID world focused on safety, cleanliness, and hygiene, ROAM’s diverse lineup of wellness merchandise, health-conscious snacks, COVID testing kits, sparkling clean showers, and individual sleeping rooms deliver exactly what tomorrow’s passenger wants– a truly enjoyable experience that does not compromise safety or quality. We believe travel days don’t have to compromise your health, no matter who you are or how you travel.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Working within the airport world has been fraught with challenges. Airports, being quazi-government entities, yet for-profit endeavors are already inherent with polar opposite directives, competing directions, and saturated with typical governmental red tape. Opening any type of store within an airport terminal is leagues harder than the same store on the street. First, you have to convince the airport key decision-makers that your business is wanted, profitable, and compatible with their existing lineup of offerings. This is easier when you’re proposing a slightly different version of an already existing airport concession concept, e.g., a craft beer bar versus a regular bar. But when it’s a totally new idea, like a wellness center, it takes a lot of convincing to get them to understand the value and need of such a service. Then there is the waiting period and transparent public bidding process. Leases can take three, four, five, even ten years to secure and build out from start to finish. This means finding the right spot for your concept, in the right airport, with the right passenger traffic, and finally opening your doors for business can bleed a company dry well before it’s even had a chance. Lastly, because of security factors, plus an inflexible design code set by the airport, typical buildouts can cost up to $1500/sq ft when in a prime location that includes major necessities like water, sewer, and cooking utilities. This is why you typically only see a few major conglomerates operating in airports under different licensed names or internally developed concepts. The system has created an environment where really only the firms with deep pockets and incredibly long horizons can successfully operate; but if you can crack the code, then you’re in the system and that can come with some major advantages and business defensibilities.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
ROAM® is a pioneer in the industry intersection of health, wellness, travel, and retail. While our business model is simple, our execution is precisely refined; we put wellness studios into airport terminals, post-security. But it’s our diverse revenue streams and fluid ability to change as a small business that helps us mitigate future unknowns as the entire airport industry learns how to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

VISION
A network of ROAM airport locations with integrated travel, fitness, and wellness partnerships that enhance the travel experience.

MISSION
Provide an environment where people can care for their bodies in an atmosphere designed for movement and fun.

VALUES
Respect + compassion, communication, health-conscious, global citizenship, impact.

ROAM IS THE SOLE PROVIDER OF AIRSIDE WELLNESS CENTERS

We are the solution for the hesitant traveler who’s wary of returning to the post-COVID airport. Our facilities offer solace to airport employees and flight crews alike, providing a much-needed respite during the workday and bolstering our community’s immune system– helping ward off future viruses. We sit at the intersection of health, wellness, travel, hospitality, and retail. Our goal is to become the focal point for all of these independent yet increasingly related sectors.

Brand experience is our top priority. We pursue partnerships in the fitness and travel industries that share our values and are the best at what they do. We’re providing a place for people to move and care for their bodies but there is more to it than just breaking a sweat. Our gyms are designed with every aspect of travel in mind. We have a system to accommodate luggage, if a guest doesn’t have workout clothes with them, rentals are complimentary or the guest can purchase new apparel and shoes from our retail section. We have plenty of outlets to charge phones and other electronic devices and a shower reservation system that helps make sure guests make it to their gate on time. Our front desk team has hospitality and customer service backgrounds; their main focus is ensuring everyone that interacts with ROAM in some way (touring the facility, purchasing a water, shopping the lululemon apparel, working out) feels like they are seen and heard. We strive to partner with those that are the best at what they do and we are proud to carry their products/support their members in our facilities. Our exclusive apparel provider is lululemon, we use their clothes for our employee uniforms and our rental program and we are the only authorized lululemon retailer in airports. Our equipment manufacturer is Technogym, an Italian company that controls the luxury gym equipment market. Malin+Goetz bath products are provided in all of our private shower rooms, they are made from natural ingredients for sensitive skin. Brooks Running is another partner that is included in both our rental program and retail. Click here for a YouTube link to virtually experience ROAM for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr2G_Pyn9CA

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Outside of work, Ty is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to canoe, hike, or whitewater raft down a river in the Pacific Northwest where he resides. In addition to being a lover of getting outside, Ty is also a certified instrument (IFR) pilot and endorsed in single engine land and seaplanes, as well as holding his multiengine rating. Up next on his list…gliders! Side hobbies include homebrewing, scuba diving, and gardening.

Cynthia hails from the East Coast, originally born right down the road from our Baltimore gym location in Columbia, MD and now resides in Vermont. A frequent traveler, Cynthia enjoys spending a month at home alternating with a month “somewhere else,” be it international or domestic. Able to converse in Swedish, Polish, and Spanish in addition to her native English, there’s few places she can’t travel to and easily navigate from city to countryside. The oldest of three sisters and dog mom to 4 adorable “puppies,” Cynthia relaxes on her winter Vermont weekends sewing up some fantastic quilts, a skill that has been incredibly helpful in tailoring some of our rental gear programs.

Pricing:

  • $25 for a day-pass which includes clothing rental and shower service
  • $30/month for all access annual pass
  • Active and Veteran Military discounts available

Contact Info:

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