Why Rec Centers Should Choose a Student-Focused Fitness Equipment Partner

In spring 2019, the Quinnipiac University Board of Trustees gave the green light for an exploration into an expansion of the school’s campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The resulting 60,000-square-foot expansion, which includes 15,000 square feet of cardio and strength space, opened in January 2023. Prior to that, QU had purchased most of its strength equipment, but they were leasing their cardio pieces, and it felt like the right time to see what was new in the market.

“We were kind of ready and available to go in any which direction. It was a very exciting time for us,” says Michael Medina, director of recreation at QU. “As we sat down with all the companies out there, we just really loved what Matrix had to offer.”

Specifically, Medina had tried Matrix’s slat treadmills and selectorized machines. He also liked what he heard from another university about the company’s attention to customer service. “Matrix brought us down to Towson, right outside of Baltimore, and we got to tour their facility. We got to talk with their staff,” Medina explains. “And they had nothing but praise for Matrix and their response when the equipment breaks down and making sure that we were in a good spot to really keep our equipment online.”

That attention to maintenance might come in handy, as Medina notes QU RecWell usage is up by about 300 percent from spring 2019 to when the new facility opened in January. “The volume of use has been really, really heavy on a lot of pieces and machines,” he says.

QU first purchased new selectorized machines from Matrix for its satellite facility at York Hill, and Medina says they took the time to get students’ reaction to the new equipment. “We talked to students in that facility, and asked them what they thought of the equipment that we had at York Hill versus our old facility prior to the new RecWell being built,” he says. “And Matrix got rave reviews in terms of the quality equipment that we had. That satellite facility is a quieter, less utilized space, so I think going into it, we were just making sure that we were going to be able to contain the volume of users that we have in our RecWell. So far, things have really held up.”

Medina says that Matrix also scored high marks for going above and beyond simply making the sale by offering intangibles that have meant a lot. “They really wanted to make sure that we were set up for our students to understand how to use equipment,” Medina says. “They had very cutting-edge technology with QR codes that linked to videos on the equipment. If a student walked up to that piece of equipment and had never used it before, not only were there great instructions in terms of how to use it printed on the piece, they were also able to scan a QR code and watch a video of how to use it. I think that’s been extremely helpful, particularly for first-year students who are the predominant residents on our Mount Carmel campus.”

As QU’s new facility smooths out its operations and transitions to a new Fusion CRM system, Medina says Matrix has been the perfect partner, helping keep the focus on getting their students comfortable with the new equipment. “They’ve been checking in with us and making sure that our students know how to work with the equipment, because at the end of the day, none of us are around at 8 o’clock at night when a student is coming into the facility and might be nervous about using that piece of equipment,” says Medina. “Matrix wants to make sure that our students are trained on how to do all of that. And I think that’s really valuable and important, because as much as you want to train your professional staff and make them be a Matrix purchaser for life, the majority of people who are using our equipment are students. Matrix has really spent the time and made sure that our students are really comfortable and understand how to use the equipment.”


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