Investors bank on wellness and entertainment even as COVID-19 restrictions hamper opening
Although the short-term outlook for the fitness industry continues to look bleak, investors in the new Four Walls Squash and Social Club remain optimistic. Renovations were completed on the 7,000 square foot facility this week, giving fresh life to an historic property on Village Road that has been a landmark feature for over 40 years.
“Today is a bittersweet day: It signifies a brand-new beginning for this landmark property having mounted our new sign on the building after months of costly renovations. At the same time, the continuation of COVID-19 restrictions on fitness and entertainment facilities means we cannot open our doors to the public as yet. Nonetheless, we passionately believe in our vision and remain optimistic,” said Noelle Nicolls, Four Walls Vice President.
The properly formerly known as The Squash Club on Village Road was purchased earlier this year by a group of Bahamian investors. It is the oldest squash club in The Bahamas and will soon be the newest hideaway for professional people to enjoy squash, fitness, food and spirits if the new managers have their way. The property is fully Bahamian owned for the first time in its 45-year history.
“People will be surprised to see what has been hidden in plain sight for so long. It is a huge facility with three squash courts and boutique fitness studios, full-service locker rooms, and our signature bar. Squash is a niche sport, but it offers something everyone can relate to: A social culture for grown folks who value the wine down as much as the work out,” said Ms Nicolls, who is also known for her past journalism, human rights advocacy and professional communications consulting.
The physical building, which sits next to Montague Village, is difficult to miss given its imposing structure, but for much of its history the facility was a private club that catered to a niche community. Different from the past, Four Walls will be fully open to the public with no membership requirements, although attractive squash and social packages will be available. The squash courts will double as boutique fitness studios for instructors to offer gymnastics classes, yoga, karate, aerobics, table tennis and almost any form of boutique fitness.
“COVID-19 took a wrecking ball through our Summer launch plans, so all we can say at this point is that we are opening soon-ish. Obviously, the financial strain is intensifying with each day we are closed. We are scouting an independent operator to run a bistro style restaurant on the property and will soon start hiring staff for our wine and cocktail bar. We plan to make full use of our outdoor patio, and to provide curbside and drive-through service where applicable,” said Michael Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer.
“We have a remarkable facility that deserves to be known and enjoyed by the public. We plan to start very lean and grow as quickly as we can. With our four service offerings – squash, fitness, food and spirits – we plan to make Four Walls Squash & Social Club the coziest hangout for hardworking professionals to escape the daily grind and live healthier and happier,” said Mr Fields, who has an extensive background in banking and business.