From only a handful of fitness centres in 2015, in the last two years the fitness market in Costa Rica has seen more club openings than ever before. “After the rising growth rate of the fitness industry in recent years, Costa Rica is following suit,” says Jaya Zelkowicz.
Based out of Costa Rica, the Zelkowicz family own businesses in the construction, electronics and automobile industries and in 2016, added fitness to their portfolio.
Formerly part of the Zumba corporate team, Jaya Zelkowicz runs the Group Daytron business, handling the local fitness market. In 2016, Jaya and the team met Naveed Khan, International Distribution Manager, at IHRSA in Florida. “I was impressed with the brand, the bike. The guys are constantly innovating and I thought the bike was a great product from every aspect - ride and look,” Jaya recalls.
In that same year Group Daytron was appointed Costa Rican distributor for Stages Indoor Cycling. Jaya still makes it a priority to visit IHRSA and FIBO every year.
Two years later, IHRSA San Diego 2018 gave Stages Indoor Cycling’s international distributor partners a preview of the year’s newest product developments. We asked Jaya what she thought of the latest launches and how they will impact the Costa Rican market.
“Home fitness is huge for us right now in Costa Rica. Residential sales have made a huge contribution to our growth since 2016. Just three months prior I was asking Naveed about competitive options for home fitness, so the unveiling of the new Stages Solo bike stood out to me one hundred percent at this year’s trade show.
“The SC2 was the perfect entry bike product for us to introduce the local market to group indoor cycling. Right now group fitness, CrossFit and functional team training is prominent. Personal training and the adoption of data will come through time as the market matures—this process of adoption is pretty typical in Costa Rica. Between the SC2 and SC3 bike options, we’ve been able to consult with a number of indoor studios who are looking to completely reinvent their group cycle offering and compete in a rapidly growing market.
“Custom branded bikes excite a lot of customers who are prepared to pay a little more to have a fully branded studio offering. Ahead of the curve, we launched Stages Flight with EnerGym this year. Group display technology, data displays and class competitions were all pretty new concepts to the market and we were interested to see how the audience would respond; it was different to what people were used to — smarter, you know. Now if you switched the screen off, members would go crazy [laughs]! So I was excited to have Naveed show me the latest advances for Stages Flight and the software updates for 2018.”
Naveed continues: “Costa Rica is a unique market with group fitness slowly on the rise. Jaya and her parents have been our perfect strategic partner for developing indoor cycling in Costa Rica from the get-go — EnerGym is an amazing showcase facility and testament to that. Watch this space... Jaya and I are working on a number of live projects across the region as we speak and although we can’t share anything at the moment, expect exciting things to come from Costa Rica."