Business owner, nonprofit founder helps nourish a healthy San Diego
by Mariko Lamb
Jan 06, 2012 | 3775 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Scott Lutwak brought his successful business model from Houston to downtown’s East Village when he opened Fit San Diego in 2008. 	Courtesy photo
Scott Lutwak brought his successful business model from Houston to downtown’s East Village when he opened Fit San Diego in 2008. Courtesy photo
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When Scott Lutwak, owner of Fit San Diego, launched his business in February 2008, he wanted to create much more than just a gym. He wanted to create a new generation of health-minded fitness enthusiasts, and he chose the East Village for his blank canvas, expanding his health-club concept from its beginnings in Houston, Texas.

“I took my family on vacation here and fell in love with this city,” said the Chicago native. “I knew when it came time to expand Fit Houston, I would relocate to San Diego. San Diego is considered one of the healthiest cities in America, and I wanted to establish the Fit brand here.”

Today, the San Diego location provides members with the opportunity to relax by the pool, take advantage of nutritional meals at the club’s cafe, or socialize with friends in the lounge.

The upscale $10 million facility hosts top-of-the-line amenities with a lounge complete with computers and wireless Internet, technologically advanced exercise equipment with plasma TVs and iPod docks, steam rooms, dry saunas and even a Japanese meditation garden and can boast 5,000 members and counting — despite launching the business at a most inopportune economic environment.

“When the recession hit and people began looking at how they were spending their money, our members saw the value in all Fit had to offer them,” he said. “We stayed true to our game plan — we continued providing our members a unique experience every time they walked in the door.”

Part of that unique experience includes a Food at Fit program to ensure that members reach their goals to look and feel better by eating healthy. Meals can be purchased at the café or can be ordered online.

In addition to nourishing members of his club, Lutwak extends a helping hand to the homeless population in San Diego.

“Ever since I’ve moved here, I have been extremely disturbed and affected by San Diego’s homeless population. Myself and some close friends recently formed a nonprofit called Urban Angels with the sole purpose of nourishing those in need,” he said. “The food comes from our production kitchen, which produces all of the nutritional meals for Fit Natural Foods and the Food at Fit program we have in our club.”

Another unique opportunity offered by Lutwak is the Perx program — a cross-marketing opportunity for local businesses to gain exposure with the club’s members. Businesses, Lutwak said, can offer members special discounts, and in return, Fit hosts events the business, invites them to participate in the monthly Member Appreciation Days and lists them on the Perx website at www.fitperx.com.

Ever the entrepreneur, Lutwak took another chance on a business start-up with Brooklyn Bagel and Bialy, located just down the street from Fit on Island Avenue. Food and health, he said, rarely make for bad business decisions — especially when done right.

“I knew the concept would work because although people need to cut out frivolous expenses, they always have to eat, and we all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” he said. “The authentic way that we boil our bagels is something that Einstein’s does not do. Everything is homemade. Everything always changes based upon the requests of our customers. We are a mom and pop shop, and we try to keep it that way.”

For more information, visit www.fitathletic.com or call (619) 764-5348.
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