Walmart opens fitness center on new campus
Walmart's new campus promised to propel the company's employee amenities into the future — and now it has started to deliver with a 360,000-square-foot fitness center.
Driving the news: The center opens Friday, the first amenity to open at the new headquarters. Axios took a tour of the facility this week.
Details: In addition to the endless rows of workout machines you'd expect in a gym meant to serve one of the region's (and world's) largest employers, it also has:
- Tennis, pickleball and basketball courts, plus space for soccer
- Racquetball and squash courts
- Three indoor pools and a hot tub
- A yoga/sound bath studio and several fitness class studios
- Meeting rooms
- A meditation garden
- A kitchen, a cafe and rest and recharge area with massage chairs and cryotherapy — where you're exposed to extreme cold for a short time
The intrigue: The center also includes a youth activity center with baby, toddler, school-age and tween rooms, where children can play while their parents work out. There's even a mini-gym for older kids.
- The center plans to host summer camps and activities for other times when kids are out of school, director Megan Henley said during the tour.
By the numbers: Employees can pay $12 every two weeks for a membership for themselves or $21 for their families.
- Some fitness classes will require an additional fee.
- The starting cost for the youth activity center is $15 a month for one child.
What they're saying: One of the goals of the center is to embody the "whole health" approach, Henley said. That's why members will have access to a dietician and health coach and can learn cooking tricks in the kitchen.
- The whole health approach focuses on physical, emotional and mental health and emphasizes preventative care and healthy lifestyles. It's the philosophy of Walmart heir Alice Walton's upcoming health nonprofit and medical school coming to Bentonville.
The big picture: Walmart wants to retain and attract talent with its 350-acre headquarters in Bentonville that will also include modern working spaces, a childcare center, a hotel, stores and restaurants.
- The company expects to move all 15,000ish of its corporate employees to the new campus in 2025.
Of note: The center is for any Walmart or Sam's Club employees. They do not necessarily have to work at the Walmart headquarters.
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