Today’s home gyms, like this casita from Blue Heron, combine privacy, flexibility, spa-like comfort, and stunning views.
When your gym offers a view as spectacular as this one in The Ridges, working out no longer feels like work.
A home gym in Southern Highlands.
This home gym is part of an 8,800-square-foot Canyon Gate estate that also features a pool, a spa, and a waterfall; it recently sold for $3.15 million.
Today’s hottest, most sought-after residences are personalized retreats, where custom fitness facilities are a key component of that stay-at-home resort lifestyle. Think spa-like luxury and comfort, increasingly occupying prime indoor locations.
“Homeowners want a workout room with an interesting and engaging vantage point, overlooking the pool, mountains, or golf course,” says Tyler Jones, a cofounder of Blue Heron Homes, a luxury custom home builder. “As a result, exercise rooms now occupy premium spaces within the home for beautiful views.”
Blue Heron often builds casitas that serve as stand-alone fitness centers, creating a personal exercise haven that’s convenient and relaxing without the need to put on makeup or drive across town. Working out in seclusion also means you don’t have to worry about peer pressure or prying eyes. A home gym can even be cheaper than the recurring dues of a fitness club membership. “We try to create relaxing environments that ease tension,” Jones says. “We want home to be a place you never want to leave.”
Yet home gyms are actually getting smaller. Smart design and innovative technology allow for greater functionality, resulting in a more diverse workout in less space. “Homeowners don’t have large gyms anymore because everything does double duty,” says Kristen Routh-Silberman, a luxury home specialist with Synergy Sotheby’s International Realty.
A yoga studio, for example, can also serve as a meditation and massage room. A dance room can be used for aerobics and kickboxing. A basketball court can be converted for volleyball, badminton, and tennis. The equipment can multitask as well. The Nautilus NS4000, for example, has 12 exercise stations and four 200-pound weight stacks, allowing multiple users to work out simultaneously. You can exercise your chest and shoulders, back and legs, abs and arms—yet the machine is less than eight feet wide.
Still, homeowners prefer dedicated space for their home gyms, says Gavin Ernstone of the real estate firm Simply Vegas, who specializes in properties listed at more than $2 million. One seller, who recently offered his home in the exclusive 23-property Arrowhead development in The Ridges through Ernstone, spent $77,000 in the past year converting a sunroom into a gym, fully equipped with Lifestyle Fitness machines and a rubberized floor. On one side of the glass breakaway doors, gym goers are treated to sweeping views of the 16th, 17th, and 18th holes of the Bear’s Best golf course, and on the other, a courtyard with a central Jacuzzi.
According to broker Rob Jensen, president of the Rob Jensen Company, which specializes in guard-gated luxury real estate, homeowners are also opting for dedicated space for the activities they love, including bowling alleys, batting cages, and putting greens. “Fitness facilities can be tailored to accommodate the likes and tastes of any individual homeowner,” he says.
The options run the sports gamut: a shooting range or a racquetball court, an indoor track or a boxing ring, a climbing wall, skate park, or racetrack. And while Las Vegas’s year-round sunny weather makes outdoor pools ubiquitous, indoor pools are still fairly uncommon—but that’s starting to change as home lap pools become more popular. A gym can be decorated to reflect the homeowner’s aesthetics, incorporating items like photos, artwork, and signed sports memorabilia. Programmable temperature controls can create a custom climate, while rubber-mat and wood flooring ease the impact on the joints. Many home gyms also feature an attached private bathroom, steam room, sauna, or lounge.
Larger properties, where space is plentiful, can accommodate things like equestrian activities, with horse stables and riding arenas. The Primm Compound, for instance, has a 10-stall stable, an arena, and trainer’s quarters. The 10-bedroom, 12-bathroom complex, on 10 acres, also features a driving range, a tennis court, and an underground shooting range, as well as a gym and steam sauna. The southeast Las Vegas property, owned by casino mogul Gary Primm and his ex-wife Carol, is available for purchase for $16.5 million.
“Gary’s family and kids enjoy an active lifestyle,” says Routh-Silberman, who is listing the property. “The custom residence enables them to pursue a variety of sports and outdoor activities. They never need to leave home.”
photography courtesy of blue heron architecture; eric penrod/perfect images