Owners Keith and Kathy Rawlings are the driving forces behind the success of The Arena Club, this year’s BEST OF winner in four categories: Health Club, Indoor Activity, Party Place and Swim Club. “People and relationships are what matters in life,” says Kathy. “The Arena club staff all live in Harford County—our families and friends are all part of this community. It is important to us to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable so we can help them achieve their goals.”
This hands-on, family approach to their business is a large part of the Rawlings’ success today. “What we hear continuously from our members is that we are the cleanest, friendliest club in Harford County,” says Sandra Rodenas, marketing director for The Arena Club. “This is a top down mentality from our ownership to our employees. The owners and our staff take a personal interest that every member experience exceeds expectations,” she continues.
The Arena Club offers over 80,000 square feet of “fitness and fun,” according to Rodenas. Their state-of-the-art equipment with high-tech personal viewing monitors, three different training circuits, a fully-equipped strength training area and over 74 free group fitness classes each week, the club is a great resource for thousands of Harford County residents. The club also has a large indoor artifcial turf field that hosts numerous indoor sports and conditioning training as well as youth and adult soccer leagues.
It’s no surprise that The Arena Club was our top vote getter with amenities like year-round swimming with a water park and packages that include “sport and splash” parties as well as Zumba parties for adults and kids. “A lot of area businesses and churches do their outings here for their employees or their congregation,” says Rodenas. The club also has a recreation pool, therapy pool, lap pool, a spa and a baby pool. “We have something for everyone. We also have a wonderful swim team comprised of members and non-members. We offer swim lessons that are open to the public.”
The success of The Arena Club can also be measured by the way they give back. The Rawlings are actively involved in many local and international charities including hosting the Santa Sleigh 5K Run, which raises money for the Boys and Girls Club of Harford County. The Arena Club’s summer camp program also developed a community project with another 5K run, giving all the proceeds to the Anna House—a program of Catholic Charities of Baltimore that offers transitional and permanent housing for homeless women and their children in Harford County.
“We are also very involved in Healthy Harford and the Coalition for a Healthy Maryland. We organized a 5K race called the Monster Dash in October 2010 that was run in Harford and Columbia Maryland with all proceeds donated to the Coalition for a Healthy Maryland,” explains Rodenas.
In addition, when there are disasters around the world, The Arena Club tries to partner with churches and local organizations to get donations, which help impoverished communities around the globe. Most recently, The Arena Club sent football equipment and monetary donations to Nairobi Kenya as well as soccer equipment to Honduras. The club also supports local schools and interest groups throughout the year.
This BEST OF winner is an example of a Harford County business that really tries to better the lives of so many in the community and the world. And for that, we thank them for pitchin’ in!
The Arena Club
2304 Churchville Road
Bel Air, MD 21015