Runner's World posted a link on their Facebook page today that I just had to share.
The Westin brand of hotels has announced a partnership with New Balance that gives guests the option to rent athletic apparel - including shoes - for a small fee during their stay at a Westin. It's called Gear Lending, and it's a great idea for busy travelers who don't have the room in a carry-on for workout clothes and shoes.
The Westin's philosophy is "You're more likely to exercise if it's convenient," as shown in a video promo for the program on their website. It's spot-on - if you're away on business for just a few days and only have a small suitcase, it's a hassle to put some clunky running shoes in what is already a limited luggage space. And if you didn't bring your workout gear with you on a trip, you're probably not going to be doing any exercising. This is a great way to reach out to active customers and offer them a valuable service at a nominal fee.
Since the service sounds pretty darn new, I would think that so far, Gear Lending is available at a few larger market hotels and will expand in the future. But I'd also be interested to know about the selection of gear they will have available. There are just a few clothing options for women listed on the website (one pair of capris, a sports bra, and a t-shirt) and one model of neutral-cushioned shoes. Hopefully they will make more options available in the future for pronators, or people who need a stability shoe, etc.
However, this is a great start and an excellent concept. Have you tried Gear Lending at a Westin yet? Let me know in the comments - I'd be interested to hear about the experience.