Victoria hotel guests pedal for power in green gym
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The Victoria Athletic Club, located in the Hotel Grand Pacific, is the first in North America to use an innovative new system of exercise equipment capable of generating electricity.
“The system is creating a lot of interest with the members,” said Kevin Attewell, director of the Victoria Athletic Club.
The SportsArt "green system" equipment includes stationary bikes and elliptical machines that display electrical output in real-time on wall-mounted monitor and is downloaded to a mobile device. Electricity is then fed back into the building’s power system via a special inverter.
Club member Douglas Simbert finds his sessions are longer and more intense because of the new machines.
“For years I’ve gone to health clubs and seen all these people working out and wondered why we couldn’t use all that energy to create electricity and now somebody has gone and done it, I think it’s fantastic,” he said.
The new state of the art gym will help cut the hotel’s hydro bill by about $3,000 a year, and when all 10 human-powered generators are going flat-out, 2,000 watts of electricity is produced.
As an incentive, guests who work out and contribute electricity to the building by using the equipment will be rewarded with points to use for purchases in the gym or hotel.
A company in Washington State manufactures the SportsArt equipment while the wireless communication system is the brainchild of engineers at Victoria’s Ecofit.