Rec services app provides ease, information

Ray Schmidt remembers the frustration. The Iowa State alumnus recalls walking from his dorm to State Gymnasium to work out but forgetting his student ID. Schmidt, recreation services' marketing director, and other members no longer have to retrace their steps as long as they have their cellphone and a mobile app. 

Launched in August 2022, the rec services app provides quick and easy information on 20 topics from a real-time visitor count to personal training and fitness classes. Schmidt said the most popular feature is the digital ID generator users scan for entry. Members -- including more than 530 faculty and staff -- no longer need to bring a wallet or purse to the gym.

"The app makes it easier for our members, but also it deters pass backs, where someone scans in and then gives their card to someone else to use. The app generates a unique code each time," Schmidt said. "We also saw that most of our website traffic comes from mobile devices, so it was like a seamless transition with the app."

The app -- available in Apple and Google Play app stores -- also provides links to facility hours, equipment rental, the Adventure Program and more. Schmidt said the real-time visitor count helps faculty and staff avoid the busiest times of day -- before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

"During the noon hour we see a lot of faculty and staff because we have fitness classes specifically catered to that audience. They can work out and still get ready for their classes or work," he said. "We also have retirees who book our personal trainers, and that is beneficial for them and our students who are interested in that field after graduation."

Competitively priced

Schmidt said rec services keeps membership costs competitive with other options in the Ames area to encourage faculty and staff to join. Memberships are available by the day, week, month or year.

An annual membership costs $30 per month and includes the recreation centers, yoga studio, cycling studio and functional training. Schmidt said individual memberships for each of those services at private facilities could add up to $380 or more each month.