Dear Virgin Active SA,
please switch your saunas back on.
I’ve been asking your club managers from time to time, but they just repeat well rehearsed lame answers.
Here is my thinking:
- You have saunas in all your clubs and we have been paying you for this service for ages.
- We know sauna use is healthy. Especially for people of my age and gender. You don’t want me to die of heart problems do you?
- Cape Town’s dams are 66% full now. We have way more water than when you switched off the saunas.
- A sauna only uses maybe 20 litres of water per day: about 100ml every 3min while operational.
- You keep filling up your swimming pools with WAAAAY more water. The pools seem to not be totally full, but magically never go below a certain level. Hmm.
- If you are filling up the pools, then you can’t be that worried about Level 6 water restrictions anymore… or you buy water from some other source maybe.
- Even just collecting rain water would be enough to operate the saunas, with enough water required for cleaning.
- I’m obviously not talking about “The Fancy One” here. That was the topic of a previous post.
How about you figure out a way to provide the service your customers are paying you for?
If you are a club member, please go ask your club manager about switching the saunas back on.
ps. Please also get a hex bar for deadlifts.
UPDATE: 5 Sept
So VA responded with: “We hear you but the muppets, as you call us, are still bound by Level 6B water restrictions. Until the CoCT and National Gov make the official call, we stick by what they mandate.” and “Kindly note that we are not topping up our pools with municipal water.”
My response was: “Nice to hear that you applied some problem solving thinking to the swimming pool challenge. Keep going… where can you find 20L of water?” and “Swap some rain water in your cleaning routine for a bit of sauna water. How hard can this be? You are clearly just not interested in solving the problem.”
Queue some problem solving initiatives… I have some “leads” for them…
- You limit the water usage of the sauna to 1/2 the standard rate. You would probably need to consult with your sauna vendor, but I can’t imagine it would be that hard to adjust the timer / control system.
- You could even switch off the water control system of the sauna completely. Using filtered rain water, which I’m sure you have been collecting, you could provide some water to the one side of the sauna heating device. You would probably need to procure a beautifully handcrafted Sauna Bucket and Scoop. You could even limit the size of this bucket, to maintain a mood of scarcity and frugality. Yeah, that’s a good idea, make it a small bucket, with a tiny scoop.
- You could introduce a sauna water tax, and require each person using the sauna to provide a bottle of pristine mineral water before entering the sauna area. This bottle will have to be sealed on entry, to be 100% sure that it did not come from a tap in the nearby area. Ideally this bottle should be from a source outside of Cape Town, so you might need to be checking the labels. I think about 1,000ml per person should be an adequate daily contribution.
- You could get a sponsorship for this exogenous, alien if you will, water source. A big branded sign on the sauna door should do the trick. I’m pretty sure you could convince a prominent spring water brand to get involved in this project.
- As part of the above sponsorship, the spring water partner brand could even provide free water to your customers as they enter the sauna area.
- You could make this an authentic Scandinavian sauna experience by partnering with a related spring water brand.
Just imagine, we could be breathing Evian steam sipping cold Evian, celebrating your brilliant problem solving skills!
How about you just solve the problem?
UPDATE 10 Sept
The City of Cape Town has made the move to relax current water restrictions from Level 6B to Level 5 from October 1 2018. Dam levels have reached 70%.
UPDATE 14 Sept
Virgin Active announced that they will switch their saunas and steam rooms back on across the Western Cape from 1 October. Finally. I’d like to think my little campaign played some part in this.