It’s a luxurious “second home” for a new generation of leaders. It’s a next-gen spin on private clubs, with a fresh focus on diversity and culture. And it’s about to change the industry by sharing wellness, dining, workspace, and hotel rooms under one roof.
Fitler Club officially opened in June 2019 as a spectacular hub for Philadelphia’s achievers — and a luxurious “stay/work/play” destination that will revolutionize the segment of members only clubs. The club is the first gem in a collection of clubs planned for cities nationwide.
Founded by David Gutstadt, formerly with Equinox Hotels and a longtime hospitality executive who drew on his global travels for ideas and inspiration, Fitler Club encompasses 136,000 square feet of jaw-dropping design, leading-edge technology, and modern luxury. Under one roof at the club: A stunning 14-room hotel, unparalleled gym and spa, 34,000 square feet of workspace and private office suites, and refined yet relaxed culinary and event venues.
“This is a next-level club that reflects a new generation of urban sophisticates. They don’t separate social life, work, and wellness. They’re well-traveled, with exceptionally high standards. And they want to spend time with a like-minded community of other fearlessly creative people,” he said. “Fitler Club is an evolutionary concept, and it says a lot about how cities like Philadelphia have evolved. Our members are the leaders, innovators, and influencers creating that change.”
Gutstadt and his A-list team of investors plan to open a collection of private clubs across the country by 2025, each reflecting the soul of its home city. In every city, Fitler Club’s iconic door logo will get reshaped by local culture, lore, and history. Each club will also take on a name that reflects its home city. Dynamic cities like Dallas, Boston, Toronto, and Washington, DC. are in the prospective pipeline.
Diverse Membership to Include CEOs and Founders, “Up-and-Comers” and Achievers
Preliminary membership is capped at 2,500 – all of whom will be vetted through an inclusive but meticulous application process.
The club already boasts a long waiting list, Gutstadt said. “Although 80% of our first 500 members were comprised of high-profile founders and CEOs, our membership process is intentional and deliberate to ensure our community is diverse in background, profession and thought, and includes established leaders, emerging leaders, up-and-comers and intriguing, high-achieving people” he said.
The membership process starts with an online application and includes an in-person meeting as well as an orientation with other prospective members. As part of their welcome, new members get a limited-edition, custom-designed black tote bag from mission-driven LA cult label Apolis, with the
Fitler Club logo.
With A Modernist Ambience, Fitler Club Reinvigorates a Historic Building
Gutstadt – a self-described design obsessive – teamed with Fitler Club design director Amanda Potter and handpicked partners to create Fitler Club’s astonishing Modernist ambience. The pair recruited M-Rad, the award-winning Los Angeles architecture and design studio headed by Matthew Rosenberg. The project involved gutting the interior of Philadelphia’s former Marketplace Design Center while retaining historic details on the exterior. The result is a bold leap into the future with thoughtful nods to Philadelphia’s rich history. Other important collaborations on the club’s stunning interiors include partnerships with Studio Frazar out of New York City and local firm Fury Design Inc.
Fitler Club’s members-only offerings include The Dining Room, an extraordinary restaurant helmed by legendary Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri; three bars where members can have a drink or hang for an evening; an extravagant, industrial-chic 14-room hotel named The Rooms at Fitler Club; one of the largest and best-equipped urban gyms in the country, called The Field House; a members-only workspace Gutstadt describes as “a business lounge on steroids”, The Study; a high-ceilinged, brick-walled, contemporary event space unlike anything else in Philadelphia; and a cinema-quality screening room with 50 seats.
The event space includes an eye-popping game room, with a two-lane bowling alley, billiards, and arcade games. Highlights: A custom, walnut $10,000 ping-pong table by Sean Woolsey and whimsical bowling balls that resemble giant billiard balls.
A spectacular 20,000-square-foot private swim club – with one of the largest roof decks in the world – is slated to open next year on the roof of an adjacent building.
Celebrity-Studded Investor List, Leadership and Community-Centered Philanthropy Power Fitler Club
Gutstadt recruited distinguished Co-Founders including FS Investments’ founder Michael Forman and NBA and Navy veteran David Robinson (“The Admiral”). With the goal of creating a diverse community of civically engaged and philanthropic leaders, Robinson, his partner Dan Bassichis and his firm, the Admiral Capital Group, recruited other high-profile backers from their investor network with shared values, including Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and U.S. Women’s soccer player Julie Ertz, actress Holly Robinson Peete and former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, Eagles Brandon Graham and Malcolm Jenkins, and former NBA players Baron Davis, Grant Hill, and Shane Battier. Forman and other investors also engaged in the recruiting process, helping build out the investor and membership ranks with representatives from the business, nonprofit, civic and art communities such as: John Fry, President, Drexel University; Shawn Lytle, Global Head, Macquarie Investment Management; Sara Lomax-Reese, President & CEO WURD Radio, LLC; Pedro Ramos, President and CEO, Philadelphia Foundation; Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Film Office; David Devan, General Director & President, Opera Philadelphia; and SueYun Locks, Director, Locks Gallery.
Because Fitler Club members are passionate about philanthropy and social good, Fitler Club will dedicate a percentage of all member’s initiation fees to its own not-for-profit foundation. Working closely with strategic investor Admiral Capital Group, co-founded by NBA legend David Robinson and Daniel Bassichis, Fitler Foundation will work to identify and support high-impact opportunities to give back to Philadelphia communities. “It’s philanthropy through impact investing with a focus on youth and education,” Gutstadt said.
The club will also team with Philadelphia arts organizations and artists. In a 21st-century twist on a precious tradition, the club will offer residencies to artists in exchange for work that will become part of the club’s ever-evolving environment. Fitler Club’s first artist in residence: King Saladeen, the Philadelphian whose abstract work has been displayed at the New York Stock Exchange, and whose capsule collection for Champion x FootAction was a smash sellout. King Saladeen will create a bespoke mural inside Fitler Club’s Field House.
Extraordinary, museum-quality art will surround Fitler Club members, much of it from its founders’ collections. Highlights: Joseph Beuys’ La rivoluzione siamo Noi; Charles Gaines’ Numbers and Trees, Alex Katz’s Suite of 3, and Adam Pendleton’s 36-piece Our Ideas.
Fitler Club will also work with Philadelphia arts collective, Tiny Room for Elephants to curate a miniature gallery and mural inside a photo-booth room in the club’s high-tech event space. The first gallery show will be by Philadelphia artist Flygirrl.
Each Element of Fitler Club Breaks New Ground for a Private Club Anywhere in the World
Gutstadt assembled an all-star team to bring it together. Legendary Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri, known for the critically acclaimed Vetri Family of Restaurants, is Fitler Club’s Culinary Advisor, overseeing all food and beverage, including the city’s most indulgent catering. Jeff Benjamin, who co-founded Philadelphia’s acclaimed Vetri Family restaurants with chef Marc Vetri, is Fitler Club’s executive vice president/operations. Renowned Philadelphia fitness trainer Jayel Lewis is Fitler Club’s director of health and wellness, directing a staff of elite instructors and coaches.
In a beautiful setting on the Schuylkill River and steps from 30th Street Station, Philadelphia’s main rail hub, the club is just steps away from Fitler Square, the historic neighborhood where Gutstadt and his family live. “We’re calling this area the new center of Center City,” he said. “So much is happening here, and much more is on tap. We’re so excited to be on the leading edge of that change.”
Fitler Club is located at 2400 Market St., Philadelphia; fitlerclub.com
About Fitler Club:
Fitler Club is the only lifestyle club designed and built for Philadelphia’s growing community of business, creative, and social leaders. Located in the heart of Center City, Fitler Club combines best-in-class social, hospitality, business and wellness elements into one cohesive offering. With high-end design and an exceptional location, Fitler Club is creating a 24/7 “stay/work/play” atmosphere unlike anything in Philadelphia, or the world.
Fitler Club Highlights:
The Rooms at Fitler Club
Philadelphia’s most extravagantly modern hotel rooms will reside at Fitler Club – and in a limited edition of 14, they’re sure to become the city’s most sought-after rooms. Every hotel guest becomes a member of Fitler Club for the duration of their stay, including access to the Field House, The Study, The Dining Room, and lounges.
Gutstadt calls The Rooms at Fitler Club “industrial chic with elevated service, contemporary but with a nod to great hotel traditions.” For the two master suites, Gutstadt enlisted French furniture retailer Roche Bobois and Philadelphia modern-furniture retailer Minima to each design and accessorize one. Both Master Suites offer expansive living and dining spaces as well as a full bar. Both suites feature custom furniture, art and oversized living and sleeping accommodations including a separate powder room, built-in bar, dining area and soaking tubs with Kallista and Waterworks fixtures featured throughout.
Drawing on his own travels for inspiration, Gutstadt worked closely with the M-Rad team in the creation of the rooms. “Elements are assembled from my own experiences in great hotels all over the world,'” he said. Among them: Bathroom vanities cut from a single slab of marble; solid sliding bathroom doors in sleek metal; Kallista bathroom fixtures; noiseless analog alarm clocks from the London Clock Company; and private WCs. The hotel corridor features a guest pantry complete with whole fruit, homemade cookies and snacks and an automatic coffee and espresso machines from La Cimbali. Rates start at $400/night, with 2 Master suites at $1,500/night.
The Field House Wellness Club
Fitler Club’s world class gym – one of the best equipped in the nation – unfolds over 25,000 square feet. Conceived by Gutstadt and programmed by director of health and wellness Jayel Lewis, the club offers a multitude of fitness classes, private training, and the best fitness equipment members could want, all under one roof. Among them: Full cardio with Life Fitness, Peloton, and Woodway equipment; state-of-the-art studios for spinning, meditation, Pilates and other cardio classes; a climbing wall; a 75-foot 3 lane lap pool with hot and cold plunge pools; HD Golf simulator; giant turf training area; and a lounge. A fully equipped spa and salon also reside in the Field House offering body work and men’s and women’s grooming services. All trainers have earned college-level degrees in exercise science.
Highlight: Philadelphia engineers Oat Foundry have created an exceptional and functional work of art above the Field House’s welcome desk. It’s a retro-inspired split flap display that lists classes and events in place of digital screens common in other gyms.
The Dining Room
A seasonal new-American menu by culinary partner Marc Vetri- in a quietly dazzling room of rich leather, light wood, and gorgeous art – set the tone for The Dining Room, Fitler Club’s members-only signature dining experience. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer beautiful views of The Schuylkill River unmatched anywhere in Philadelphia. A private dining room offers seats at a chef’s table, for private events and exclusive culinary programming. Fitler Club’s wine room, behind a wall of exquisite curved wood and glass, will contain more than a thousand exceptional bottles. The Dining Room’s floor alone is a work of art, with a complex wood-inlay design that’s both classic and completely now.
The Bar + Lounge and The Back Bar
Just off the Dining Room, The Bar + Lounge offers an all-day hangout for members, with extensive morning-to-night menu, signature cocktails, and over 100 brown spirits. Tucked further inside, The Back Bar provides lively evening enjoyment, with live music, stand-up comedy and more. Green leather tufted banquettes create a vintage-cool atmosphere — part speakeasy, part lush-life hangout, part hot music venue.
The Screening Room
The cinema-quality screening room with 50 seats will host movies and first run screening opportunities for Fitler Club members in partnership with the Philadelphia Film Society. In addition, it will show all Eagles games on the big screen as well as host Saturday and Sunday morning movie screenings for kids.
The Trophy Room
Encompassing 3,650 square feet, The Trophy Room is the most unique event space in Philadelphia and features a two-lane bowling alley with whimsical bowling balls that resemble giant billiard balls, billiards, pop-a-shot and other favorite old-school arcade games, and a custom, walnut $10,000 ping-pong table by Sean Woolsey. It is a flexible space that can be used for cocktail hours, receptions, pre-parties, after-parties, dinners and brunches.
Across 34,000 square feet, Offsite offers a five-star private workspace powered by a luxury hospitality team. A full-service coworking space with private executive offices, conference rooms, board rooms, meeting space, and open collaborative work spaces. All this just a few steps away from their go-to lunch spot, workout or cocktail bar.