Homeland Security spends over $450,000 on upscale gym memberships

ICE employees will now work out in the same facility as "many celebrities and dignitaries" visiting the Beltway.
By Matt Bradwell  |  Aug. 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The Department of Homeland Security will spend over $450,000 on gym memberships in an attempt to "improve working conditions" for TSA agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees.

In June, DHS announced it was seeking a gym within a tenth of a mile from the Washington D.C. procurement office, seeking to give ICE employees working desk jobs the ability to exercise "primarily during the mid-day lunch period."

"As part of the agency-wide Health and Wellness program, sponsored by Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has a requirement to provide ICE employees ... with access/membership to a fully comprehensive state-of-the-art health club facility," the official solicitation said.

On July 7, DHS announced the fitness contract was awarded to Vida Fitness, an upscale urban gym that offers members a spa access, a salon, and "the rooftop Penthouse Pool and Lounge."

"The Renaissance location features our most expansive Aura spa and covers over 10,000 square feet of space. Our full-service locker rooms are stocked with a variety of complimentary products from Bang Salon."

DHS will spend over $400,000 for 236 two-year memberships, or more $70 per month on each employee, improving their working conditions by granting them access to exercise alongside "many visiting celebrities and dignitaries."

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced the purchase of $52,650 of gym memberships for up to 75 agents employed at Phoenix Sky International Airport.

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