Gatto hit the ground running this month, preparing for the fitness facility’s May opening
By Yoko Minoura
When he was first hired at Nike 15 years ago, Dominic Gatto spent his days greeting guests, folding towels and cleaning fitness equipment at an employee gym.
By the time he left to move to Bend last June, Gatto had spent six years managing two employee gyms at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, serving 800 to 900 people every day.
As Tetherow’s new fitness manager, Gatto plans to offer a similarly top-flight experience.
“(At Nike), you need to make the experience top-notch, world class. It’s very much the same here,” he said. “I have high expectations. I won’t beg or apologize for that.”
Gatto will be responsible for setting and coordinating fitness programs; hiring instructors and trainers; and ensuring the entire operation runs smoothly. He’s already digging into the 300-plus responses to a survey of Tetherow members asking about their workout habits and “wish lists” for classes.
While that will help shape some of the fitness center’s offerings, Gatto said he wants to focus on programs that are performance-based and, more importantly, unique to Tetherow.
“You’re not necessarily going to come here to hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes,” he said. “If you’re an avid skier, what can we do to help your performance? (Or) if you’re a mountain biker, a paddle boarder, a rock climber.
“We’re going to be different than anywhere else.”
Specific classes have not yet been decided, but Gatto stressed that he will seek feedback on an ongoing basis. The fitness center will never be all things to all people, but it should be able to respond more nimbly to guests than a larger, corporate-owned gym.
Gatto said that was part of his motivation for leaving Portland. While his wife, Heather, still works for Nike remotely, he was tired of the corporate life. They were also looking for a good place to raise their daughter, Abriella, turning 5 this month, and were familiar with Bend after many trips to see friends here.
Since then, Abriella’s become the typical outdoorsy Bend kid – she skis, mountain bikes, paddleboards and is currently taking a rock-climbing class.
“I think I’ve created a monster because every day she wants to do something new,” Gatto joked. He keeps busy trying to keep up with her; about the only thing he doesn’t do is golf.
Despite that, Tetherow seems like a good fit.
“What was most appealing to me is it’s new, it’s specific to the membership, it’s high-end – which I’m used to – but it’s intimate,” he said. “Working with the (Nike gym) members is what I thrived on.”
And there’s one other perk: The Row makes the best cheeseburger in Bend.
“I’ve had every burger in town, just about,” Gatto said, and Tetherow’s comes out on top.
“I’m going to pin (Executive Chef) Zac (Hoffman) down and find out how they make that burger.”