Planet Fitness opens first location in SylvaniaWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Planet Fitness franchise opened its first Toledo-area location in Sylvania with a grand opening Dec. 5 and plans for more facilities in Northwest Ohio. The 22,185 square-foot Planet Fitness is located in a former hardware store in the Timberstone Commons shopping center on Sylvania Avenue at McCord Road.
“Toledo is a terrific market and we’re proud to bring a whole new health club experience to this area,” said Bryan Rief, Planet Fitness franchisee. “There are plenty of opportunities for us in this area.”
Rief said it is his first location in Ohio and he is aggressively looking for additional locations in the Toledo area to further expand in the next 24-36 months. His franchise now operates nine Planet Fitness centers in metr Detroit based out of Livonia, Mich.
“Our mission is to offer everyone a friendly, nonintimidating atmosphere to exercise at a very affordable price. This club will showcase our massive selection of top-of-the-line cardio and strength equipment with grand opening offers you won’t find anywhere else,” Rief said.
The local Planet Fitness includes more than 150 pieces of equipment, a 12-minute abs circuit, 30-minute express circuit, tanning and red-light therapy booths and massage chairs. It provides locker room facilities with day lockers, showers and private dressing stalls for men and women.
Certified fitness trainers on staff will help members design their own programs based on an individual fitness evaluation and each person’s goals. The trainers will supervise workouts to assure that members are getting what they need and want at no additional charge, Rief said.
“There are no contracts or long-term commitments,” Rief said. “We’re the low-cost provider of high-quality fitness so we’re in a better position to grow during the tough economy.”
Rief said they don’t divulge membership numbers but anticipate the Sylvania location would have a couple thousand members at maturity.
Planet Fitness features more than 100 pieces of cardiovascular equipment including treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical and arc trainers for a full-body workout. Each cardio machine is connected to an entertainment system of 16 wide-screen HD televisions.
The 12-minute abs circuit includes exercising for one minute each at nine different stations, resting for 30 seconds in between each. The 30-minute workout allows members to exercise for one minute at 10 different machines and step boxes, resting for 30 seconds between the stations.
A Black Card membership is available for $1 down and $19.99 a month, plus a $39 annual membership fee that carries additional benefits such as free reciprocal use at almost 500 locations nationwide, unlimited guest privileges, tanning, red-light therapy and massage chairs.
Rief said Planet Fitness charges a buyout fee of $58 to cancel a Black Card membership. Members can cancel a membership at anytime without further penalty.
Planet Fitness is billed as “The Judgment Free Zone,” offering a relaxed atmosphere with a low tolerance for bodybuilders and a commitment to helping people of various fitness levels. It features a “Lunk Alarm,” a flashing blue beacon and siren that is sounded to deter any members from the hard-core “look at me” behavior found in too many gyms, Rief said.
“Our philosophy works phenomenally well for people,” said Art Nichols, regional manager for the Planet Fitness franchise.
Nichols began working with Rief four years ago when he started his Planet Fitness franchises. He has managed one location and now oversees the daily operation of all ten locations.
Planet Fitness was founded in 1992 with a single fitness club in New Hampshire. It began franchising in 2003 and has more than 400 locations in the U.S. today.
Forty percent of all franchisees own more than one unit and 70 percent are owner operators. A net worth of $1.3 million with $400,000 in liquid cash is required for franchisees. A franchise fee of $10,000, ongoing royalty fee of five percent and a total investment from $673,000 to $1.658 million are the financial requirements for a Planet Fitness franchise, according to www.entrepreneur.com.
Planet Fitness has been named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America for three consecutive years by Inc. magazine.
For more information, visit the web site www.planetfitness.com.
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