Planet Fitness joins workout boom!
A fitness boomlet seems to be under way in Springfield — the construction kind.
Planet Fitness has set up a temporary trailer at 1756 Wabash Ave. in preparation for its first store in the local market. The facility, adjacent to the U.S. Post Office, is part of The Yard shopping center.
The company has not yet announced an opening date, but it is using the trailer to begin signing up members. The Springfield store is among two dozen, including one in Rockford, scheduled to open nationwide in the next few weeks, according to the Planet Fitness website.
Planet Fitness, based in Newington, N.H., operates more than 550 fitness centers in the United States and Puerto Rico.
A series of fitness centers have opened, expanded and relocated in the Springfield-Chatham market the last few years, including national franchises such as Curves for Women, Charter Fitness (formerly Cardinal Fitness), Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness. The Gus and Flora Kerasotes YMCA also opened at 4550 W. Iles Ave. a year ago. The YMCA is through a partnership with Memorial Health System. FitClub owner Kevin Imhoff, who has three local centers, said he is not surprised by the steady entry of national fitness chains into the market. Imhoff opened his first facility in 1994.
“There’s been a lot of hype of the fitness message, and it’s really reached people,” said Imhoff. “I personally believe there is plenty of capacity here. The west side of town may be getting a little saturated.” Imhoff said there are no immediate plans for a fourth FitClub, though he said he hasn’t given up on plans for a pool and health center in partnership with the Ball-Chatham School District. The plan, announced last year, has been put on indefinite hold while the district concentrates on its finances, including a $36 million construction bond referendum that is on the Nov. 6 ballot. “Once they are past the referendum, maybe things will settle down and we’ll revisit it,” Imhoff said.