A former Price Cutter grocery store is taking shape into a place for people to get in shape.
Planet Fitness, one of the nation’s largest fitness club companies, is setting up shop at the former food retailer building on Republic Rd. in south Springfield.
“It is nice for us to be able to come in some economy back to Springfield, but not have to build from the ground up,” stated Travis Satterthwaite, district manager.
The place, which opens next month, will soon be packed with exercise equipment and people getting fit.
“We don’t cater to the typical 10 percent of what Planet Fitness would call lunk behavior. It’s that person that wants the ‘eyes on me’ atmosphere…look at me lifting big weights,’ things like that.”
The facility is new, but the name is already familiar to many. Planet Fitness is a major sponsor of NBC’s 'The Biggest Loser,' which featured local contestant Marie Pearl in the previous season.
“We had a lot of people ask if that is why Planet Fitness came to town. It just happened to be ironic that Marie happened to be in Springfield. She wasn’t the reason we came to town but we are happy to have a contestant from the Biggest Loser here [in Springfield],” Satterthwaite said.
The center says it’ll soon be pumping up its presence in town even more, with multiple locations in the works. A second one is already in the planning stages, and is tentatively scheduled to open in November, though the company has yet to confirm the exact location.
With its expansion into the market, Planet Fitness will have some competition. The city is already home to more than a dozen gyms such as Ozark Fitness.
“We have been doing business in Springfield for 38 years now. And we are really proud of that,” stated Sara Young of Ozark Fitness.
Ozark Fitness says it has been seeing great business during recent years as more people see to become healthier.
“It is a good thing- wanting to be fit. You have more energy, vitality,” stated Young.
Ozark Fitness says it welcomes the competition, and will just keep doing what it’s done best for the last nearly four decades.
“It is business as usual. We love it. Because we know we have a product that meets everybody’s needs It is important that you fill everybody’s needs and I feel like here we do,” Young said.