Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All-Hours Fitness Centers Running Popular Among Residents

“A new trend in the fitness industry reveals an obvious truth: People value convenience. Twenty-four-hour fitness chains have been spreading rapidly throughout the country, and Livingston County is a part of the movement. Area 24-hour gym members say having unrestricted access for their workouts better fits their schedules, which don't always match the operational hours of traditional gyms. ‘I usually work until 9, and most gyms close around that time,’ said Annie Krupinsky, a member at Snap Fitness Center in Howell, which is open 24 hours. ‘I don't have to worry about rushing to get here or rushing to get my workout in.’ Snap Fitness, like many 24-hour workout spots, operates with member access cards. During unstaffed hours, members can enter the locked facility with their cards. The Howell Snap Fitness Center on Michigan Avenue is secured with surveillance cameras and an emergency alarm system. The center includes the most used types of exercise equipment, such as free weights and cardio and resistance machines, as well as 24-hour tanning services. ‘People love it,’ said Matt Letten, who owns the Snap Fitness Center on Michigan Avenue in Howell. ‘People are always talking about the convenience factor. It's the proximity to their homes and the fact that they don't have to rush to get here before it closes.’ In addition to the Howell location, there is a Snap Fitness in Hartland Township and another opening soon in Brighton. There are 59 franchise locations in Michigan with 27 more in development. Snap Fitness, based in Minnesota, began franchising in 2004 and now has more than 1,600 centers operating in the United States, Canada, Mexico and India. In 2004, the company had an annual revenue of $150,000, and by 2007 had an annual revenue of $18 million. Similarly, Anytime Fitness, also open 24 hours, is growing in popularity. The 24-hour gym franchise has locations in Hartland Township and Hamburg Township with others scheduled to open in Howell and Brighton. There are 33 Anytime Fitness centers in Michigan with 14 that are scheduled to open soon. Last year, the number of Anytime Fitness Centers in the United States and Canada grew from 593 to 958. The company opened its 1,000th location in January. Also, the two chains do not include pools, basketball or racquetball courts in their gyms, which cuts operational costs and allows owners to offer comparably lower rates than chains that provide extra amenities. Life Time Fitness, which also offers chain locations open 24 hours, provides spa and child-care services and basketball, racquetball, and tennis courts as well as workout machines and weights. The chain doesn't have a Livingston County location, but the Life Time Fitness in Novi offers single memberships starting at $59.95 per month.”

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