Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Steele Fitness to Open in St. Paul

“The Steele Fitness high-end personal training company is expanding into St. Paul next year, adding a third Twin Cities location at the current Starbucks space near Victoria Street on Grand Avenue. For Wayzata-based Steele Fitness, the busy and visible east metro location is a good fit, said Steele Smiley, the 32-year-old founder of the eponymous fitness concept. ‘We've been taking names for a waiting list (of prospective customers) for this location for eight or nine months,’ he said. Despite consumers slashing discretionary purchases, Smiley said, Steele's revenue is up 25 percent so far this year versus the year-ago period. Smiley attributes Steele's growth to its concierge approach in customizing a fitness plan to each client's goals and lifestyles. ‘We have people who want to come (work out) four or five times a year and we have people who come in twice a month,’ Smiley said. With us there's no minimum and no maximum.’ The Twin Cities is the top metro area for health club membership, with 29.5 percent of the population belonging to a gym, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. It's also home to fast-growing chains. Hastings-based Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness, based in Chanhassen, are no-frills chains open 24 hours. Life Time continues to expand its big-box clubs. ‘All of us target a very different market,’ Smiley said.”

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