Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pump It Uptown

“Uptown residents who made a new year’s pledge to get in shape should have no trouble finding a place to sweat in 2010. Three new fitness options are coming to the area, at least two of them this year. LA Fitness is scheduled to move this spring into a new facility in Calhoun Square and a neighborhood gym called Lyn-Lake Fitness is opening this month at Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue. The third newcomer is a spa and yoga boutique that Lifetime Fitness has planned for the former Walker Library building near Lagoon and Hennepin avenues, but the franchise hasn’t set an opening date yet. ‘They’re all different and the good news is that in this health and fitness industry that we’re playing in, about 15 percent of us have some kind of a health-club membership and the rest of us don’t,’ said Lifetime Fitness spokesman Jason Thunstrom. Statewide, Thunstrom’s 15-percent club membership figure is just about right on the mark, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), a trade association for the health and fitness club industry. In Minneapolis, though, the percentage is nearly double that, the highest among all of the country’s major cities, according to the IHRSA. That type of demand spawns diverse competition: large 24-hour gyms, one-on-one facilities, yoga studios, smaller neighborhood centers and so on. There’s room for all of them as long as they can each find a niche and pay attention to their customers’ changing needs, said IHRSA spokeswoman Kara Thompson. ‘No matter which type of club, to sustain their competitiveness in today’s market, they must reinvest in their facility,’ she said. ‘As new trends, equipment and programs arise every year, clubs need to stay abreast of them and be proactive by reinvesting in their facilities, their equipment, their programs and even their club design.’ In Uptown, each of the facilities that has opened or will soon open has found a way to make their operation distinct while still targeting largely the same demographic.”


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