When the weather begins to heat back up next spring, area residents will have a new option when it comes to working out.
A Planet Fitness franchise is set to open at 2028 N. West Ave., in the North West Village Shopping Center, in March or April, though that date is tentative depending on construction at the site, said Ken Horn, marketing manager for the local franchise.
Horn said the El Dorado location will be owned and operated by a franchise group called PF Arkansas, LLC, which is led by brothers Rick and David Kueber. The Kueber brothers own 43 other locations across five states, with the El Dorado location being their 10th in Arkansas, Horn said.
When asked why the group decided to open in El Dorado, Horn said the group has had a lot of success in developing in middle to small markets that are often under-served and overlooked by the fitness industry, using the term “fitness desert.”
“We want to make sure that we’re making high-value, low-cost fitness available to towns like El Dorado,” Horn said. “There’s a great need for it.”
Horn said the group has leased the property on North West Avenue and will begin construction on the facility next month. When the property is finished, the club will be 17,800 square feet and include “hundreds of cardio and strength training pieces, full-service locker rooms, a stretching area (and) a 30-minute circuit training area,” Horn said.
The gym will be open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, with staff always on site, he said.
Once open, Horn said it is anticipated that four to eight full-time jobs will need to be filled, as well as 16 to 20 part-time positions.
Horn said the franchise group is not too concerned about HealthWorks as a competitor because the two offer different services to different clienteles. He pointed to how Planet Fitness would not offer yoga or pilates classes, a pool, a juice bar or child care services, all of which are offered by HealthWorks.
“Planet Fitness is very transparent about what they are,” Horn said. “We’re interested in providing up-to-date, clean, friendly clubs with the newest fitness equipment for people who want to get in there, get sweated up, improve their general fitness and move on with their day.”
The gym will offer two memberships: a basic $10 per month membership for access to exercise equipment and locker room facilities, and a “Black Card” membership for $21.99 per month, which allows for the ability to bring a friend for free, use any Planet Fitness nationwide, use tanning beds, hydromassage recliners and massage chairs. Both memberships allow access to the gym’s in-house fitness instructor.
The local club is tentatively set to begin selling memberships online Dec. 11 and on site Dec. 26, Horn said.