Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

November 16, 2013

Planet Fitness under construction at Big Lots plaza

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The new business picture is getting a little healthier in the Town of Lockport, as a leading fitness center will be moving in this fall, officials announced.

Planet Fitness, a national franchise, will open a location at 5897 South Transit Road in the Big Lots Plaza. Economic Development Director David R. Kinyon said Planet Fitness is currently under construction. The gym is targeting an opening later this month.

Last month Supervisor Marc R. Smith said Planet Fitness would be the 19th new business opening this year in the town. There was 18 new openings last year.

Adding businesses to the Big Lots Plaza has been a goal for town officials for some time. About 15,000 square-feet of space will be leased to Planet Fitness.

Currently, the 137,000-square-foot plaza at 5897 South Transit Road is home to discount retailers Big Lots and Dollar General, as well as Fantastic Sam’s, EG Tax Services, Smarty Pants, Fastenal, Ladies Nails, Sherl’s Laundry and Frontier Dental.

”Planet Fitness will be a great addition to the Big Lots Plaza,” Smith said.

Planet Fitness has over 500 locations nationwide, with the closest location being in West Seneca. The New Hampshire-based company is known for its “Judgement Free Zone” philosophy, which means members can relax and get in shape “without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms,” according to the company’s website.

The franchise was founded in 1992, when former CEO Michael Grondahl bought a financially struggling gym and dramatically reduced prices to compete against better-known brands. The idea was to focus on the needs of occasional or first-time health club members rather than more experienced members.

Planet Fitness is also a sponsor of the NBC television show, The Biggest Loser.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.