Planet Fitness to locate in Jasper

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Retail officials announced Wednesday that Planet Fitness will soon open its first location in Jasper. Linda Lewis, president of the Walker County Chamber of Commerce, said the national fitness center chain is expected to open its Jasper location in early 2017. “This is great news for our community,” Lewis said. “Planet Fitness is a well-known retailer. We are excited to announce they will be opening a location in Jasper early next year.” Planet Fitness will be located in the building recently vacated by Goody’s. “That building won’t be empty for very long at all,” Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said. “This is another terrific addition to our retail base. The company has a tremendous reputation, and it will be a great fit for our city.”

Lewis said the chamber, the city and Birmingham-based firm Retail Strategies have worked on bringing the fitness company to the area for about a year. “This was a complete team effort,” she said. “The partnership between our three groups works well, and it is the reason we can announce this new retailer.” Scott VonCannon, portfolio director for Retail Strategies, said Jasper is a strong market. “Planet Fitness has seen the success of other retailers, such as T.J. Maxx and Hobby Lobby, in the Jasper market,” he said. “That success combined with the traffic numbers in the city make for an appealing market for retailers. We are happy to do our part in bringing Planet Fitness to Jasper, and we appreciate the hard work of the chamber and the city. Jasper is definitely a pro-business city.” Founded in 1992 in Dover, N.H., Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations. As of Sept. 30, Planet Fitness had more than 8.6 million members and more than 1,200 stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Dominican Republic. There has been no official word on an open date for the Jasper location, but Lewis said she expected it to be very early in 2017. “With the New Year, people will be making resolutions to get more fit, and this is going to give them another option in Jasper,” she said.