Blog Posts

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Taymax Clubs Come to the Assistance of California Wildfire Victims

In late 2018, the United States watched as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, the Camp Fire, ravaged the area around Paradise, California. With its neighbors facing unimaginable devastation, Taymax Group Acquisition’s Yuba City Planet Fitness® jumped into action.

Located less than an hour south of Paradise, the club’s general manager, Catherine Peterson, began formulating a plan to assist those impacted by the disaster. Peterson organized goody bags and giveaways, and the location opened its facilities for first responders and those touched by the wildfire to come in, work out, shower or just take a moment away from the destruction.

When franchisee Tim Kelleher’s other locations in the region heard what was happening, they stepped up to the plate. Together, 11 Taymax clubs worked to collect items to send to those affected. Each location brought in a 40-gallon container, decorated it and placed them in the gym with signage explaining to members and the community the company’s goal of giving back to fire victims.

“All the staff and members were very engaged in this donation drive, and it was very well received. For example, one member sewed over 100 stuffed owls for kids and many other members made multiple donations,” said Regional Manager Layna Luchte.

Taymax gathered everything from toys to clothing, bedding to baby supplies, shoes to shower supplies. In just two weeks, more than 4,000 items were collected, and the group’s entire regional management team, maintenance team and general managers loaded five PF® vehicles and made the two-hour trek to deliver the supplies.

The efforts are just the latest example of how Taymax’s 58 locations strive to support their communities. “A big focus for the regional management team in 2018 was to build team connections across all of our clubs and raise awareness about the Judgement Free Zone® across the region,” said Luchte. “This drive helped tremendously with each of these goals.”

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Alder Partners Celebrates 5-Year Anniversaries for Three Atlanta Locations

Alder Partners, LLC is marking milestone five-year anniversaries for several clubs in its Atlanta market. Located outside the city’s 64-mile “loop” created by Interstate 285, the group’s Conyers, Fayetteville and Stone Mountain clubs have found success in the suburbs.

“These clubs have been consistent performers, and Conyers has always been a huge location for us,” said franchisee Stanley DeMartinis Jr.

Part of the success for the PF clubs is attributed to key personnel who have grown with the organization. “Brentley Corcho has been with our organization at various levels and locations for over five years now and is currently the manager at Conyers,” DeMartinis said. “Tiffany Brown has also been with our group for more than five years and currently is our regional manager overseeing the territory Fayetteville falls under.” 

At 29,000 square feet, the Fayetteville Planet Fitness on the southwest side of Atlanta was Alder Partners’ 10th location, coming after the 23,000-square-foot Conyers club and 18,000-square-foot Stone Mountain location. And, DeMartinis and Alder Partners see no stopping the franchise group’s growth.

“We are looking to open three to four clubs this year, including at least one ground-up build, in the Atlanta ADA,” DeMartinis said.

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Danville, Virginia, PF Gets in the Holiday Spirit by Participating in Toys for Tots

For five years, the Danville, Virginia, Planet Fitness has participated in the Marine Corps Toys for Tots, collecting toys for youth that are in need or struggle during the holidays.

After first being approached by Jr. Vice Commandant Bob Holland with the Marine Corps League five years ago, the Danville location, now owned by Michael Turner and CJ Bouchard’s Excel Fitness, has been honored to be a part of such a giving cause. The first year of participating in the toy drive was a huge success, and it continues to grow each year.

Created in 1991, the primary goal of Marine Corps Toys for Tots is, through the gift of a new toy, to help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children. “Participating in the toy drive reminds me to think of others and not just providing for my family,” said Excel Fitness team member Misty Adams.

From the first week of November through the holiday season, Planet Fitness set aside three large bins for members, staff or anyone else to come by and drop toys off. The total number of wrapped toys collected was undetermined, however, all three bins were filmed to the rim with goodies for the children.

Excel Fitness has enjoyed participating in the Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive and will continue to participate and make a difference in the upcoming years. “I enjoy seeing the charity side of members,” said team member Stephen Boyes.

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Leon Honored With Hall of Fame Award in Hometown

Known for his contribution in his hometown area, PF Management franchisee Dave Leon was recently honored for his involvement with his third Hall of Fame award. Trustco Bank recognized Leon as one of five Hall of Fame winners as part of its Home Town Heroes 2018 selections.

Honoring individuals who demonstrate strong community involvement and work hard to make a positive change in the community, the organization said Leon’s commitment to the Rotterdam, New York, area is visible in a number of ways. “He has built businesses that have created numerous jobs throughout the Capital Region and beyond. He has organized relief efforts for victims of natural disasters by bringing his business community together. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the City Mission of Schenectady,” read a plaque presented to Leon.

Leon, who resides in the area, built and owns the retail center in Rotterdam that houses a Trustco Bank and PF Management’s headquarters, supporting the company’s clubs in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and the country of Panama, but his recent award is not Leon’s first Hall of Fame recognition. His first was in athletics for Schenectady High School, with his second – and most cherished – being his Planet Fitness Hall of Fame selection.

“It’s very humbling when you stand side by side with the best of the best. For example, Coach Pat Riley is in the Schenectady Hall of Fame, and a soldier, who paid the ultimate price for this country while saving others in battle, is in the Trustco Hall of Fame,” Leon said. “It feels especially good knowing the award is because you helped others and not for what you did for yourself.”

Giving back is something Leon learned firsthand and continues to focus on both personally and professionally. “I grew up in a very poor neighborhood, and my mom bought us secondhand clothes at the City Mission down the street,” he said. “I now serve as a trustee and board member with that Mission, which provides more than 1,500 meals per week to the less fortunate; weekend backpacks with food for children, homeless shelters and independent living centers; and job training for those who are struggling to re-enter as productive members of the community.”

Since opening his first gym in 1988 to his PF clubs, Leon has built a total of 11 in the Capital Region, and between his construction and development teams and retail operations, he has created more than 200 jobs in the area. That does not account for the employment opportunities created by his Planet Fitness locations elsewhere in the United States and in Panama, or his plans to open 18 additional clubs in Panama and Costa Rica and 14 more in the states within the next few years.

For Leon, there’s no greater purpose than helping those in need, including within the PF family, and the Trustco Hall of Fame highlighted those efforts. “This year, a young man had his college tuition paid for because, a few years back, we, as a PF family and local region, helped him when he lost his entire family in a terrible tragedy as a 15-year-old boy,” Leon said. “Three years later, he continues to work at a Planet Fitness and has a solid foundation for the future!”

Whether it’s PF’s efforts with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America or a local initiative, Leon encourages his fellow franchisees to find ways to be involved and engaged, positive leaders in the community. “At the Mission where I serve, we have a saying – as most of those who come to us come at the very weakest moments in their life – “Let your Mess be our Mission and your Mission be your Mess.”

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Bravo-Fit Celebrates End of 2018 on a High Note

On Dec. 3, Bravo-Fit celebrated the grand opening of its Sherwood, Oregon, location, the group’s fifth club.

Although the club held a soft opening on Nov. 1, Bravo-Fit decided on Dec. 3, which was a pizza Monday, to host the club’s grand opening. The grand opening celebration included a ribbon cutting ceremony and a check presentation to the local Boys & Girls Club which was comprised of the club’s pre-sale start up fees. “Bravo-Fit is here to be the Boys & Girls Club’s biggest fan,” said Tanner Halton, franchisee with Bravo-Fit.

“Walking into a new club that was full of members proved yet again that a clean Judgment Free Zone™ is a welcoming and much-needed environment in the community,” said Dani Van Drew, chief admin officer with Bravo-Fit.

In attendance were members of the local Sherwood community, members of Sherwood’s local Chamber of Commerce and City Council members. “The Sherwood Planet Fitness takes pride in its community and is beyond thankful of the open arms welcome that it has received from the local residents,” said Halton.

But the grand opening of the Sherwood location was not all Bravo-Fit had up its sleeve late last year. On Nov. 11 shortly following the Sherwood location’s soft opening, Bravo-Fit team members joined together to give back to the community by sponsoring the local Give N’ Gobble Turkey Trot.

Thousands of people gathered to participate in the race and donate food to the local food pantry for the holiday, and Planet Fitness was the only sponsor to attend the event. During the event, team members were decked out in all purple and handed out scarfs, candy and Planet Fitness swag. Seven team members even participated in the race.

“The team represented what PF stands for – dedication to community, enthusiasm, optimism and a dedication to spreading happiness and wellness – as they cheered and supported the other 2,000 participants participating in the race,” said Halton. “Bravo-Fit was thrilled to support its community.”

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