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The day Chris Rondeau’s pager quit buzzing, he knew Planet Fitness was on to something. It was the year 2000, and he and brothers Mike and Marc Grondahl had just opened their fourth gym in a small New Hampshire town, in most ways like the three that had come before. They had the same purple and yellow color scheme, the same rock-bottom membership prices to attract first-time gym users instead of workout fanatics, and the same “no gymtimidation” slogan to welcome the masses.

But because the site didn’t have enough space, they had stripped out all the extras in their other gyms, like juice bars and daycare and group fitness classes, and had a hundred pieces of cardio equipment or so and that’s about it.

“I had a pager, and the other stores were paging me every day,” to report the usual day-to-day chaos, Rondeau recalls. “The kid in daycare bit someone. The juice machine was broken.” But from the new gym—nothing. “The fourth store was running like a top. You couldn’t even tell it had opened.”

Read more: Franchise Times