Planet Fitness coming to Rock Hill

03/18/2014 7:17 PM

03/18/2014 7:18 PM

Planet Fitness, a 24-hour gym, will fill the Cherry Park Center space being vacated by Compare Foods.

Compare announced last week it is closing its only South Carolina location by March 31, citing poor performance as the reason for closing.

Planet Fitness will step in almost immediately. Gerald Kennedy, managing partner for the Rock Hill franchise, hopes to start construction by June 1 and open by late summer or early fall.

At 30,000 square feet, the Rock Hill location will be one of the largest Planet Fitness locations, Kennedy said Tuesday.

Typically a Planet Fitness has between 20,000 to 28,000 square feet, he said.

The expanded space will allow the Rock Hill location to have more cardio and strength machines.

Planet Fitness is a national chain with locations in every state except Wyoming and Montana.

Kennedy operates seven Planet Fitness locations including the Fort Mill-area gym at the Tega Cay Village, 825 Cross Road Plaza.

The Fort Mill-area location already has more than 7,000 members since opening September 2013, Kennedy said. Similar membership or more is expected for the Cherry Road location.

Kennedy said Cherry Park Center is a prime location and that the Rock Hill gym should be almost identical to the Fort Mill one.

He said the response in Fort Mill has been “phenomenal.”

Both are underserved markets, Kennedy said.

Planet Fitness does not cater to the “expert fitness person or the body builder,” Kennedy said. The gym is marketed to those who “have never worked out at a health club, he said.

The philosophy at Planet Fitness is to take the risk out fitness, from workouts to payment.

“We are a judgment-free zone,” Kennedy said.

There are two membership levels.

The basic monthly fee is $10. For $19.99 per month, members have access to hydromassages, tanning beds, half price on cooler drinks, the ability to bring guests and work out at other Planet Fitness locations.

Regardless of the level of membership, those who come to Planet Fitness have access to on-staff trainers who can develop a workout plan.

The Rock Hill Plant Fitness will employ about 15 people, five full time and 10 part time. Kennedy said people can apply online. The gym also plans to take on-site applications about six weeks before it opens.

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