Anytime Fitness celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Frankfort with a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday at 2410 E. Wabash Street. Members of the Clinton County Chambers of Commerce and City of Frankfort Community Development Director Annie Bacon were on hand to celebrate another new business in Frankfort.
“The grand-opening events and even just opening in general is a fabulous feeling,” said Nicole Cianci, regional director for Anytime Fitness. “It is one thing to sign everyone up and get everyone excited to be in here, but the faces and the reactions of getting to see what they get to finally work out on and get into – it is the best feeling in the world. To be able to change people’s lives and see the reactions of their new journey – grand openings are about that.”
The new Frankfort club opened in late May under the guidance of Facility Manager Kaylie Davids and Assistant Manager Charles Ballard.
“They are both raised here and live here, so they know the community very well,” Cianci said. “Honestly, (Frankfort) needed it. When we looked around, this town had the YMCA. I think, from my understanding, another gym had closed down – a ‘mom and pop,’ which is sad. The biggest thing is to make sure that any town has the resources. This was a good town. The demographics were good and to see that it was a very limited list of where you could go to get healthy. That was something we wanted to make an impact on.”
Cianci says that things have been great at the Frankfort location since it began signing up members several months ago.
“We have a couple hundred members,” she said. “The nice thing about Anytime Fitness is it is 24 hours, and it is worldwide. So, we have a lot of members who have joined and they travel, which is great. They can use it anywhere they go. For people who work the crazy-schedule business hours where they can’t make it in until 1 a.m. or 2 a..m, they are still able to come here. Just being able to give everyone the convenience factor was huge. So, opening up, we have done really well.
“Now, obviously, we anticipated opening much sooner than May,” Cianci added. “Luckily, we have been able to open, and it went great.”
The coronavirus pandemic and Governor Eric Holcomb’s resulting stay-at-home order put Frankfort’s Anytime Fitness in a holding pattern for a few months.
“We started (work on the club) in the winter,” Cianci said. “With permits and contractors, there is so much that goes into it. But everyone worked really hard. It got pushed back a little and, as soon as we were getting ready to open, coronavirus hit.”
Cianci said that, once the governor lifted the restriction on gyms, people were ready to work out.
“People were coming in with open arms,” she said. “People want to work out. People want to stay healthy, and people were ready to do that when we opened.”
Cianci said that providing a safe workout space during this pandemic became the top priority for Anytime Fitness.
“When all of this happened, we sat down as a team at our corporate office,” she said. “We had to make sure that these clubs were safe. So, the biggest priority was that we closed down, and absolutely everything got disinfected. We wiped everything down from head to toe. First, we started with cleaning and then we took extra precautions. We stopped things like towel service, unfortunately. We did things like Fresh Fruit Monday and Thirsty Thursday, which will come back. We unfortunately did have to take a few of those things away, but we put in the safety precautions. We added more hand sanitizers around all the walls. There are fit wipes everywhere, sanitation wipes, we added a whole table with microfiber rags and sanitation spray so that members feel more comfortable being able to grab their own sanitation, their own rag and really being to wipe things down before and after. We did obviously implemented the 6-feet social distancing. We have decals on our floor, and we did space out the cardio to every other being able to be used for right now. After this slows down a little bit, all of the cardio will be accessible.
“It was a smooth transition,” Cianci continued. “Everyone is abiding by it. Everyone is wiping down their equipment. We are constantly cleaning. Bathrooms are checked every half hour. It is the top priority. The last thing we want to do is close a club and have people not be able to exercise because I know during this entire thing a lot of people that never even struggled maybe emotionally, mentally, physically, struggled, and it was very hard. So, for us to be able to open and make people feel safe is a top priority.”
Cianci says that Anytime Fitness’ convenience and staff are what set them apart.
“The no-excuse factor really goes into play because it is 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year,” sje said.
“There are no excuses. You have to have time for yourself. We have made it available to you. It is a key fob swipe. Our security is high-end. You have a key to access the facility. You have private facility restrooms, which is great. You don’t have to go in a locker room and change and shower in front of anyone else. You go in, change privately, come out and do your thing.
“It is the convenience factor that sets us aside from everyone else,” she continued. “You can go to any gym and find a treadmill. You can go anywhere and find a bike. But, not only do we have the top-of-the-line equipment, what sets us aside is our staff. It is me, it is Kaylie, it is Charles. It is the people who are working in our clubs with our customers and our clients to make sure that when they walk through that door, they are comfortable. That when they come here for their first workout and they are nervous, we are here to help them. That is what we have that other people do not have. We get to know our members like family. When people walk into this gym, we want them to feel like this is their separate home.”
Cianci also mentioned that Anytime Fitness has a “Silver Sneakers” program.
“It is for people who are 65 and up, through their insurance, and it covers their gym membership,” she said.
Thought Anytime Fitness had its ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday, the celebration of its grand opening will continue with a Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day through Thursday.
“Kaylie partnered up with the Humane Society, and we have been collecting cleaning supplies and different supplies (cat and god food, pet toys, bleach, HE laundry detergent, etc.) to give to the Humane Society, We are doing a dollar raffle right now, and all the proceeds are going to the Humane Society. They are also going to be coming here so that people can possibly adopt a little pet if they want.”
Local businesses have donated a variety of raffle prizes.
“We wanted to promote health and promote fitness, but also make it engaging,” Cianci said. “We are having fun little activities to get raffle tickets. These grand-opening events are fun. It is really just about getting to know the members and partnering up with the community.
“I want to thank Frankfort for welcoming us with open arms,” she added. “Everyone has been so great. Everyone who comes in comes in with a smile. This has been a great town to open a club in. I am really excited to continue to watch where this goes and hopefully help as many people in the community as possible.”