The idea for launching a Planet Fitness Gym franchise in St. George Utah was born in New Hampshire, where owners Joshua and Heather Moran lived before moving their family to Utah.
“This is a very health conscious city with a fantastic community of people who love living here.” says Joshua. “The common thread is that we are a community at large that embraces a healthy lifestyle.”
The Planet Fitness business model appealed to the Moran’s because of the gym’s unique qualities. “One of our slogans is You Belong, and it really rings true at Planet Fitness,” says Joshua. “The gym was created to provide an environment where anyone, and we mean anyone, can work out in a hassle free environment where everyone feels accepted and respected.” Planet Fitness provides a full workout facility for only $10.00 a month with no commitment, which includes workout plans and fitness instruction lead by certified trainers.
For help getting the business off the ground, the Moran’s contacted the Small Business Development Center in New Hampshire in 2009, who helped them develop a business plan. Upon their relocation to Utah, the Moran’s were referred to Len Erickson at the Small Business Development (SBDC) in St. George. Erickson helped Joshua access financing for the location and equipment, as well as provided Joshua opportunities to network in his new community. “There were many challenges along the way,” says Joshua. “But with strong support from SBDC representatives here in St. George, as well as New Hampshire, and financial assistance from Zions Bank and an SBA loan, we got it done.”
By December of 2011, just ten months after opening the doors to their 15,000 square foot facility in Sandstone Plaza, the business broke even on monthly cash flows.
The gym provides people in Washington County an opportunity to access a more affordable and accessible exercise facility, and has created ten new jobs. During construction, the gym created a number of jobs for contractors in the region, and membership sales have added to the city, county and state tax revenues
The St. George SBDC recognizes the Moran’s for their achievements launching Planet Fitness, which has created a positive ripple effect for the community. “They are a dynamic business in a very competitive field,” says Erickson. “They entered a crowded exercise market and succeeded.”