Gym to open in old Hobby Lobby space

Gym to open in old Hobby Lobby space

CHAMPAIGN — Another fitness facility is set to open in Champaign, the fourth to announce plans to do so this year.

Planet Fitness, which has more than 500 facilities across the nation, plans to open a 22,000-square-foot gym just west of the County Market store on Glenn Park Drive.

"We're shooting for May 15," said manager Jason Shebanie, noting the gym is taking the old Hobby Lobby space.

"We try to foster a non-intimidating workout environment for anyone who wants to do fitness training," he added. "We don't target hard-core bodybuilders and weight trainers, so everyone can feel comfortable."

Franchise owners Mike Dobrynio and Tim Lennon are part of a group that has 11 Planet Fitness locations in the Wisconsin area, Shebanie said.

It's been a busy spring for fitness centers in Champaign. So far this year:

— The Champaign County YMCA opened its new Stephens Family YMCA facility at 2501 Fields South Drive, C.

— The Fitness Center announced plans to open The Fitness Center Body Shop in the former Gold's Gym facility at 1914 Round Barn Road, C.

— Leon Jeske unveiled plans for the McKinley Fitness Center in the former Champaign County YMCA facility at 500 W. Church St., C.

Planet Fitness plans to be open 24 hours a day, Shebanie said.

The facility is expected to have 10 to 15 employees, he added. Some have already been hired, but Shebanie said the gym will probably need another five to 10 full- and part-time employees.

Shebanie said Planet Fitness will offer monthly memberships for $10 and $19.99; the latter includes tanning, Hydro Massage and red-light therapy.

Those who sign up now qualify for a $1 sign-up fee, highly discounted from the usual fee, he said. The gym's phone number is 356-8500.

On its website, Planet Fitness said it doesn't offer juice bars and child care. Instead, it offers "clean, stylish, hassle-free facilities that are filled with tons of brand-name cardio and strength equipment."

Planet Fitness is the national gym sponsor for NBC's "The Biggest Loser." Founded in 1992 and based in Newington, N.H., the chain has both corporate and franchise locations.

In Illinois, Planet Fitness has several locations in the Chicago suburbs, as well as in Fairview Heights and Moline.

Hobby Lobby occupied the space at 2002 Glenn Park Drive, C, until 2007, when it moved to the former K's Merchandise Mart location at 2102 N. Neil St.

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