CHAMPAIGN — The Fitness Center will take over the recently vacated Gold's Gym space in Champaign and open The Fitness Center Body Shop there, a company spokesman said Friday.
The new facility at 1914 Round Barn Road will be geared toward bodybuilding and heavy lifting, but will also serve the general-fitness consumer, said Thom Miller, fitness director for The Fitness Center.
"We are hoping to be open by next Thursday," Miller said, adding that painting and upholstery work and equipment repair will be done in the meantime.
Until The Body Shop opens, Gold's members are welcome to use the main Fitness Center facility, 2508 Galen Drive, C, for no charge.
At the new location, "there will not be group fitness classes, and there will not be child care or a playroom for now," Miller said. "It's going to be a gym."
The Body Shop will contain cardio and weight equipment, along with a personal training studio. Certified personal trainers will be available for weight-loss, muscle-building and sport-specific programs.
At the outset, The Body Shop will have its own membership. But later, Miller said, the business hopes to work out arrangements for dual memberships, for those who want to go to The Fitness Center for fitness classes and to The Body Shop for heavy lifting.
Hours for The Body Shop are tentatively scheduled to be 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, he said.
After installation of a new security system, members will have access as early as 4 a.m.
Gold's Gym closed its Champaign location March 2.
Matt Welsh, who had the local Gold's Gym franchise, said the gym had been battling a weak economy and increased competition. A recent effort to sell the gym to a larger franchisee fell through, he said.
Rich Ruthenberg is owner and general manager of The Fitness Center, which has locations in Champaign, Monticello and Tuscola.
Miller said the addition of the new location stemmed from a recent staff meeting, when he said the Gold's Gym's closing posed "an interesting opportunity."
"Rich put out a phone call to the owner, and the deal moved very quickly," Miller said, adding the paperwork was completed Thursday.
Miller said monthly rates for members of The Body Shop will be $45 a month for those paying on a month-by-month basis.
The rate will be $35 a month for those with a 12-month contract, and $30 a month for those with an 18-month contract, he said.
For at least the first month, the enrollment fee will be limited to $5, he added.
The Fitness Center has expanded several times in the last decade, opening the Monticello facility in 2005 and the Tuscola facility in 2009.
Those with questions about the new location on Round Barn Road can call the Galen Center location, 356-1616, for more information, Miller said.