DuBOIS — The parking lot was full and the atmosphere energized as Planet Fitness staged its grand opening Tuesday in the Sandy Plaza at Route 255 and Shaffer Road in Sandy Township.

“We are just so excited to have this beautiful facility here,” said township Manager Shawn Arbaugh, who was among several local government officials and community members taking part in the event.

“This is my first time in here and I just cannot believe how many people are here,” Arbaugh said. “I love that Planet Fitness has come to the area.”

Arbaugh expressed appreciation to LG Realty Advisors Inc. Shopping Center Manager Brian Gumberg, who also attended the grand opening. LG Realty Advisors is a Pittsburgh-based real estate company which built the local plaza in 1981.

“I just want to thank Brian Gumberg for the work he’s put into Sandy Township, and the work he continues to put in Sandy Township,” said Arbaugh.

“After lots of hard work, it’s really exciting and rewarding for us as owners to see this property brought back to life, both for us, but also for the community,” said Gumberg.

“We’re excited for Planet Fitness’s grand opening and can’t wait for Hobby Lobby to open in the spring,” said Gumberg.

The new Planet Fitness gym is housed in a portion of the former Kmart location, which has been vacant since the department store’s closing 2017. Hobby Lobby, the nation’s largest privately owned arts and craft chain, plans to begin construction soon on a 55,000 square foot store in the other portion of the former Kmart location.

Planet Fitness’s soft opening was on Nov. 4 and already has more than 2,000 members, said Manager Nick Whitecabage.

Whitecabage said Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S., is home of the Judgement Free Zone.

“Walking into gym can be intimidating,” said Whitecabage. “We try to eliminate that.”

The new DuBois club boasts 19,822 total square feet and offers state-of-the-art cardio machines and strength equipment, PF360, TRX, 30-Minute Express Circuit, fully equipped locker rooms with day lockers and showers, numerous flat screen televisions, HydroMassage beds, massage chairs, tanning beds, a Total Body Enhancement booth and more, said the fitness center’s District Manager Danielle Putnam.

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“It’s a friendly, upbeat environment,” said Putnam. “We want everyone to feel obviously comfortable. It’s a place that they can come to and get a great workout in without all the intimidation. Our manager and our staff are great. We’re excited to be here. We’re happy to be in the community and serving people around us.”

Putnam said there are approximately 100 pieces of cardio equipment alone, including ellipticals, arc trainers, stationary bikes, stair climbers and treadmills.

A certified fitness instructor is available Monday through Friday, said Putnam.

“They provide free and unlimited help to all of our members, so they can meet up with them, do a different class, they can do an orientation program, get familiar with the gym,” she said. “They (instructor) can do a design-your-own program so they have something to follow when the trainer’s not here. We do offer that as well with all of our memberships.”

The fitness center is also open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Putnam said.

In addition, as a member appreciation gesture, Planet Fitness provides free pizza on the first Monday of every month, and free bagels on the second Tuesday of every month while supplies last, as a reminder that it’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while.

For more information or to join online, please visit www.PlanetFitness.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PlanetFitness) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/PlanetFitness).

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