TAMWORTH’s fitness centre rivalry is about to heat up.
The city is on the cusp of welcoming its third 24-hour gym in less than five years, following increased demand for convenience and flexibility.
Fitness Plus’s long-standing owner, Dennis Rixon, sold up last week, paving the way for the new venture.
New owner Jamie Trindall said his decision to transition the gym, on the northern end of Peel St, to a 24-hour operation was a no-brainer.
“I think that’s the way the market’s heading,” he said.
“Especially with mines going on in the area and all the police, firies, ambos and railway workers.”
The news come as an IBISWorld fitness industry report showed a “spectacular” boom in 24-hour gyms, revealing nearly one in five gyms nationwide offer all-hours access.
“There are fewer restrictions,” Mr Trindall said.
The Tamworth local will have to fend off some stiff competition though, with market leaders Anytime Fitness and Jetts already getting big pieces of the city’s fitness pie, establishing bases here in 2009 and 2012 respectively.
Jetts manager Anna Dasler said it wasn’t always the stereotypical shift worker or insomniac who used the fitness club at odd hours.
“Some people are intimidated to work out in front of a lot of people, so they come in later at night or earlier in the morning,” she said.
“Mums who work 9am to 5pm also like the fact that they can go home and come to the gym once they’ve put the kids down.”
Motor mechanic Glen Brian, a Jetts member, joined about two-and-a-half years ago, after trying other gyms.
“Being 24 hours, you have the latitude to go whenever you want,” he said.
“Instead of having to rush home after work, you can take it easy and not have to worry about being in a hurry to get there before it closes.”
The influx, however, has left some smaller clubs smarting.
360 Fitness owner Dwone Jones said his customer base dropped by about 2 per cent when Jetts arrived in town, and by another 2.5 to 3 per cent after Anytime Fitness set up shop, but he had since reined the numbers back.
He said many of his customers were after services that 24-hour gyms lacked, such as a range of group classes and creche facilities.
But he conceded to extending operating hours “a little bit” on Saturdays, opening to 2pm instead of noon.
Mr Trindall said he planned to differentiate his business from the local all-day players by offering mainstream services.
“They don’t offer creche or classes, whereas I will,” he said.
Mr Trindall said he hoped to transition to a 24-hour operation in about six weeks’ time.
“We’ve adhered to all the industry requirements to go 24 hours,” he said.