CROSSLAKE -- No matter what time of day the mood strikes, a fitness center in Crosslake is available for a workout.
Michelle and Ron Schmidt opened Anytime Fitness, a 24-hour co-ed fitness center, in March in the Crosslake Town Square.
Members receive an electronic key and can enter the facility at any time. Inside are workout machines -- elliptical and treadmills, strength machines and free hand weights.
The 1,800 square-foot club has 11 strength machines by Paramount. They are similar to Cybex machines with variable weights and safety features so they can be used without spotters. The elliptical and treadmills are by Precor.
Anytime Fitness includes a tanning bed. Other equipment includes both regular and reclining stationary bikes, jump ropes, medicine and exercise balls.
Wall-mounted TVs provide a diversion from the burn. Michelle Schmidt said she recently signed up an 80-year-old. She said women arrive at all hours of the night. The fitness center has digital cameras monitoring the space. And there are security buttons, available on a chain, that people can take when they leave at night and return them the next day. The buttons provide a direct link and alarm to the Crosslake Police Department.
Schmidt said the major selling point is that people can work out at any time.
"You have people who work in Brainerd and live here," she said, noting after driving home from work and having dinner with families the workout time might be past the hours other facilities offer.
Schmidt said she has people who work out at 4 a.m. and those who come in at midnight. She said the center provides an option for people who work at night and are not ready to go to sleep immediately after work.
A bartender recently joined and works out after closing, Schmidt said. Blue Cross Blue Shield members who use fitness centers at least eight times a month may get $20 a month to help pay for fitness center memberships.
Fitness center member Shelley Johnson, Crosslake, said she likes the insurance co-pay and the visit requirements help with motivation.
"I can come in early in the morning or late at night, whatever works in my schedule," Johnson said. She is working with the center's personal trainer, Patti Nelson. Johnson said Nelson keeps her on task to meet her fitness goals. "It's a very secure place," Johnson said.
Anytime Fitness offers contracts for 18 months, 12 months, six months and three months. There is a one-time down payment of $94.85, which includes the electronic key and first month payment for an 18-month contract. Various specials can lower the down payment costs.
Tanning can be added. The monthly fee for an 18-month contract, not counting tax, is nearly $35. Costs are automatically deducted from members' checking accounts.
While the monthly fee may be a few dollars more than other types of centers, Schmidt said it reflects her costs for the 24-hour operation.
"My light bill is a little bit more and my air-conditioning," she said.
Plans for the future include getting a dietitian to offer information on healthy eating options. Schmidt says she would like to grow into a larger center and maybe add a juice bar and staff members.
"I'd like to open another one," she said. But for now she is willing to watch the current center grow.
The first Anytime Fitness opened in 2001 with franchises beginning the following year. There are now 160 centers. Schmidt said an Anytime Fitness is expected to open in Brainerd.
For seasonal residents, a bonus may come in buying a membership and using centers in other cities, including spots in Texas and Florida. Schmidt said Anytime Fitness was chosen as one of the hottest new franchises of 2004 by Entrepreneur Magazine and one of the fastest growing franchises by Franchise Times.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.