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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Downtown Detroit is getting a new gym you'll probably never go to

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 3:05 PM

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One of the country's largest gym chains could soon open in downtown Detroit, according to a report by Crain's.

While Detroit is already home to two Planet Fitness locations, this would be the first to open in the city's rapidly redeveloping downtown area.

The space will be operated by a company called PF Michigan Group LLC, which operates 35 Planet Fitness locations in Michigan and four in Ohio.

While a finalized lease agreement has not be signed, PF Michigan co-owner Bryan Rief tells Crain's he is close to cinching an agreement for the lower level of 1400 Woodbridge St.

The proposed 30,000 square-foot location could require as much as $2.7 million in renovations, an investment Rief says his company could begin to make as early as February.

Planet Fitness is one of many gym chains that thrive because a large portion of their customers pay a monthly fee, but don't actually use the facility. On a 2014 Planet Money podcast, it was found that one Planet Fitness location could accommodate only 300 guests, but had signed up nearly 6,000 would-be exercisers.

The business model is a great one for companies like Planet Fitness — they offer enticingly low membership fees (plus, bagels, pizza, and other amenities) while putting fitness on the backburner.

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