New local franchisee seeks additional Orlando locations for Workout Fitness

GrowthSpotter contributor

A new Orlando-area franchisee with fitness-industry experience is planning to open three Workout Anytime locations here in 2019, while he sees growth in the industry’s customer base.

Steve Ayers says the Atlanta-based brand, which staffs its clubs half the day while leaving them accessible to members around the clock, builds on the expanding concept of catering to people who exercise on their own schedule.

“Workout Anytime is a 24-hour half-staffed, half non-staffed concept,” Ayers said, with trainers and others available at the clubs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

His first location will open around Jan. 1, Ayers told GrowthSpotter this week, with the other locations planned for the second and third quarters of next year. Currently, one Workout Anytime is operating in the Orlando area at 165 Wekiva Springs Road in Springs Plaza in Longwood, where Ayers does not own the franchise.

Ayers has lived in the area since 2015 and his experience in the fitness industry includes time as a partner in a Gold’s Gym franchise and eight years as the Chief Revenue Officer for ABC Financial Services which provides software and payment processing for many health clubs around the country.

Workout Anytime’s support for its franchisees with marketing, vendor relationships, and more differs from its competitors, Ayers said, with a focus on personal and financial goals. “We support and market with one goal in mind, franchises should be in business for themselves, not by themselves,” he said.

To pick the right locations, Ayers explained he maps the population within a three-mile radius, estimates about 17-20 percent of the people in that area utilize health clubs, and looks at the number of existing facilities. If there is enough population within the demographic of 55 percent male and 45 percent female between the ages 38-55 to sustain a Workout Anytime, it would be a good location.

Most of the Workout Anytime clubs will be 6,000 to 9,000 square feet.

“I’m looking for shopping centers that have vacancies in them and [where] there are not current health clubs,” Ayers said. “I have more opportunities than I can take right now.”

The current trend of wellness is also good for business. “There are a lot of people being driven into our space that were not here 10-15 years ago,” Ayers said.

The goal is to have 10 clubs in the Central Florida area in the next two to three years, Ayers said. He also works with Workout Anytime selling franchises nationally.

“I feel even though there are a lot of [fitness] clubs in Florida, it is an underserved market,” he said, adding gyms need to be in convenient locations with flexible hours.

In the next five years, the company as a whole plans to expand to 500 locations nationwide, Ayers said. Currently, there are more than 100 locations, mainly concentrated in the Southeast. “[Workout Anytime’s] goal is saturation in all 50 states over time,” he said.

Ayers told GrowthSpotter the Workout Anytime clubs mainly compete with Planet Fitness and Crunch Fitness, with a low price-point and an emphasis on cardio and weights with high-quality equipment. There is no child care and no group classes. The colors are vibrant and there is an emphasis on working out with others.

“Workout Anytime has created an atmosphere within its clubs. It’s like a tribe type of encouragement. It brings accountability. It’s more of a community fitness center,” Ayers said. “It’s a complete fitness solution.” 

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