New Planet Fitness locations redeveloping empty buildings

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – This time of year, with the new year getting underway, we talk a lot about keeping new fitness resolutions. But, new gyms opening in Western New York are impacting more than just muscles, they’re providing an economic boost.

Planet Fitness is celebrating the opening of its newest location on Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda, marking the completion of a project to redevelop the old Sears Hardware building that had been sitting empty for a couple years.

MORE | Click here for full details about the new Planet Fitness location.

“It was a lot of work, honestly. It was a lot of man hours. We did about two to three overnights, and 12 hour days of just scrubbing the floors. The construction crew did a great job here,” said Rosemarie Entress, General Manager of the Tonawanda Planet Fitness, when asked about the overhaul project.

“It’s beautiful. A lot of cardio equipment, as well as weight resistance machines. It’s a great gym,” added Fitness Trainer Keion Godson, who works at the Planet Fitness in West Seneca, when he saw the finished product in Tonawanda.

The new Planet Fitness opening in March in Cheektowaga will bring life to a building that’s been sitting empty even longer. Work continues now to turn part of the old Walmart in the Thruway Plaza into the newest “Judgement Free” gym.

“Our franchise group, ECP-PF Holdings Group, is one of the largest in the United States. They are putting in $3.6 million in the Western New York area, specifically in Buffalo, to get these new clubs in,” said Mike Hasenauer, the General Manager for the Planet Fitness in Amherst.

The investments continue in our community, too, with plans in the works to open even more Planet Fitness locations here in the future.

Every new location that opens brings new jobs to the community. The new Tonawanda location hired on a staff of about 20 people to start, and continues to try to fill other openings.

All of the Planet Fitness locations in Western New York are hiring trainers, janitorial staff, front desk associates and more right now, thanks to the boost that comes with new members joining at the start of the year. “We are hiring for a bunch of front desk associates. We have a ton of tours that we’re doing so we need a ton of people at the desk to help out with that,” Hasenauer explained.

MORE | Click here to learn more about current job openings.

If you’d like to check out the new location in the Town of Tonawanda, you can drop by for a tour during regular open hours. Community members are also invited to attend a Grand Opening celebration on Wednesday, January 10, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The event will feature food, raffles, games, music, and more.

News 4’s Katie Alexander spent Wednesday, January 3, at the Tonawanda location checking out the new amenities and the expected economic impact of the new gym. Watch the videos below to see our full Wake Up coverage.

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