Big-name gym franchises and niche operators continued to grow as the local fitness industry got more competitive in 2015.
A billboard on West Broad Street functioned as something of a microcosm of the cutthroat nature of the market: Crunch Fitness, a national brand that just landed in Richmond, advertised on one side, and Gold’s Gym, which has more than a decade of operations in Richmond, advertised on the other.
Backed by John Freeland, an entrepreneur who also owns a reclaimed wood manufacturing company in Scott’s Addition, Crunch opened three locations in Richmond in 2015 and has at least one more in the works.
Meanwhile, Gold’s Gym expanded its operations at its Fan location, one of its five Richmond gyms.
Planet Fitness, another chain that already has a location open on the Southside, has two new gyms in the works in Midlothian and Eastern Henrico. Anytime Fitness leased space at 7801 W. Broad St. for what would be its sixth location.
Crunch wasn’t the only new large gym franchisee to enter the Richmond market. For its first push into Virginia, YouFit Health Clubs has locations in the works for the Southside and one planned for Hanover.
There were other franchisees investing in Richmond, but with a more targeted focus.
Orange Theory Fitness, which hosts workouts structured around targeted heart rates, opened its first area location in Short Pump. A new kickboxing franchise called ilovekickboxing.com is planned for Chesterfield, while Phoenix Fitness & Martial Arts opened in Innsbrook.
Yoga and barre studios had a strong year, with at least one entrepreneur combining the two in Willow Lawn. The Yoga Dojo opened in Scott’s Addition, and Adya Yoga and Ayurveda is planned for Shockoe Bottom.
Also in the works for Shockoe is Humble Haven Yoga, which will offer hot yoga.
Focusing on the ballet barre, Gallery Barre opened in Midlothian, and BarReVA opened in Libbie Place Shopping Center in the West End.