Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 30 November 2012 00:00
Amy Golan, co-owner of the new Syosset Retro Fitness, currently open for presales and slated to open in December, says that by leaving out a few services that many gym-goers can do without, it’s possible to offer membership at a low price. “We don’t have some of the amenities that a lot of people don’t use—we don’t have a pool, we don’t have towel service,” says Golan. Also MIA are tennis, racquetball and basketball courts.
However, don’t expect a barebones gym either. The 15,000-plus square-foot facility, located at 165 Eileen Way in Syosset, will include a full-service fitness center including equipment supplied by leading manufacturers such as Life Fitness and Iron Grip (and all cardio equipment includes a television), an aerobics room for classes, locker rooms, an apparel shop, a juice bar, a nursery, and even an on-site hair salon.
“Everything else we have: a nursery, we have tanning, we have personal training, virtual and live classes,” Amy continues.
For Amy and her husband Russ, opening this gym is the realization of a longtime dream; moving from working with diseases into prevention. Both of the Golans have worked in medical diagnostics for 26 years. “We were always on the other end: after the problems occur,” said Amy of her career in medical testing. The couple, who have four children, decided that they would prefer to be in the business of prevention: promoting healthy lifestyle choices that can help stave off many debilitating diseases over the long term.
However, it wasn’t until they signed up for membership together at the Retro Fitness of Dix Hills that they realized what form their new career should take. The club was extremely popular, and it was clear to the Golans that there was a need for more clubs with this inexpensive model. “We decided this was the natural progression into prevention,” said Amy.
Retro Fitness, recognized as one of the “Top Fastest-Growing Franchises” by Entrepreneur magazine, currently has 85 gyms, with many scheduled to open in the near future. Several RF gyms are already open on Long Island, however, when the Golans started investigating franchise opportunities, they realized there was a need for a location convenient for the residents of Syosset and Plainview in particular.
The staff aims to make the gym friendly and welcoming for people of all levels of fitness, not just seasoned athletes. “Once we open the doors, you will definitely get the feeling of a family-oriented facility,” says general manager Joe Colon. “We accept everyone, we will treat them with the utmost respect and will help them work toward their goals.” To that end, the gym offers a youth membership for ages 12-18 in addition to the regular membership.
Despite the “Retro” title, the gym also features some new and innovative features. In addition to regular classes, members will have the option to work out with virtual instructors, a program unique to Retro Fitness so far. Virtual instructors are available whenever the gym is open, so people who can’t make a certain class at 8:30 a.m. will be able to sign up for the virtual version at 5 a.m., or whenever they happen to be available.
Another interesting feature is the cardio theater, where members can work up a sweat and catch a popular movie at the same time. Just like a regular movie theater, people can come into a dark room and see a screening of a film, only instead of sitting back and eating popcorn, they can work out on a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike. Different movies will be screened throughout the week, and members will be able to request movies as well.
Cycling lovers will also want to check out the Expresso Bike, a stationary bike that has a competitive videogame built in. Members will be able to compete for the best time on a virtual course with other cyclists from all over the world. Also decidedly modern is the gym’s eco-friendly focus: facilities have been designed with energy-saving technology, and of course, there will be plenty of recycling. For the Golans, making the club environmentally responsible as well as convenient was a must, because that’s what area residents want for the future.
“We’re heavily invested in this community,” said Amy. “We know this community. We go back and forth on Jericho Turnpike every day.”
Those who wish to join can do so now by stopping at the gym between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to sign up; the $99 enrollment fee will be waived for those who pre-register. When the gym opens in December, hours will be from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends. For more information, call Retro Fitness of Syosset-Plainview at 496-3333 or visit http://syossetny.Retro Fitness.net.