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24-hour fitness club aims for August Victoria opening

By Gabe Semenza
April 6, 2011 at 4 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2011 at 11:06 p.m.


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Dethlefsen is close to finalizing a lease agreement for a Navarro Street building.

The club will offer free weights, nautilus equipment and 24-hour aerobics classes, led by TV-based instructors.

The club will employ a part-time manager and a few personal trainers. Members can use the gym even when it's not staffed.

Dethlefsen plans to subdivide the Navarro Street building and, perhaps, add a healthy fast food restaurant.

Anytime Fitness, a fast-growing fitness franchise, plans in August to open a Victoria gym.

Like all Anytime Fitness gyms, the Victoria branch will remain open 24 hours, seven days a week - even on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Victoria announcement comes as franchisees in 71 other Texas cities announce they, too, will soon open a club. Victoria's location adds to the more than 1,500 clubs in all 50 states and worldwide.

"When we were looking for locations, we came to visit Victoria and fell in love with the city," Jeff Dethlefsen, the Shreveport-based owner of the future Victoria franchise, said by telephone. "We had been looking for a site for quite some time, but the first time we came to Victoria we knew we had found the right place."

Victoria's size and demographics - such as the great number of shift workers - appealed to the 52-year-old, he said.

The international franchise started in 2002 with simple ideas: People want a convenient and affordable place in which to exercise. They prefer clean facilities and quality equipment.

Victoria residents will pay $35 per month for a membership, Dethlefsen said. That fee allows members unlimited, anytime access to the Victoria gym and any other Anytime Fitness club nationwide.

"I couldn't believe Victoria didn't have an Anytime Fitness," Dethlefsen said. "Needless to say, we are very excited."

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