ROCK FALLS – The only 24-hour fitness center in Rock Falls closed Friday, but a replacement will open soon.
Anytime Fitness, 107 First Ave., opened in 2008 and supplied members with a variety of free weights, cardio machines, circuit and strength equipment, tanning and personal training services.
Nick Pepper, Anytime’s gym manager, will open his own place, 7:24 Fitness On The Rock, at the same riverfront location. Membership signup is already underway, and members can us the facilities beginning at midnight Sept. 30.
As their names suggest, Anytime was open to members 24 hours a day, and 7:24 will do the same.
The franchise renewal agreement with Anytime corporate was up for renewal this month, and changes, such as fee increases and additional requirements, would have made the gym difficult to operate, Anytime’s owner, Chip Staebell, said.
The chain is the largest coed fitness facility in the country with more than 2,600 gyms in the United States, and another 1,900 internationally.
New memberships were advertised on its website this week for $32 a month.
“Franchising is tricky business,” he said. “It’s a great program because it gives you a model to follow that has proven to be successful, but then again, they reserve the right to pass on additional fees and to add requirements that just didn’t make sense for our market.
“That would have been cost-prohibitive for us to go forward.”
Anytime surveyed its members over the summer and let them know about the decision that was being considered, Staebell said.
Staff consisted of Staebell, Pepper and three trainers. Pepper also is Sterling High School’s varsity baseball coach and a local Advocare nutrition supplement dealer.
“He’ll be successful,” Staebell said. “He worked for me for over 6 years as my lead personal trainer, and he’s the best in the area.”
Former Anytime Fitness manager Nick Pepper will open 7:24 Fitness on the Rock Sept. 30, and will have a week of grand opening promotions.