City officials from Falls Church have been working on landing a 24 Hour Fitness franchise and Friday those efforts saw the national gym open its first Virginia location.
Rick Goff, economic development director for the City of Falls Church, said the city had been talking with 24 Hour Fitness since about August of 2010. The 48,000 square foot facility is the first around the clock gym in city limits.
“The sleek, modern building is now the showcase for the historic gateway from Seven Corners,” Goff said Monday. “We believe the city's residents and workers will enjoy an option for exercising any time of day or night.”
Mayor Nader Baroukh was on hand Friday morning for the gym’s ribbon cutting ceremony. Baroukh and 24 Hour Fitness President and CEO Carl Liebert both said the surrounding Falls Church community would benefit from having the new facility close by. The gym’s ownership also donated $13,000 in sporting equipment, including basketballs and baseball gear, to the Bailey’s Community Center.
Dozens of people ventured into the newly opened Falls Church gym Monday morning to tour the facility. More than 1,000 people have signed up for memberships since the gym opened Friday, Darren Bluffin said. Bluffin, a club manager, said the facility houses 55 classes, including spinning, aerobics and yoga.
Bluffin said he hopes to increase the classes as well as the gym’s staff. The gym will look to the community to help fill some of the openings at the facility for everything from front desk attendants to personal trainers. Currently there are 74 employees at the Falls Church gym, 20 of which are personal trainers.
“We’re looking to hire more than 100 people,” Bluffin said.
Busy schedules and a lack of places people can work out 24 hours a day keep some people from the gym, Bluffin said. For Falls Church, he said that wouldn’t be a problem. Bluffin said classes and a basketball league would come as memberships increase.
“We’re not concerned how many members we get over time,” Bluffin said. “It’s about the impact on the community.”