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Investing in the fitness community

If the existing commercial market has something to say about it, Woodbury is a city that loves to stay fit. From Lifetime to Anytime, Snap Fitness to Halsa Fitness and the YMCA, Woodbury has a plethora of fitness clubs. Gold's Gym wants to capitalize on that preoccupation.

The nationally-recognized chain is bringing a franchise to Woodbury. But while some of its other locations may focus on adult-oriented fitness, this Gold's Gym has a specific target market in mind: the family.

Although construction of the gym at Queens Drive (in the former Best Buy building, near Target) is already noticeably under way, management said the facility is planning an early summer opening. Why the wait? Because this Gold's Gym will stand out from all others, said general manager Bill Housel .

In an effort to cater to a diverse crowd, the gym is installing a variety of features that include a women-only space, a fitness movie theater and a 4,000-square foot childcare center complete with what is being called a combination of cutting-edge fitness and video game technology: the Xrkade.

The Gold's Gym in Woodbury will be one of the only locations in the country to offer the new product, which is aimed at children ages 6-12, and integrates fitness equipment with virtual reality gaming.

"We want this to be a family-friendly facility," Housel said. "And we feel interactive childcare center (the Xrkade) will set us apart."

In total the Xrkade-enhanced childcare facility will cost more than $100,000 to build, but Housel said the Woodbury market was the ideal location for such an investment.

"We know this is a very health-conscious community," Housel said. "But we've also learned this is a very family-oriented community, and we want to be able to make our Gold's Gym location in Woodbury a very user friendly experience for families."

The gym will also include a juice bar, full locker rooms, a 25-yard lap pool and group exercise studios.

The gym is currently promoting early reduced enrollment rates. For more info. contact Bill Housel at

For a sneak preview of the facility go to:

For an up-close look at the xrkade technology go to: