Even when getting or staying physically fit is a priority, busy people often find it difficult to find a place where they can work out at the times most convenient for them. That's not a problem for members of Snap Fitness, 2105 Fifth Ave. S. The center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
People who are away from home on business or vacation, similarly might find it a challenge to locate a place for a workout. Fort Dodge Snap Fitness members, however, have an easy solution to that problem, according to Will Schuster, of DeWitt, who owns the local facility. They can stop by any of the company's more than 1,400 franchise outlets. Those clubs exist just about everywhere. According to information on the corporate website, the company's network includes sites in 46 states and more clubs are on the way. Locations outside the United States include fitness centers in Australia, Canada, India, Mexico and New Zealand.
Despite already being a significant force in its industry, Snap Fitness got its start just about a decade ago. Founded in 2003, the Chanhassen, Minn.-based franchiser opened its first fitness center in 2004. The local Snap Fitness center was launched in 2007.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Snap Fitness owner Will Schuster, right, watches as store manager Will Fiala tries out some of the equipment. They are located at 2105 Fifth Ave. S.
Schuster said he became a part of the Snap world just a bit less than four years ago when he bought a club in DeWitt.
"An opportunity happened to show up and I grabbed it," he said, noting that his DeWitt facility has built its membership to about 600, which he characterized as a strong showing in a town with a population of just a bit more than 5,000.
Schuster said he is enthusiastic about the fitness industry and ultimately hopes to grow his business to include 10 or more clubs. He said the Fort Dodge Snap Fitness center is his second venture.
"I was looking for one that was available," he said. "I wanted to start a new one and (the Fort Dodge location) came up for sale."
Schuster bought the local Snap Fitness outlet in July 2012. Since he took the helm, the membership has increased to about 700, with 1,000 as his goal for immediate future.
Schuster said Snap Fitness in Fort Dodge offers the full range of features that have made this franchise system a success story across the United States and beyond. It features state-of-the-art fitness equipment to facilitate cardio and/or strength training, housed in a 3,000-square-foot facility conveniently located on the community's Corridor of Commerce. He said personal trainers are being recruited and soon will be available to assist those members who want that option.
And there's more.
"We do offer supplement nutrition and vitamin profiling," Schuster said.
Beginning this month, Snap Fitness also has a tie-in with the Fort Dodge Community Recreation Center - The Rec.
"Premium members of The Rec can come to Snap anytime they want," Schuster said. "Snap members can use The Rec."
While this arrangement has just begun, he has high hopes that it will prove popular and enhance the options for fitness-minded Fort Dodgers.
"Hopefully it will be good for everybody," Schuster said.
In DeWitt, Schuster has negotiated discounts for members with various local businesses. He said he hopes to make that an attractive part of his Fort Dodge club as well, noting that a 10 percent discount at Tropical Smoothie Cafe is already in place.
Schuster has a straightforward message for area residents who want to get in shape or stay fit.
"We are trying to become a result-oriented club," he said. "We're somewhere to come to get help."
Members can access Snap Fitness in Fort Dodge anytime they want. Staff members are on-site Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon. There is a key-card system and the club has security cameras to ensure the safety of members during hours when staff members are not present.