By Joel Hall
With Clayton County's recreation center in Lovejoy yet to be built, residents of the city have had little-to-no, in-town options when it comes to fitness facilities.
In order to get a workout, some residents have traveled as far as McDonough and Fayetteville to find gyms with suitable equipment.
With the opening of Snap Fitness' newest location in Lovejoy, many panhandle residents now have a workout option that is within walking distance.
Snap Fitness, located at 1985 McDonough Road, Suite 3A, next to Hibbett Sports, opened to the public last month. The 3,300-square-foot facility offers 24-hour access, personal training, fitness classes, and 72 workout machines.
Rose Carlyle, co-owner of Snap Fitness' Lovejoy store, has co-owned it's Stockbridge location, off Walt Stephens Road, for two-and-a-half years. She said, in one month of its opening, the Lovejoy location has accumulated 270 new members.
"There is a gym on Tara Boulevard, but I don't know if there is really one in walking distance," in the Lovejoy area, Carlyle said. "I saw a need for a fitness facility there. The community has been really great as far as support. We've had more members in Hampton than we have in Stockbridge [during its] opening. There's a lot of activity."
Lovejoy Councilwoman Rebekah Holland Wright said the city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Snap Fitness on July 17. She said the facility is the first of its kind in the city limits.
"We've been wanting a gym to come to Lovejoy for the longest, and they are the ones who decided to come and do business with us," Wright said. "This is the first. I've always gone to other gyms 30 miles away, which is a real inconvenience. We were really excited that they wanted to put a store in Lovejoy ... I joined the first day."
Carlyle said the facility is in a good location, because it is in close proximity to several apartment complexes and subdivisions, as well as the Gerald A. Matthews Sports Complex, which has several baseball and soccer fields. She said Snap Fitness has used the sports complex as a regular location for it's "Boot Camp" classes.
"We love the recreation facility," Carlyle said. "You can take the members out there. It's a sidewalk community, so if the members can't make it to the gym, we can encourage them to get some kind of exercise."
According to Snap Fitness staff members, month-to-month memberships are $34.95 a month for single members, $49.95 a month for dual members, and $69.95 a month for a family membership. Members also have access to all 1,260 Snap Fitness locations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, India, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Wright said having the fitness center in the city limits may help Lovejoy residents gain more balance in their lives. "With the gym right there in their face, 24-7, I think more people will look at their lives and see that they need to get their minds and bodies in order," she said.
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