Up at 2am? Urgently need to lift something heavy? A solution will be at hand this fall.
Anytime Fitness, a chain of 24-hour health and fitness clubs, now lists a Yellowknife location as “coming soon” on its website.
Safaa Nielsen and business partner Alex Nielsen will be operating the new franchise, which is set to open inside the city’s Center Ice Plaza – currently best-known as the home of Luluz Market.
Safaa told us the gym may not be staffed at all hours, but regular hours will be “nice and long” and members will be able to access the gym round-the-clock – including on holidays – using a key fob.
The gym is expected to open in fall of this year, but no more specific date is available yet.
“We don’t want to over-promise anything, you can’t guarantee permits and things like that,” Safaa told Cabin Radio.
“Me and my whole family, we live a very busy lifestyle, as everyone else does in town. The inspiration behind it was convenience – for Yellowknifers who are shift workers, or parents, or have multiple jobs, or are travelling in or out.
“We knew we were looking for something that was 24 hours. What inspired us to go with the franchise was their whole philosophy as a people-based gym, which is something we really care about.
“We feel super-lucky to be able to do something that we ourselves have always wanted. With the long winters in Yellowknife, we thought it would be super-fun and beneficial if people can go any time, see other members of the community, and also benefit from a gym.”
When it opens, Yellowknife’s Anytime Fitness says it will offer state-of-the-art equipment “designed to fit all fitness levels” alongside classes, personal trainers, and small group training. The gym promises to be fully wheelchair accessible.
Sousanh Chanthalangsy-Bornilla, owner-operator of the One of a Thai food truck and a friend of the Nielsen family, shared news of the gym’s arrival on Instagram late on Wednesday.
“I can finally announce this to all you Yellowknifers!” Chanthalangsy-Bornilla wrote. “We are getting a 24-hour fitness facility … you can go any time you want and it will have new workout equipment and machines.”
Safaa will take care of the business and accounting side of the operation, while Alex, a kinesiology major, has a fitness background.
“We are not sure what the hours will be for staff yet [but] I will be in there all day long,” said Safaa. “We want to be visible, we want to be available.
“We’re proud of our location. We feel it’s convenient, a bright, beautiful space in a mall, with lots of lighting. You want to be located somewhere safe, inviting, and open.”
Anytime Fitness, headquartered in Minnesota, operates around 2,800 locations in North America and some 1,500 elsewhere around the globe.