Carrie Rengers

Planet Fitness to open fifth Wichita gym

Wichita’s fifth Planet Fitness, which will be similar to this one at New Leaf Plaza at 21st and Amidon, is going to open this summer in the former OfficeMax space on North Rock Road.
Wichita’s fifth Planet Fitness, which will be similar to this one at New Leaf Plaza at 21st and Amidon, is going to open this summer in the former OfficeMax space on North Rock Road. File photo

Wichita’s fifth Planet Fitness is going to open in the former OfficeMax building at 3535 N. Rock Road.

“If you look at a map … I’m just trying to get them nice spacing,” franchisee Chris Sutherland says of the five sites.

The new store, which likely will open in July, will be 24,000 square feet.

Planet Fitness differs from a lot of gyms in a few ways, Sutherland says.

“The biggest thing about our model is probably going to be the affordability,” he says.

There’s a $10 monthly membership that allows members to use one location.

There’s a $20 membership that allows members to use any Planet Fitness nationally and to bring a friend for free with every visit. Those members also get unlimited tanning, half-priced drinks and hydro and chair massages.

“That’s it,” Sutherland says. “It’s really simple.”

He calls them “honest and up-front packages” that also allow members to cancel at any time.

“We don’t send you to, like, the closing person that tries to get you to stay.”

Also, the 24-hour clubs are always staffed, unlike some gyms where members have to use a card to swipe in at night.

Sutherland lives in Tulsa. He came to know Planet Fitness as a landlord for someone else, and that’s what prompted him to become a franchisee.

“I really just loved the complete straightforwardness and the honesty of it all,” he says. “I felt something like that was really needed in the gym industry.”

Sutherland says he could open more Planet Fitness sites in Wichita.

“It’s all dependent on location availability, but I would.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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