CHATHAM — South Siders looking to get fit for a low price are flocking to a new Planet Fitness facility that opened in Chatham two weeks ago.
After working out at a South Side YMCA for 10 years, West Chesterfield resident Alfred Curtis recently switched his membership to the new gym at 8331 S. Holland Road.
"You can't beat the price. A membership for my wife and I was costing us $40 a month at the Y. Now we pay $10 a month," said Curtis, 49.
Customers like Curtis are signing up by the dozens, said Cat Thoreson, director of marketing for Planet Fitness Chicago, which opened in Chatham on April 17.
"With the way the economy is everybody is looking to save as much as they can and we are aware of this," Thoreson said. "But we also have a second membership for $19.95 a month. That is our Black Card membership and it allows a customer to bring a guest with them each time and utilize any of our facilities."
Keith Scott lives in south suburban Harvey but chooses to travel to Chatham to workout.
"It's worth the drive. There is nothing in Harvey as far as a health club," said Scott, 49. "I don't mind the drive because it's relaxing here."
Marvin Johnson, 35, switched his membership from LA Fitness to Planet Fitness for the convenience.
"I work two jobs and both are stressful. For me, it's important that I work out in between both jobs to keep my sanity," said Johnson, who lives in South Chicago. "The place is clean, the customer service is great and the atmosphere is cool."
Though the Chatham facility is still in its early stages — the tanning room isn't ready yet and there are no clocks on the walls — residents wanting to get in shape are pretty happy with the new space.
Walter Whitman, 79, said he joined to get back in shape and look at all the pretty, young ladies.
"Do you see all these nice looking ladies here? If I don't do anything but look I got my money's worth," Whitman said. "No but seriously, I like the place. Summer is around the corner and I need to get back in shape fast if I expect one of these ladies to go out with me."