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Orange Bikes Advertising New Gym in Edgewater Removed After Complaints

By Benjamin Woodard | March 18, 2015 5:25am
 Orangetheory Fitness plans to open a gym this summer at 1126 W. Granville Ave.
Orangetheory Fitness plans to open a gym this summer at 1126 W. Granville Ave.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

EDGEWATER — Harry Osterman's 48th Ward office put the brakes on a new gym's guerilla marketing campaign that would have had bright-orange, often-broken bicycles chained to trees and bike racks throughout the neighborhood this spring.

The advertising effort had drawn ire in other neighborhoods where Orangetheory Fitness plans to open. But the gym had said the marketing was a way to generate "buzz."

On Tuesday, two orange bikes were chained to sidewalk trees outside a future Orangetheory at 1126 W. Granville Ave. Three other bikes were leaning against the building.

"It's a fun marketing, community-awareness type thing," said franchisee David Lanz, who plans to open the gym there this summer.

Lanz said he and his team planned to move the bikes to different locations throughout the spring.

But later Tuesday, Dan Luna, Osterman's chief of staff, said he had received a complaint about the bikes from a resident — and he said the bikes would be removed.

"I spoke with David today. All those bikes ... will be down today," Luna said. "Once we started getting complaints, we reached out to him."

Luna said the effort wouldn't be allowed in the ward.

Edgewater Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Katrina Balog commended Orangetheory's — and all Edgewater businesses' — passion and outside-the-box thinking, but stopped short of supporting that type of marketing.

"I would never want to discourage a business from pursuing a unique marketing campaign," she said. "That being said, execution is critical, as is complying with any and all City of Chicago permit regulations for use of the public way."

Lanz said he also plans to host other orange-related events, such as passing out orange beach balls at the intersection of Granville and North Broadway. He said he also would hire someone to dress in a orange neoprene suit and ride an orange unicycle up and down the block.

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