Atlanta-based Workout Anytime discovers Boise

Workout Anytime franchisees Chris Gately and Susie Robinson check out the storefront for the fitness center at North Pointe shopping center on State Street. Image courtesy of Chris Gately.

Boise will be the second western outpost for Atlanta-based Workout Anytime, which has 150 fitness centers in 18 states – but currently only one west of Texas and Kansas in Beaverton, Oregon.

Boise franchisee Chris Gately plans to spread Workout Anytime across the Pacific Northwest, as he also has the company’s area development rights to sell franchises in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Gately and Susan Robinson themselves have the franchise rights for five outlets in Idaho with the first 7,200-square-foot center in the works for the North Pointe shopping center on State Street. Gately said the first Workout Anytime is expected to open in January or February.

Workout Anytime is open 24 hours. The brand focuses on cardio, free weights and machines, but doesn’t bother with day care, swimming pool or Jacuzzis.

“Ninety percent of customers want good cardio and good free weights,” Gately said. “Ten percent want all that other fluff.”

Gately grew up in Meridian but was overseas for seven years in the military and as a civilian security expert. He ended up stateside in Florida and got the area development rights for Workout Anytime for north Florida.

Robinson was one of his franchisees in the Pensacola area with three Workout Anytime outlets in Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Niceville. They both decided to come to Boise as a team, though Robinson retains the fitness centers in Florida.

Gately said the biggest challenge is competition.

“The area is very saturated, but there are underserved areas,” he said. “There is a lot of opportunity. We’re looking all over the valley. We’d like to get one in Meridian and one south of the freeway.”

One potential franchisee is interested in Kuna and Ontario. Gately has eyes on Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Twin Falls and Idaho Falls, believing that Idaho could support 10 to 15 Workout Anytime centers.

“Oregon, given enough time, you could put 100 in Oregon,” Gately said. “Washington is similar to Oregon. Sky’s the limit.”

Workout Anytime was established in Atlanta in 1999. In the early years, it stuck to Georgia and the six surrounding states. Illinois centers opened four years ago, and Texas within the past two years, said Randy Trotter, senior vice president of development at Workout Anytime.

“We had to figure out a franchising model,” Trotter said. “Once we got 30 to 40 locations we could go anywhere. … We like it out here (in Idaho). We’re in the east, but we love the west. They have a real passion for fitness.”

Besides the franchisee in Oregon, Gately and Robinson are the only others signed up in the west.

“You have to be a good business person,” Trotter said. “They are proven. They had done this in other locations in the (Florida) Panhandle.”

Trotter said other potential franchisees are interested in Montana and Wyoming.

“I look at real estate all over the country,” Trotter said. “Boise made a lot of sense. Number one is the franchisee; number two the real estate.”