How my Internship Led Me to Become Managing Partner

How my Internship Led Me to Become Managing Partner

Scott Gardner Shares Importance of Community Relations and Member Engagement

You went to school in Delaware for fitness management and exercise science. What is it about fitness that drew you in to pursue it long-term?

I always considered myself a healthy kid but in college, my health took a turn. I was playing Division I football and found out I had a digestive disease and had to stop playing. I saw how quickly a healthy person’s life could change after surgery or an unexpected diagnosis. My stomach surgery had me in the hospital for a month. It took a long time to come back from that downtime. I know how much the gym can have an impact on your life and getting someone back to feeling like themselves after a major life event.

At Retro Fitness, hearing the countless testimonials and stories from the people you help in the gym is what keeps me going. I genuinely like seeing people prioritize the gym, especially those in training because I know the difference it will have on their life.

What attracted you to work at Retro Fitness?

Finishing my degree, I needed a 300-hour internship as my final semester project. My sister was a member at the Delaware Retro Fitness and got me the application. I was doing everything from working the front desk, making smoothies, conducting gym tours, to handling customer service and sales. From there, I worked within a variety of Retro Fitness locations the franchisee owned until I worked my way up to manager. Then, I relocated here to Pennsylvania and helped open two more Retro Fitness locations in this area. I am currently the General Manager and Managing Partner for the Retro Fitness in Kenhorst, PA..

What kept my interest was the brand’s evolution and ability to keep up with consumer demands. The gym I started at in 2009 was one of the legacy gyms. When I first started, it was all about personal training and the $19 membership. Retro Fitness today is more advanced and has multiple workout experiences to cater to every fitness need at every price point. We have something for everyone, from our weight lifters to our 90-year-old women in our Silver Sneaker Senior class that meet three days a week, and everyone else in between.

The gym has a comfortable, friendly environment with a wide range of members from ages 10 to 90 and a healthy mix of both male and female. There is no need to harp on being ‘judgement free,’ as some other companies do; employees just treat people right and our members know and learn it for themselves.

How was it introducing one of the first OST (One, Strong, Team) locations in Pennsylvania?

The Retro Fitness in Kenhorst is the only Retro location within an hour’s drive. While the gym was one of the first to introduce the OST look and offerings, there was a bit of an adjustment needed as brand awareness was less dominate here than the other Retro Fitness locations I was used to. However, we opened in August 2016 and embrace the fact we were the only Retro Fitness in the county. We had to market well, and corporate helped tremendously with billboards and making sure people knew who we were and what we were about. It got easier after we built up our membership base. We have a great reputation as the community-focused gym.

I am at events every single weekend, including 5Ks, homecomings, tailgates and more. Our reputation is growing and people are talking about us. We make up for our lack of brand presence by being active in the community.

What tools does Retro Fitness have to keep members engaged?

Our MYZONE heart rate monitoring technology, which displays real time heart rates, calories and effort data is a great motivator for our members. This technology gamifies the workout experience, encouraging members to perform to the best of their abilities and push themselves to new limits. It also creates a social platform through the app. People are eager to share their results and it is free advertisement for the gym every time they do. It is also a retention tool because other workout facilities don’t offer the heart rate monitors.
We also use the InBody composition-scanning machine to track more long-term progress, especially for training. When members are investing in small-group training, they want to know what they are getting out of it—their ROI. With monthly follow-ups, we can show our members how far they have come and remind them they are reaching their goals. Whether it is gaining muscle or losing body weight, whatever their goal is, our technology allows us to monitor results and leverage the impact our training programs have on the body. At Retro Fitness, we have confidence our trainers will deliver results that have people staying with us longer and telling their friends and family about it.

Members are competitive, and I am proud to say I have a wall full of testimonials and everyone wants their story and progress mounted on that wall. We also have our Retro Fitness app where members are able to redeem their check-in points for free smoothies, personal training, a free month at the gym and can reserve spots in group classes. Members can even set goals or join challenges within the app. When I sign members up, I immediately highlight the app and its benefits.

Why is community outreach important to your club?

It is important because it is working. I know other gyms do not do it because the likeliness of getting someone to sign up on-site at a sponsored event are slim. The logistics behind getting people signed up immediately are difficult, but the exposure in the community speaks volumes. In turn, I see it have a huge impact over the next 3-4 weeks after an event. People gradually come in to check out the gym with the free passes I gave out. I do a fishbowl where I get their information by giving away one gift card for a free year membership. Then, I have my member-experience associate reach out to them and set them up with a free trial. Every time we put ourselves out there, I have seen multiple people come in and eventually join the gym. It also gives me more facetime with existing members when I see them out and hand them free smoothie coupons.
We have done everything from wellness fairs, to making our own float in the Halloween parade, a member BBQ tailgate cookout and even set-up a 5K sponsorship water station at the finish line with every water including a Retro Fitness pass. We have also attended homecomings and set up fitness activities. Anyone who participated in the challenge got a free month at the gym. If you want to be known as the gym that cares about the community it serves, you better be out there walking the walk.

Retro Fitness Continues to Expand in East Coast States

Retro Fitness Continues to Expand in East Coast States

National Low-Cost, High-Value Fitness Franchise Collaborates with Local Entrepreneurs to Develop Brand in New Jersey and Florida

COLTS NECK, N.J. (February 22, 2019) – Retro Fitness, a national low-cost, high-value fitness franchise, announced today it has added two new franchisees totaling four new franchise agreements with local entrepreneurs Joe and Shawna Liotine for Tampa, FL and Jim Sparling for Central, NJ.

“We’ve seen the brand do well in these prime expansion markets, and we are thrilled to see the impact of our unique fitness offering reach even more people,” said Eric Casaburi, CEO and founder of Retro Fitness. “The Retro Fitness business model continues to attract existing entrepreneurs and first-time business owners because of the comprehensive business model that gives franchisees the ability to set their Retro Fitness clubs apart from the rest in the industry.”

The anticipated business development indicates that Retro Fitness and its franchisees will infuse more than $1 million into their respective markets through local investments. Once complete, each new gym will employ at least 25 people.

  • Joe Liotine (Tampa, FL) has a strong fitness background, working as a general manager for Lifetime Fitness gyms in various markets around the United States over the last two decades. Joe decided to leverage that experience to open his first fitness franchises with Retro Fitness in Citrus Park. He and his wife Shawna will develop two more clubs over the next three years. The U.S. Marine Veteran recognized Retro Fitness as the best franchise platform in the fitness industry and loved the fact that it caters to many different needs.
  • Jim Sparling (Central, NJ) is a lifetime entrepreneur having successfully developed and operated businesses in real estate and construction. Looking to diversify and enter into the fitness world, he is now in the process of opening his first Retro Fitness club with plans to develop more in the coming years.

Retro Fitness has grown into a 155+ franchise by offering members everything they love about a big box gym – extra space, vast amenities, and bundling it with personalized classes and niche workout experiences. The brand is changing the way guests envision the modern gym environment.

In addition to all the training equipment needed for a world-class workout, when these Retro Fitness locations open, they’ll support its members’ personal fitness goals through three training tiers comprised of: One-on-One Training (ONE), the premium training program with customized workouts and private coaching; Small Group Training (STRONG), involving 2-4 members building strength with a personal trainer; and Team Conditioning (TEAM), a high-energy curriculum in a larger group atmosphere. These franchisees are passionate about making sure everyone’s fitness needs will be covered in their new gym.

Fitness enthusiasts in New Jersey and Florida should expect to see Retro Fitness join their communities in 2019.

About Retro Fitness
Founded in 2004 by entrepreneur Eric Casaburi, Retro Fitness has evolved from a regional Northeast gym concept into a national fitness system with more than 155 gyms open in 16 states. Under Casaburi’s leadership, Retro Fitness is expanding its footprint with more than 100 gyms in its development pipeline and plans to have 250 gyms open in the next two years in new, major markets, such as Florida, Illinois, California, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Each Retro Fitness location is equipped with a full-service fitness center, including 60-100 pieces of equipment supplied by leading manufacturers. For more information and to learn more about fitness franchise ownership opportunities, visit www.retrofranchising.com.

Fitness Franchise Retro Inks Agreements for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina & Florida

Fitness Franchise Retro Inks Agreements for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina & Florida

COLTS NECK, N.J. – Retro Fitness, a national high-value, low-price fitness franchise, announced that it has signed four new franchise agreements with entrepreneurs Scot and Mark Pinto (New Jersey); Luis Henriquez and Gene Truono (Pennsylvania/Delaware); Richard Garrison (North Carolina); and Steve Plattner and Ron Wuchko (Florida).

“All of these are prime expansion markets for Retro Fitness, and we are thrilled to be executing our strategic growth in these areas,” said Eric Casaburi, CEO and founder of Retro Fitness. “The Retro Fitness business model continues to attract qualified investors who seek job security, flexibility and the chance to secure their financial futures. We look forward to increasing the brand’s presence along the East Coast and are armed and ready to offer consumers a fitness experience of a lifetime.”

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Gym Franchise Retro Fitness opening St. Petersburg location in January

Gym Franchise Retro Fitness opening St. Petersburg location in January

A gym aimed at helping people reach their fitness goals is coming to St. Petersburg. Retro Fitness, which offers individualized training plans in addition to a traditional gym, will open its 10410 Roosevelt Blvd. location later this month.

“Retro Fitness gives an incredible value because we offer the training, amenities and atmosphere members love at high-end gyms and boutique studios,” said Steve Plattner, co-owner of the gym. “Members will keep coming back because we offer a fun and friendly, spotlessly clean, non-intimidating workout environment.”

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Fitness Franchises to provide more in gym options in 2019

Fitness Franchises to provide more in gym options in 2019

Across the board, every gym and/or fitness brand sees a spike in memberships in the first quarter of the year, with consumers starting the year off strong with new year resolutions and a serious commitment to reaching their health and wellness goals. While this is a natural seasonal spike in the industry, here are the anticipated 2019 fitness trends in the $30 billon industry — with a mix of both new experiences and traditional standards back in popularity.

Consumers are seeking high-value, personalized fitness options and flexibility. We saw this with the success of services like Class Pass and people having more than one fitness membership. People want the flexibility to be able to catch a spin class with their friends, train for a team warrior competition and still enjoy a workout independently in a traditional gym setting. To avoid muscle memory and boredom, members need more than one experience to stimulate and challenge their mind and body. While they want their fitness level to improve, once the body catches up, they will need a new workout experience to tackle.

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New Fitness Franchise in St. Pete offers Advanced Registration Deals

New Fitness Franchise in St. Pete offers Advanced Registration Deals

ST. PETERBURG, FL — Retro Fitness, a low-cost, personalized fitness concept, will soon be available at its newest Florida location at 10410 Roosevelt Blvd. in St. Petersburg.

Residents interested in joining Retro Fitness can stop by the gym’s preview center—in advance of the January opening—for a sneak peek into the state-of-the-art fitness facility, and sign up for a Founder’s membership at reduced rates.

The new Retro Fitness is owned and operated by local entrepreneurs Steve Plattner and Ron Wuchko. A military veteran, Wuchko became aware of Retro Fitness with his business partner after seeing the gym enter the Florida market. Having other business in the health and wellness industry, Retro Fitness was an ideal addition to their existing portfolio and both owners say they are excited to open their first of several Retro Fitness gyms in the Tampa Bay area.

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