Richie Gilbert, the co-owner with local Joshua Miller of a Snap Fitness club opening in Lismore Square on Saturday, with his wife Natalie and daughters Zahra and Ivory.
Richie Gilbert, the co-owner with local Joshua Miller of a Snap Fitness club opening in Lismore Square on Saturday, with his wife Natalie and daughters Zahra and Ivory.

Snap decision for a new gym

FITNESS enthusiasts will be able to work out 24/7 from this weekend in a brand new gym in Lismore.

Snap Fitness franchisee Richie Gilbert and co-owner Josh Miller will open the doors to the new facility in Lismore Square at 8am on Saturday.

Mr Gilbert owned a Snap Fitness centre in Kingaroy and was so pleased with its record he began looking for a location for a second gym.

Enter Mr Miller, Mr Gilbert's brother-in-law and partner in a property business and, crucially, Lismore born and bred.

Mr Miller saw a niche in the fitness market in the city and advised Mr Gilbert to consider opening a franchise there.

"There are not that many good gyms in the area and this one offers something new," Mr Miller said.

Not only is it open 24 hours - with all the security and safety technology clients could ask for - but joining up means becoming part of a series of gyms, Mr Miller said.

The Lismore club will be the 50th in Australia, making Saturday an extra special occasion.

One of the key attractions of the Snap Fitness brand is its affordability, Mr Gilbert said.

"We cost a member about half of what most other gyms charge - $10 to $12 a week," he said.

The new centre has Technogym equipment installed - about 22 for cardio and more than 30 for weight training.

"So it's low cost, but high quality," Mr Gilbert said.

The two franchisees marketed the gym with a stand in Lismore Square and a television and press advertising campaign and already have 420 people signed up.

Mr Miller thinks there's capacity for 1000-1200 members for the gym, in which 100 people could exercise at one time comfortably. The 24-hour concept is not new to the area - there are open-all hours gyms in Ballina and Byron Bay - but it will be the first in Lismore.

Members receive a swipe card and can access the gym at any time.

They will be protected by a $30,000 security system, as well as a "duress alarm" and a panic button that will attract help should they get into difficulty while training.

Cameras will also ensure things remain seemly in the wee small hours.

Mr Gilbert, 29, is an experienced entrepreneur. For many years he, his brother and Mr Miller have run a company in Brisbane buying land and selling it to developers.

He based his decision to invest in Snap on the rapid growth of a club owned by a friend and by the company's record in the US market.

The success of his first club was another driver.

"I purchased the Kingaroy club six months ago and we have already built a huge presence in town with over 800 members," Mr Miller said.

"I expect Lismore to be a huge success."



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