HJ/EDApril 3, 2006

Snap Fitness now open in Montrose

By Liz Hellmann
Staff Writer

After signing a purchase agreement in January, Jason and Christina Clark of Dassel celebrated the opening of their business, Snap Fitness in Montrose, last weekend.

Located on Highway 12 in the strip mall next to the bank on the east end of town, Snap Fitness is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

But this isn’t just a big step for the Clarks, it is something the community of Montrose has been lacking – and with 60 percent growth in the last two years, something it needs.

“I think it has been needed for quite a few years,” Christina said.

Everywhere they go, people comment on how excited they are that a fitness center is coming to town.

“Our phone has been ringing off the hook,” Christina said.

Before the doors even opened, more than 20 people had signed up.

Christina, who was born and raised on a dairy farm near Sherman Station west of Winsted, is happy to bring the business to the area.

“I love this area, I don’t want to live anywhere else in the world,” Christina said.

Snap Fitness is a franchise, but the Montrose business will be locally owned and taken care of by the Clarks.

However, there are advantages to owning a piece of the larger corporation.

“We have a standard rule sheet to make sure everything from A to Z is covered,” Christina said.

Members can also use other area Snap Fitness centers, and receive discounts at local businesses.

In order to stay open 24/7, there is a surveillance system in place, which can be monitored from the Clarks’ home computer, even when they aren’t there.

A key card grants patron access to the building.

Once inside, this fitness center has everything needed to get ready for swimsuit season.

Cardio equipment includes treadmills, elliptical machines, stairsteppers, and stationary bikes.

There are 14 different machines for conditioning and circuit training. The free weight area offers a large variety including bench press, preacher curls, and a Smith machine to work the upper body.

For those who don’t know the difference between their biceps and triceps, free training sessions for members are offered. Sessions take place every Saturday to demonstrate how to properly use the equipment and tailor it to specific body types.

Christina will be conducting most of the trainings, and has experience at the Cokato Snap Fitness, where she still works part-time as a manager and personal trainer.

“I will be hands-on,” Christina said.

Both Jason and Christina had been involved in sports from a young age, and Christina took two semesters of full fitness training, including weight room classes, coaching, and nutrition.

The idea to start their own business came when Christina left her job as a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines.

“We knew it was time for a transition, given the current conditions,” Christina said.

But even the fitness buffs have their weak spots. During the last days of renovation to the store, Dairy Queen containers and donuts could be seen around the work area.

“I guess we’ll have to work out later,” Christina laughed.

Renovating the building, which used to be a chiropractor’s office, took the help of many people, including Christina’s dad and handyman, Paul Yates.

“Family and friends really pitched in to make this Snap Fitness come together,” Christina said.

The Clarks are also excited about an upcoming face-lift to the building they are leasing.

Since being taken under new ownership, the strip mall, which also houses a gas station, will see improvements to the front of the building, the roof, and the parking lot.

Memberships at Snap Fitness are $34.95 per month for a single membership, and $49.95 for a family membership.

The enrollment fee will be waived for the first 100 members who sign up. Snap Fitness also accepts major insurance programs that offer a $20 discount to members who work out at least eight times a month.

“Clergy are always free, as a give-back to the community,” Christina added.

Management hours are 1 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, or to join, call (763) 675-6750.

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