Fitness Club Merritt Island Set to Expand to Serve Central Brevard Demand for New Exercise Facility
By Space Coast Daily // July 27, 2020
Business Partners Lou Manley and Steve Ash Aim to Keep Brevard Fit
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – If business partners Lou Manley and Steven Ash have their wish, the residents of Merritt Island are going to be a very fit bunch. The owners of Fitness Club Merritt Island, Manley and Ash are brave enough to do what few are tackling during the era of COVI-19: open a new gym…and a big one at that.
Come September, Fitness Club Merritt Island will have a new second location on North Courtenay Pkwy., but this will not be a little sibling by any stretch.
The second building will offer 13,000-square-feet of space, almost double the 7,500 square feet of the original gym.
Manley and Ash know the gym business from both sides, for it was as members of Fitness Club that they first became acquainted with the gym. When the original owner decided to sell in 2018, they jumped at the opportunity.
The gym had been in operation since 2003 and is the longest-running gym and fitness center on Merritt Island.
The partners have been strong supporters of community organizations since the day they took ownership, sponsoring teams at Merritt Island High School, including baseball, girls’ lacrosse and softball and also orchestrating several blood drives at the gym.
They view adding a second location as one way to better serve the community now that Health First has closed its ProHealth complex on Merritt Island in order to prepare for building the new Cape Canaveral Hospital at the location. Cocoa’s YMCA, which offered many exercise classes, also closed.
“We felt there was a need that wasn’t being met,” said Manley.
Manley left the leisurely world of retirement to manage the gym. He was a former corrections officer at New York’s Rikers Island, one of the world’s largest correctional institutions. Ash is busy, busy, busy as project manager for the electrical systems being installed for Orlando International Airport’s new Terminal C.
The new gym is on track for a September 1 opening.
Members will find a bounty of classes at both locations, plus some more amenities at the new kid on the block, including an array of brand-new and impressive high-performance Hammer Strength training equipment, an on-site childcare area and a protein and juice bar. For added convenience, the plan is for both facilities to remain open 24 hours a day for members 18 and older.
While the new gym will not feature a full-size outdoor lap swimming pool, as the original offers, it will have a sauna, and members can opt to belong to both gyms for a small upcharge and forego ever experiencing exercise boredom.
“It will be like belonging to two different gyms,” said Manley.
With social distancing on the forefront these days, the new gym will satisfy the desire for elbow room.
Fitness Club already provides an abundance of safety measures that include social distancing, stringent cleaning of equipment and temperature checks that deny access to anyone with temperatures 100.4 degrees or above. There will be even more distancing at the new facility.
“All the equipment will be spaced out, so it will basically be built-in social distancing,” said Manley.
Among options offered at the family-owned gym are core classes, Zumba and Zumba Light, Boot Camp and Silver Sneakers classes for older adults. Insurance plans such as United Healthcare are welcome, or members may opt to self-pay month to month or purchase three, six or 12-month memberships.
“Work fast and hard,” the motto of Fitness Club Merritt Island, applies not just to the membership, but also to the owners.
“We both live here and want to be good neighbors,” said Manley.
Fitness Club Merritt Island’s current location is at 260 E. Merritt Island Causeway, #2; the new facility, slated to open in September, is located at 1450 N. Courtenay Parkway. For more information, call 321-455-2227 or visit MerrittIsland.fitness
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