DOUGLASSVILLE — After being closed since mid-March, Snap Fitness in Douglassville has reopened. The 24/7 fitness facility in the Douglassville Shopping Center reopened Tuesday, Sept. 1, with new owners Bruce and Mary Monteiro.
Over the last couple of months, the couple purchased all of the equipment in the 4,000 square foot facility from former owner John Stockton, negotiated a lease with the landlord and worked out a franchise agreement with Snap Fitness. Over the weekend, the couple held a soft-opening at the location — signing up new and returning members.
Bruce Monteiro said he and his wife Mary were members of that Snap Fitness location. They and other members received notification from Stockton in the spring that he would be closing the gym permanently. Stockton had owned and operated the franchise location since it opened in 2008.
“We reached out to him pretty quickly after that to see what his plans were and what it would involve for us to take it over,” Monteiro said. “John owned all the stuff — the weights, mirrors — everything in the gym. He had already ended his franchise agreement with Snap Fitness so the second part of the puzzle was to work with them on what they wanted.”
The third part, Monteiro said was working with the landlord about the lease.
“It was great — everyone wanted to work with us,” he added. “Snap Fitness waived some fees and agreed to a one year initial agreement, as did the landlord.” That one year commitment was an important piece for Monteiro, given the continuing uncertainty around coronavirus.
The first conversations were in early May, according to Monteiro and by the beginning of August the couple had made a serious commitment.
“A lot of it for me was doing due diligence before committing,” he said, adding that he negotiated “fail safes” in the agreements, in case circumstances lead to another shutdown. “We had to negotiate these things because of the uncertainty.”
Once the agreements were in place and all the paperwork completed, the new owners began reaching out to former members of the Douglassville gym to let them know they would be reopening the facility Sept. 1.
Snap Fitness is a 24/7 exercise facility with card access for members only. The 4,000-square-foot facility has treadmills, eliptical machines, bikes and a variety of machines. There is also a free weight section with dumbbells and barbells, as well as fitness classes and access to a personal trainer. Monteiro said they may also partner with other practitioners — perhaps an acupuncturist or massage therapist to come in a couple days a week.
“We’re looking for other opportunities to get other people into the gym,” he said.
Monteiro said the gym will meet all CDC, state and local recommendations related to coronavirus. Signs are posted on every other treadmill and stepper, taking that piece of equipment out of use, a hand sanitizer station has been installed and Monteiro said they have purchased better disinfecting wipes.
There is also signage encouraging social distancing and asking clients to wipe down machines before and after use.
Gyms are currently limited to 50% capacity, which Monteiro said will not be difficult to enforce, and is something he will monitor by watching the door access numbers.
“I have never had to wait for equipment or a treadmill. That is what’s nice about this — it’s a small hometown gym with a national name,” he said.
Monteiro retired from the Reading Police department as a lieutenant, after 24 years of service, serving as quartermaster for the department. Snap Fitness isn’t the first business Monteiro has owned. While in high school, he owned an auto body shop before moving into general contracting. He and his wife owned another franchise based in Limerick and they are currently distributors for ISAGENIX — a health and wellness company
Snap Fitness is located at 180 Old Swede Road in Douglassville. For more information visit https://www.snapfitness.com/us/gyms/douglassville-pa-180-old-swede-rd/ or https://www.facebook.com/SnapFitnessDouglassville.