June 30, 2008
Stay Fit is Back in Shape: Gym Reopens in New Location With Members’ Help
By RYAN McCARTHY and KYLE TEAL, Florida Keys Keynoter, Marathon
Jun. 28--Stay Fit Studio in Key West has reopened just blocks from the site of the June 8 fire that destroyed the gym along with two other businesses.
How did they get set up so fast in the new space? "Determination," says co-owner Amy Spielberg. That, and a little help from friends. Spielberg says members, who wanted the gym to re-open as badly as the owners, helped clean and paint the new space, a former Tiki Hut Treasures nick nack store at 804 White St.
"It's been great," she says. "We learned about ourselves and our community. That's really the good to come out of a bad situation."
"I love the new place," said Key West retiree Jane Moshel, pedaling on a stationary bike on Wednesday. She's been a member since she moved to the island about six months ago. "This place had a good feel about it," said Shane Dimando, a gym member who runs a guesthouse and bar on Duval Street. "That's why people came in the first place."
Nothing was salvageable from the June 8 fire, and all new equipment had to be ordered. It arrived on Monday.
Spielberg says the goal was to reopen within two weeks of the fire. They almost hit it. A grand re-opening and "free day" was held on Tuesday and the gym resumed normal hours on Wednesday.
The new building is almost twice as big as the space 1100 White St., where Stay Fit first opened Dec. 1. "We had looked at it before and thought it was too big for us," Spielberg said of the new space. But now, they have room to spread out. Instead of just one area, the gym has one big area for its 20 StarTrac stationary bikes, used for the spinning classes, and another area for Pilates and yoga classes, and personal training with free weights. There are smaller rooms used for massage, facials and waxing.
Spielberg says she does miss the charm of the old location, across from the busy Sandy's Cafe: "It seems a little quieter here because it's in a residential neighborhood...I do miss my corner." Spielberg gives massages for $85 an hour and leads spinning classes. She is an equal partner in the gym with Leah and Charlie Renier, Douglas Bradshaw and Warren Benjamin.
Bradshaw, who just 16 days before was grimacing at the sight of his destroyed business, smiled as he pedaled his stationary bike Wednesday. "This place gives us something extra," he said.
Stay Fit Studio is open 6:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays). Summer special membership is $99 per month, or non-members can pay $15 per class. For more information, or for a schedule of classes offered, go to www.stay fitstudiokeywest.com or call 294-0693.
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Copyright (c) 2008, Florida Keys Keynoter, Marathon
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