TCHS grad Joe Luther recently opened his third Anytime Fitness in East Orlando.
By Jacob Engels
Over the past few years we have all watched Anytime Fitness grow in East Orlando. Last week, we sat down with Joe Luther – the man behind the three Anytime Fitness locations in East Orlando. He is a graduate of Timber Creek High School.
Joe is a serial entrepreneur whose main focus is consulting businesses on the contracting, development, and management of their operations. He is also a NFPT certified personal trainer with over 9 years of experience in the field. Below is our Q&A.
What inspired you to open three East Orlando Anytime Fitness Gyms?
Anytime Fitness was an appealing brand to me because it offered many different fitness options that other fitness centers did not offer.
Coming from big box and commercial gyms, Anytime Fitness really made me see fitness through a different lenses for the first time. At Anytime Fitness we have a type of culture where everyone is like family, to be able to have a gym that fits anybody’s needs from bench pressing 550lbs to loosing over 200lbs, Anytime Fitness is the facility to not only get in shape – but inspire others and that is what really made me fall in love with the brand.
Giving everybody regardless of their work hours or schedule an opportunity to workout at their own time is another huge reason. Also the ability to use a facility that isn’t overpopulated or crowded. Allowing a member to use a gym with efficiency and in a timely manner is rare these days with our increasingly busy schedules.
What makes Anytime Fitness different from any other gym?
We allow our members 24 hour access, 365 days a year with over 2500 clubs around the world. No limits and certainly no excuses here! There aren’t many people who can offer that, at affordable rates, with the level of equipment that we offer.
On top of having an amazing staff who is constantly making every members experience a personable one, we have awesome personal trainers to keep every workout exciting.
As a new business, how did you become successful in a market with a plethora of other options?
Hitting the pavement. I’ve lived in East Orlando my entire life so I knew a few people who had businesses in the area who really taught me a lot about business to business marketing. Through word of mouth and previous clients who believed in me, I was able to increase our membership by over 100 members in our first month which was huge considering I didn’t have a marketing budget.
Before owning four Anytime Fitness clubs (3 in East Orlando and 1 in Palm Bay) I was a personal trainer in East Orlando, so I also had an idea of the market and knew what the general public was looking for – from a cost standpoint to what was needed in the gym. We also try to offer a more home gym style of feel at Anytime Fitness versus a larger gym, where we get to know the members and allow them to feel like it is their gym.
This industry is hard, for the sole purpose of people being afraid of committing when they don’t know anything about how to workout. That’s why I try to encourage all of our staff to reach out to as many members as possible and really make their experience more than just coming to lift weights, or run on the treadmill and leave. I believe that’s made us successful, and led us to where we are today.
We hear you have employed a lot of local Timber Creek graduates, tell us about that. Any other ways you contribute to the community?
Yes. Some of our employees are Timber Creek grads along with myself. We really pride ourselves on our community and trying to integrate it as much as possible. We all love to continue to learn and grow our fitness knowledge through certifications or learning first hand business experience. Our business has grown quite a bit in the last four years from being ran as one facility gym to a four unit health club system, and that was a big change for us!
We’ve had to develop our team and systems to be able to support and manage this type of growth. Anytime Fitness as a brand has its own trainings that we have also taken advantage of – which besides from teaching us about business also teaches us about emotional intelligence. This not only allows us to better understand ourselves but our members as well.
This type of investment is not only seen in our staff but what allows us to maintain our gold standard of customer service in the industry. We recently set up marketing internships with Parsons School of Design to help us better understand the consumer and re-brand our three clubs in the East Orlando market.
Anytime Fitness of Orlando has also started donating this year to offer partial scholarship opportunities to underprivileged kids who cannot afford it themselves but despite their economic and social background are in need of a second chance. We have done a few volunteer opportunities for kids who are interested in the fitness industry to come in and help with the upkeep and daily duties of owning and running a gym. We are always looking for ways to get involved and are frequently involved in community events like Relay for Life at Timber Creek High School.
We are also involved in a non-profit Second Chance Foundation and we have partnered with the Umansky Law Firm to provide scholarships through that organization.
I hear you are quietly expanding your fitness empire, what is next for Anytime Fitness?
Yes! Anytime Fitness as a brand is growing huge around the world and we are trying to keep up right here in East Orlando! We are currently expanding into the East Orlando quickly with our third location in the new Town Park Publix Plaza! We now have three locations within the East Orlando area between Avalon Park, UCF, and now on East Colonial. It’s great that members can have three convenient locations to use whenever they choose, ANYTIME.
Photo of Joe’s newest East Orlando location located at 12231 East Colonial Drive.
My goal is to keep opening clubs to give as many people as possible an opportunity to workout at these gyms and have a great experience every time. We also pride ourselves in being the best place for fitness in East Orlando and will continue at striving to maintain that reputation!
How can people learn more about your business and it’s offerings?
Either come on by to one of three our locations in East Orlando, or check us out on the web! AnytimeFitness.com, punch in your zip code and find which club is closest to you!
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org