MOVement Fitness Center to open in Marietta in May

Will include soccer field, Ninja obstacles

Photo by Janelle Patterson Ashley, left, and Brant Whited, right, both 33, of Marietta, talk about what is going into their new fitness center in the former Tractor Supply Company building.

MARIETTA — Imagine a space where both parents can get in cardio and weights while their three children play soccer, volleyball or enjoy a playground year-round.

Sounds like a big city dream.

But with an indoor turf soccer field, tri-purpose basketball/volleyball/pickleball court, batting cages, American Ninja Warrior obstacles, three-lane track, 5,400-square-foot weight and cardio machine area, group fitness room, CrossFit box, cross-training turf space, martial arts room, supervised child play areas and locker rooms with showers, that dream of one young family is about to become a reality in Marietta.

“Our biggest dilemma when we moved here was he’d work out but I couldn’t because I had the kids,” said Ashley Whited, 33, of Marietta.

“For the price of childcare on top of a gym membership anywhere else it wasn’t really worth it.”

Ashley and her husband Dr. Brant Whited, an anesthesiologist with the Marietta Health System, wanted to have a dedicated space for the whole family to become healthier.

“I pay for the 24-hour access at the gym I’m at now because I’ll often go at 5 a.m. before I go to work… and that gym space isn’t the size of our cardio/weight space plus we’ll have so much more here,” explained Brant.

“The closest thing to this is probably in Zanesville and they’re my consultants for this.”

The pair has worked with Ted Christy on the renovation of the former Tractor Supply Company building in the back of the Frontier Shopping Center to not only bring the building into the 21st century with new electric, beams, lighting and security cameras, but also to utilize the entire floor space for the MOVement Fitness Center.

“The drawing card here will be coming from more than just Washington County,” said Christy, excited to fill his building with life after Tractor Supply moved out in 2014. “We were excited from day one and we had a lot of faith in Brant. (Building owners) have to be open to new concepts like this because retail needs for large facilities have changed over the last 10 years.”

Brant said they began working on the project last summer, and now expect to take on pre-sale memberships this month with a grand opening projected later in May.

For $30 to $35, depending on yearly versus monthly membership payment, an individual can have access to the whole facility and its group fitness classes. Couples will be charged $45 to $50 and a family $60 to $65 with an extra $5 per member per month for 24-hour access for members over 18.

That membership fee includes fitness classes, including those taught by the center’s new program and wellness manager Amanda Mercer, owner of THRIVEfitt.

“THRIVEfitt is staying open, but it’s specialized, I have boot camps and spin class and triathlon training and this is an opportunity to expand and really improve upon the group exercise offerings in Marietta,” Mercer explained. “(The new facility) is huge and there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. I’m a firm believer that you have to find what works for you. This broadens the reach of fitness options and gives you a chance to find your fit.”

“She’s going to be a huge asset to this place, she has experience and knows the fitness business,” added Brant.

Seniors will also have a discounted rate above age 55, ($20 per person per month, $30 per couple, additional $5 per month if paid month to month). Walkers on the track will be charged $100 for the year and students would get a rate of $180 for a year’s membership. To rent a locker for a year would also be an additional $5 per month.

In addition to general facilities, the gym will also be an official CrossFit affiliate.

There’s a 7,300-square-foot box with separate parking in the back of the facility and Brant said there will be three Level 1-certified CrossFit coaches coming on board in the space as well.

“Thomas Hinkle and Tyler and Autumn Eppley are our three coaches so far,” he explained. “There will be CrossFit-only memberships but also discounted rates if they want a membership to the whole facility that will give them 24-hour access so after, say a 5 a.m. class, they can hit the showers before work.”

The Whiteds said they are also open to exploring corporate memberships to increase wellness in local businesses and plan to lease advertising space on the walls surrounding the entire space.

“We already have league coaches asking us when they can reserve spots for games and practices,” said Brant. “We truly want this to be a positive place for the whole community to get healthier and combat both the obesity and drug problems in this area in a productive way.”

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MOVement Fitness Center

Included in the facility:

* Turf soccer field, 75 feet by 150 feet.

* Tri-purpose basketball/volleyball/pickleball court, 42 feet by 74 feet.

* Surrounding spectator areas.

* Batting cages.

* Twelve American Ninja Warrior obstacles.

* Indoor three-lane track.

* 5,400-square-foot cardio and weight machine area.

* Group fitness classroom for spin, yoga, Pound, Barre and other class options.

* Two supervised child play areas.

* CrossFit box, 7,300-square-foot separate space, called CrossFit Weld.

* Turf cross-training room/fall golf simulator, 30 yards.

* Outdoor volleyball and basketball courts.

* Martial arts space, 30 feet by 36 feet.

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