GoodLife Fitness, Canada's largest fitness centre chain, announced Tuesday plans to open a club in Charlottetown. That news has struck some fear into owners of some smaller, locally-owned gyms.
GoodLife has more than 350 fitness centres across Canada. It expects to open a 24,000-square-foot facility next summer in the Belvedere Plaza by Indigo.
Chris MacPhee, the co-owner of Atlantic Fitness Centre, says he thinks both the larger and smaller specialty clubs in the city co-exist very well. With GoodLife entering the market that could change, he says.
"With a city the size of ours, it will be a challenge for us all, that's for sure. It will definitely hurt all the companies in the industry around Charlottetown," he said.
"They can basically move here and they can operate at a loss. So really, when they don't have to worry about the bottom line as much as the rest of us do that have been in the market in Charlottetown for quite some years, that's challenging for us."
Brad Hawkins, director of operations for GoodLife Fitness in Atlantic Canada, says the company has had its sights on P.E.I. for some time.
He says there's lots of business to go around and the more opportunities for people to get fit, the better.
"There's definitely ongoing opportunity for everyone," he said.
"We thought this was a fantastic opportunity for us to live our purpose, which is to provide every Canadian the opportunity to live a fit, healthy, good life."
Spa Total Fitness Centre's owner Colin Younker says although another competitor will "take a piece of the pie," he hopes it will "get more people involved. More people out of the houses and into the gym, onto the treadmills and weight machines, and hopefully that will have a positive impact on everybody."