The new Evans Fitness Club was a beehive of activity at Wednesday’s opening as members checked out the new equipment and visitors took tours and signed up for workouts.
The area’s newest fitness facility, located in Marshall Square in Evans, held a ribbon-cutting with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce at 11 a.m. and officially opened its doors at 12:12 p.m.
“Words can’t begin to describe it,” co-owner and general manager Mike Montarbo said. “It’s been a long process. It’s been about a year-and-a-half of planning, developing, creating and finally getting close.”
With a steady stream of customers and close to 5,000 members already enrolled heading into opening day, traffic at the front desk was steady.
“It’s been going along smoothly,” said front desk receptionist Natalie Richards. “We’re just trying to get everyone in here to work out.”
One of those taking advantage of the two-story facility encompassing 53,610 square feet and a variety of workout areas was Evans’ Mike Hill.
“I haven’t worked out in 15 years,” said Hill as he exercised on one of the many available treadmills on the first floor. “My wife signed us up for a family membership, so we’re all going to make use of this.”
Downstairs also features free weights and plate-loaded Hammer Strength equipment, the facility’s 22-foot-tall rock-climbing wall, a steel octagon cage for martial arts and self-defense classes, a 40-yard sprint track, racquetball courts and a spinning room.
Johnny Snyder was using the octagon and working a heavy bag.
“It’s awesome,” Snyder said. “It’s great to have a cage as an MMA fighter.”
The locker rooms have showers, saunas and steam rooms. Day-care is provided for members’ children. A smoothie shop and weight-loss center located in the gym are available to nonmembers.
“I love it,” said Hayley Morris, who was working out with her parents using the family plan. “The machines are equipped for what you want to do and there’s a lot of variety.”
Montarbo can’t point to just one thing as the club’s biggest selling point.
“It’s pretty much the whole gym,” he said. “It’s unlike anything in the CSRA. We have a lot of stuff that nobody else in town has.”