Stephen Norton says starting a second fitness venture wasn’t on his radar, but he couldn’t pass up a good business opportunity when he saw it.
Norton has owned On Edge Fitness on Christina Street for nine years. Now he’s also owner of a new fitness spa called PURE at 1315 Michigan Ave.
On Edge and PURE are both about getting and staying fit and healthy, but they offer very different experiences, Norton says.
On Edge is more of a commercial gym that Norton started in 2008 on a shoestring budget with the help of his brother Barry.
In the early days at On Edge, Stephen did everything.
“I didn’t have staff at first and would be the one to sign people up at the desk, answer the phone and do personal training,” he said. “I’m not afraid of a lot of hard work and I don’t give up.”
On Edge grew very slowly but equipment was upgraded or expansions were made every year.
One of Norton’s strategies to save money was to buy used equipment when other gyms shut down.
That’s how PURE came about.
The building PURE occupies was formerly Agoya Fitness Studio, which closed down last summer. When Norton went up to take a look at the equipment for sale, the landlord offered him a good deal for the entire facility. It includes a fitness studio, a hot yoga room, regular yoga and pilates room, a gym, change rooms and a workout apparel shop.
“I realized that if I want to grow I had to pull the trigger,” said Norton, whose family invested too.
“I am really an entrepreneur at heart and I know I’m not going to get a new facility for this kind of investment again.”
PURE is a fitness studio with a spa atmosphere. The yoga room has a cork floor. The floors in the change rooms are heated. The music is soft and the walls are soundproof. There’s a sense of calm.
PURE, with its upscale amenities, costs $79 a month for a basic membership lasting a year. There’s an introductory discount. In comparison, On Edge costs $46 a month including all classes and the aquafit pool.
Duo memberships are also available.
Between the two facilities, Norton now has 35 employees. Jess Mills is at PURE and offers a Burn Program for people interested in customized workouts, small groups and meal plans. Burn costs $200 a month with Mills, who is a holistic health and wellness coach.
Norton’s business plan calls for 400 to 500 members at PURE. Four months after opening, he estimates there are 150 “and trending up.” His financial plan also depends on sharing the leased space with other businesses.
In January, BodyBalance Health & Physiotherapy relocated to 1315 Michigan and shares reception with PURE.
The two businesses complement one another, Norton said. There are also massage therapists working from the building.
For more information about PURE, visit www.onedgefitness.com and look for the PURE classes, or call PURE at 519-704-1385.
Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.