Just two years after its debut, Equinox’s no-frills budget gym, Blink Fitness, is set to open its fifteenth location in the tri-state area this Friday—on 125th Street in Harlem—and the brand is planning to double its presence within a year.
“To be opening our 15th Blink Fitness location in such a historic neighborhood is an exciting time for our company,” said Dos Condon, vice president of Blink, in a press release.
Blink Fitness first opened in Noho, Paramus, and Yonkers in January 2011 and has rapidly expanded into city neighborhoods and suburbs that are under-served when it comes to fitness options—think Jamaica, Queens, Parkchester in the Bronx, and Flatbush, Brooklyn (opening in August).
The business model pairs super-cheap monthly rates with back-to-basics gym set-ups. About $20 per month gets you cardio and strength equipment, a whole lotta free weights, and not much else. Except that it’s executed in a clean, trendy way, avoiding the grimy, low-rent feel of similarly priced gym chains.
The new Harlem location will follow the Blink blueprint, spreading 100 pieces of cardio and 65 pieces of strength equipment over 16,000 square feet, plus an area for free weights, personal training, and group fitness (the clubs offer very limited group classes). It’s opening on Friday, June 21, with a ribbon cutting that will be attended by state senators and city council members.
And while the brand will continue to open in neighborhoods that will truly benefit from affordable gym options (Grand Concourse, you’re next), it’s bound to also attract boutique fitness fiends who like a treadmill option in their back pocket but are sick of shelling out big bucks for both an expensive gym membership and their $40 SLT classes three times a week.
Those new customers, ironically, could be Equinox defectors. —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.blinkfitness.com