Baltimore County

Bally Total Fitness opens spacious gym

Amy Rosen and many other Bally Total Fitness employees eschewed sleep to work through the night on July 1 and put the finishing touches on a 46,000-square-foot health club scheduled to make its debut in Lansdowne Friday.

At 5 a.m., 30 minutes before the club officially opened to the public, Rosen said a man knocked on the front door.

Rosen, a spokeswoman for the company who lives in Chicago, said she greeted the man and congratulated him for being the first person to work out at the facility, which has been under construction for about 10 weeks.

The Bally Sport club in the Lansdowne Station shopping center on Washington Boulevard features several workout studios, a three-lane pool, a whirlpool, saunas, a child-care facility, more than 200 pieces of cardio equipment, a large weight lifting area and interactive equipment that tells the schedule of classes and can suggest workouts.

"This is the first club of its kind. This is our flagship space right here," Rosen said. "We have Bally Sport clubs that are older, but they are nothing like this.

"It's the new generation of our Bally clubs."

Rosen estimated on the eve of the opening that nearly 1,000 people had already signed up.

"The premise of this entire club was built on understanding (consumers)," Rosen said. "The thought was, 'Let's build it around getting people to get the results they actually want to get.' "

To facilitate people getting these results, the club has a childcare center that is free with a Bally Sport Elite Sport Membership, which costs $19.99 bi-weekly.

A Bally Single Sport Membership, which grants the user access to only one club, costs $15.99 bi-weekly.

"We realize that a lot of parents, the reason they don't work out is that they don't find the time and don't know what to do with the kids," Rosen said.

She said the center will have attendants, toys and games for the young charges while their parents take advantage of the weights, pool, cardio equipment and studios in the club.

Along the perimeter of the club are areas specifically designed for martial arts,yoga andpilates, personal training and racquetball, as well as a group exercise space that measures nearly 2,000 square feet.

Rosen said on June 30 that exercise classes at the gym will be running within a week.

The club also has Wi-Fi access and three dozen televisions scattered around the workout areas.

The club will employ about 50 full- and part-time employees and Rosen said the company will hire locally.

According to the release, Bally Total Fitness has nearly 300 fitness clubs in the United States and more than 2 million members.

Prior to the opening of this facility, the two closest Bally Total Fitness clubs to Arbutus were in Catonsville and Glen Burnie.

Just before 9 a.m. on opening day, only a handful of people worked out as workers swung hammers and finished working on what appeared to be the aesthetic features of the club.

Halethorpe resident Joseph Mildner walked out of the club at 8:30 a.m. after completing a cardio work out.

"It's close by to work. It's nice. I could work out and don't have to be to work until 11 o'clock," said Mildner, a member at Bally Total Fitness since 2008.

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