One of the most common refrains Anytime Fitness manager Sandy Prillaman has heard since the fitness franchise's opening in February 2011 has been that people did not know her gym was tucked away in the Camden Town Center across from Walmart.
So Prillaman, a minority owner with her husband, Derek, and majority owners Danny Wandless and Andy Weiss decided to employ some marketing muscle to help propel them forward in their quest to capture more of the market share in central Kent County. One of their moves was to hire Brittney Passerell as the community relations/wellness coordinator.
Anytime Fitness had gained 500 members in the last two years, Prillaman said. But the owners were looking for the same kind of growth experienced at their Smyrna store, which had grown to 1,000 members since its inception three years ago.
One of the suggestions Passerell had was to join the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, known in greater Dover for its networking events that brought businesses and big wigs together in Kent County. As one of the perks of Anytime Fitness' new membership, the chamber held a ribbon cutting for Anytime Fitness on Thursday.
Prillaman was pleased with the turnout.
It has all been part of the push to tell the world about Anytime Fitness' 24-hour access for customers seven days a week, Prillaman said.
Amongst its Camden clientele, customers come in after working the second shift around midnight on through those who come in after the graveyard shift between 7 and 9 a.m., Prillaman said.
"It's a very secure place, monitored 24 hours per day," she said.
The security cameras are so good that the Camden Police Department and the Delaware State Police Camden barracks have regularly asked to view footage from Anytime Fitness to help them catch robbery suspects fleeing from Walmart, Prillaman said.
In addition to safety, Anytime Fitness offers the added convenience of being part of a network of more than 2,000 franchises located in the U.S.A. and worldwide, Prillaman said. Therefore, customers can continue their exercise routines while on business trips or on vacation, she said.
As customer Dan Simpson put it, Anytime Fitness had eliminated all excuses. Simpson, of Dover, joined the Camden gym two months ago at the behest of his father, who had been a member for one year.
Simpson has worked the swing shift at a local hardware store. With his hours varying from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to noon to 10 p.m. it was hard to be a member anywhere, Simpson said, as he worked out Monday morning.
Now, he can exercise at his convenience.
"It's fantastic," he said. "It doesn't matter what my hours are now. I can get in here anytime."
Page 2 of 2 - While customers come for solo workouts during off hours, they can also come in during the day to work with trainers, Prillaman said.
"No matter what your fitness base is, we're here to encourage them," she said. "We get to know our members and we help them reach their personal goals."
MORE ABOUT ANYTIME FITNESS
WHAT At Anytime Fitness of Camden, members can exercise any time using their own security-access key 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Yoga, body blast, Zumba and core classes are available during staff hours.
WHEN 24-hour access to gym for members. Trainers on staff 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; Saturday appointments available during winter; no staff on Sunday.
WHERE 386 Walmart Drive, Camden Town Center, Camden
CONTACT (302) 698-4GYM (or 4496), Email CamdenDE@anytimefitness.com, or visit www.anytimefitness.com.