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Anytime Fitness Operator Finds Familiar Scene Atop the Mountain



Mark Stevens is an Anytime Fitness franchisee who just returned from a monumental challenge: climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He details the experience, and how it’s rejuvenated his zeal to grow his business, in the October issue of Franchise Times.

“I’m thinking I need to find a tougher mountain. I feel like maybe I’ve lost a little bit of an edge. I got a little comfortable. Just like now I have an appetite to do something more adventurous physically, it’s bringing back an appetite to make me say I can do more business-wise,” he told this blogger.

But one experience on the mountain seemed similar to all those Januarys at his health clubs, when the masses show up in brand-new clothes, but fizzle out quickly. Here’s how he put it:

“I’ve been in clubs for years now in January, and people show up with the new $150 tennis shoes, and they have the high-tech running gear or whatever it is, and you just know they bought the gear but they’re not really ready to exercise the gear to its limit.

“When we were there, you see two groups of people, actually three. There are people like myself that have been hiking and backpacking before; we have our equipment that’s pretty well used. Then you have this group, they’re probably wearing $500 to $600 of clothes that had never been worn before. They’re pristine, clean. And they’re the ones that on the first day they’re like, oh my God, I don’t know if I can make it. You’re passing them by.

“And then on the other end, you’ve got the porters. The porters aren’t even wearing the right size shoes sometimes. They’re just ragtag, and they’re carrying 30 to 40 pound packs on their backs. And they’re balancing these things on their heads. And we go ahead of the porter, but then they’d pass us on the trail and have camp set up by the time we got there.”



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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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