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First Lebanon County Planet Fitness to open

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The first Planet Fitness location in Lebanon County and the 14th in the midstate is expected to open next month, according to the store's manager.

Manager Alan Shomo said the new location of the gym franchise in the Lebanon Valley Mall in North Lebanon Township expects to be open by mid-to-late March with about 20,000 square feet of fitness space.

The original plan was to open in mid-February, but the severe winter weather played havoc with the construction schedule, he said.

“This definitely seemed like the right demographic,” said Shomo, who added that he’s opened about 20 new Planet Fitness locations around the country, and last worked for the company as a regional manager in the Philadelphia area. “There was one needed in this area.”

The closest locations currently are in the Harrisburg, Reading and Ephrata areas, Shomo said.

Planet Fitness is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week fitness operation geared toward making people not familiar with a gym setting feel comfortable. It already has 13 current locations in the midstate — four each in Cumberland and Lancaster counties, three in York County and two in Dauphin County.

There are more than 700 locations across the country, according to the Planet Fitness website.

Shomo said the newest franchise location is owned by a family in the Philadelphia area, and that this is their first Planet Fitness operation to own. The location has been under construction since mid-November, he said, and the size of the new facility puts it at about the average of what Planet Fitness locations usually measure at.

“They’re usually between 10,000 and 30,000 square feet,” he said. “This one is going to be between 20,000 and 22,000 (square feet) when it’s finished, so it’s going to be in the middle, maybe a little on the large side.”

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