Back on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, Rob LoBianco stood inside Johnston-based Anytime Fitness with his father, Rob LoBianco, other family members and invited guests to perform the ceremonial ribbon cutting at what attendees later learned was much more than just a neighborhood gym or workout club.
It was, as LoBianco told a small crowd, “a memorial to his mother” – Arlene J. Souza LoBianco, who lost a courageous battle with cancer on Aug. 31, 2010. The day of the ceremony was also his mother’s birthday.
Last Saturday, LoBianco, his father and Janice DiRaimo – who helps with many daily tasks – welcomed family, friends and dignitaries and officially opened his second Anytime Fitness, which is located next to Stop & Shop off Greenwich Avenue in Warwick. Actually, the gym has been operating since this winter.
DiRaimo, affectionately known to Anytime Fitness staffers and members as “Auntie,” is indeed LoBianco’s aunt and his late mother’s sister.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, who was asked to perform the ceremonial ribbon cutting, and U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin learned that people who belong to Anytime Fitness in Johnston – or even Attleboro – can use the facility 24 hours a day.
“The biggest benefit to our members,” LoBianco said, “is our members have 24-hour access.”
Yet, Anytime Fitness is not staffed around the clock.
“Each member has a security access key fob,” LoBianco told people during a tour of the state-of-the-art, 5,700-square-foot facility. “Inside each key fob is a microchip with every piece of information about the respective member. That’s how people can have 24-hour access here.”
LoBianco also explained that Anytime Fitness has locations in five countries and over two million members.
Why, though, should someone choose Anytime Fitness?
“Because it’s convenient, affordable and fun,” LoBianco said. “And with 24/7 access to thousands of our clubs around the globe, you can workout on your terms. Fitness has never been so easy.”
In addition to learning about the 24/7 access, people who attended last Saturday’s official opening were extremely impressed with the state-of-the-art equipment and cleanliness of the entire facility.
“Our clubs are scrupulously clean, and they offer a friendly and supportive atmosphere that is second to none,” LoBianco noted. “We have integrated access and security with remote monitoring of surveillance systems providing round-the-clock safety and security.”
Anytime Fitness is also equipped with devices that allow members to have one-touch access to emergency care.
LoBianco, who celebrated his 44th birthday on Tuesday, also showed people the treadmills, ellipticals, Expresso interactive bikes equipped with 21-inch monitors and the ever-popular Cybex Arc Trainer, and much more sparkling new equipment.
“The Expresso bikes are unique,” he explained. “They allow users to interact with the bike through the monitor and even to shift gears as if they’re going up hills. The user can actually race against the bike next to the one they’re using.”
Anytime Fitness is unique, LoBianco says, in “another interesting way. People love our not-crowded atmosphere. Even during our busy times when other clubs are booming, we only have 15 to 20 members in here.”
When asked if he ever thought about opening two locations, LoBianco said it happened by surprise.
“This [Warwick] location was the first territory we bought,” LoBianco said of signing on as an Anytime Fitness franchisee. “But the way it went, especially with construction plans, we ended up buying the Johnston market and opening there first.”
However, LoBianco says, “Warwick is going to be a great location. We’re exactly one minute off the highway – I personally timed it myself. Because of our demographics, this is going to be a great, great location. We’re next to a supermarket that’s always busy, there’s plenty of parking and the lot is well-lighted at night.”
And, as LoBianco said with a wide smile on his face: “This is a great neighborhood with lots of family homes and lots of nice people.”
So, these are busy times for LoBianco, who is now the proud owner of two state-of-the-art facilities that are perfectly named seeing as they’re open 24/7. He’s ably assisted in Warwick by general manager Julie Lynch and Steve Storti, the club’s director of personal training.
LoBianco simply loves the business of helping people get healthy while also keeping alive his mother’s name and memory.
In honor of his mother and the grand opening, he is offering new members the first month free.
And, just like the Johnston location of Anytime Fitness, the Warwick store is equipped with a huge “Inspiration Message Board.”
“It’s as unique as our addresses,” LoBianco said, noting that the Johnston address is 1577 Atwood Ave. and the Warwick location is at 577 Greenwich Ave. “Our members love it and are always writing inspirational messages that have, and will continue, to help and motive others.”
Anyone who’d like more information about memberships and Anytime Fitness’ corporate wellness programs should call 401-383-8889 or 401-737-4949.