Planet Fitness is coming to Culpeper in 2020.

The fitness center known for its $10 monthly fee plans to set up shop here in a portion of the former location of the Belk department store in Dominion Square Shopping Center on James Madison Highway.

Planet Fitness will occupy around 22,000 square feet at the old store site, according to company spokeswoman Amanda Pleiter. The Culpeper Belk, which closed in January of 2016 after 30 years in Dominion Square, spanned around 34,000 square feet in the since-subdivided space.

The new health club will open in late winter or early spring of next year, Pleiter said. The Culpeper Planet Fitness will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, she said.

“We will offer 24/7 access to a huge facility packed with cardio and strength equipment. We offer unlimited fitness classes and free fitness training to members of every level. We also offer access to our Black Card spa for Black Card Members that includes hydromassage loungers, massage chairs, tanning and more. The gym offers all of these amenities in a clean, comfortable, and judgement free workout environment,” Pleiter said in an email to the Star-Exponent.

She said an average of 10 employees work at each health club location. Hiring for the Culpeper location will begin in the next few months, Pleiter said, adding the company offers competitive pay and benefits.

She said there would not be a pool at the new facility in Culpeper as this is not an amenity offered by Planet Fitness.

The town of Culpeper already has at least three major health clubs, including one with an indoor pool. Last November, voters rejected a referendum for the county to spend $13.1 million to build a YMCA on county-owned land on Route 229.

Asked what would set Planet Fitness apart from existing health clubs in Culpeper, Pleiter pointed to the company’s judgement free, non-intimidating environment and affordable memberships.

“It’s a great place for people of all fitness levels, from those who have never stepped into a gym before, to seasoned veterans. We will be open 24/7 and always staffed, so members can access the gym whenever they would like and always feel safe,” she said.

Based in New Hampshire, Planet Fitness is one of the country’s largest franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more than 1,800 clubs in the U.S., including in Charlottesville, Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia. It recently expanded to Australia and is also located in Mexico and Canada.

The company boasts being home of the “Judgement Free Zone,” providing “a unique environment in which anyone – and we mean anyone – can be comfortable,” according to the company web site.

“As we evolve and educate ourselves, we will seek to perfect this safe, energetic environment, where everyone feels accepted and respected. We are not here to kiss your butt, only to kick it if that’s what you need,” the web site stated.

Planet Fitness also offers free food to its members. Pizza Night is the first Monday of every of every month and bagels are served monthly on the second Tuesday.

Planet Fitness is already a member of the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce. Its physical address upon opening will be 725 Dominion Square.

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