NEW ULM - Anytime Fitness of New Ulm has new owners. Dan Kern and Mike Tonsager from St. James took over ownership on March 1.
They also purchased Anytime Fitness in St. James last May.
Kern and Tonsager work as physical therapists at the Hospital in St. James.
Staff photo by Clay Schuldt
New Ulm Anytime Fitness Manager Drew Aufderheide, left, stands with the gym’s new owners, Dan Kern, middle, and Mike Tonsager, right.
"We had done some research of Anytime Corporate, and we're impressed with the franchise itself," said Tonsager. Anytime Fitness was recently named the No. 1 franchise in the world by Entrepreneur Magazine.
Anytime Fitness is also one of the fastest growing franchises. Since starting in 2002 Anytime Fitness has expanded to 2,400 and operates in 16 countries. The popularity of gyms have increased n large part due to recent health care changes. Tonsager explained that many people are realizing it is more cost effective to stay healthy. Some insurance companies reimburse part of the cost for gym memberships.
Kern credited the gym's success with the positive culture and a good atmosphere. He and Tonsager agree the gym's environment is inviting rather than intimidating thanks to the hard work of management and trainers.
Drew Aufderheide, manager of the New Ulm Anytime Fitness, said the gym's major goal is to improve self-esteem and teach people it is not necessary to become a "monk to fitness" to stay healthy.
"The scariest thing for a person to do is to walk through the front door. Most people that come in here have been thinking of getting healthy for a lot longer than they would care to admit," Aufderheide said.
New Ulm Anytime Fitness is one of 50 "Rebel Gyms." According to Aufderheide , the Rebel Gym reaches out to people who do not believe they have a place in fitness. "Not everyone wants to run a marathon; not everyone wants to be a body builder. There are people who just want to get off their medication and feel better," he said,
Jessica Pautzke works as a personal trainer at the gym. She became interested in a fitness career after undergoing two knee surgeries while in high school. "I kept hearing excuses from people saying 'my knees are bad or my back is bad.' Well, I've had knee surgery at such a young age, and I am still in shape and active." Pautzke said some days her knees still hurt, but she knows how to work with the problem.
Anytime Fitness is located 512 1st Street South. Members have 24-hour access to the facility,