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Budget chain Planet Fitness to enter Panama

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Low-cost US-based gym franchise Planet Fitness is opening its first club in Panama, central America.

The 20,000sq ft (1,860sq m) facility in Santa Maria is due to open in autumn, with a second site planned for Centennial by the end of 2017.

Planet Fitness, founded in 1992, is known for its affordable prices and being hassle-free in a non-intimidating environment, marketed as a “judgement free zone”.

The Panama sites will have the brand's "lunk alarm" – a purple and yellow siren on the wall used as a light-hearted reminder that grunting, dropping weights or judging others is not permitted.

Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness chief executive, said: "As we continue to expand our brand internationally, we are excited to enter Panama and bring Planet Fitness' non-intimidating, high-quality, and affordable fitness experience to the Costa del Este community."

The two clubs will feature cardio and strength equipment, circuit training, fully-equipped locker rooms and showers, flat screen televisions and free small group fitness classes. Planet Fitness Black Card members can bring a guest at no additional charge and have access to HydroMassage recliners and massage chairs.

Dave Leon, a 30-year fitness industry veteran and Planet Fitness franchisee for 13 years, will be the owner and operator of the Santa Maria and Centennial locations.

He said: "I could not be more excited to open Panama's first Planet Fitness location in Santa Maria. I am confident that people will love everything we have to offer, and we look forward to being a part of the local community."

The Budget chain, which provides free pizza on the first Monday of every month and free bagels on the second Tuesday of every month, has more than 10 million members and over 1,300 locations in 48 US states, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Dominican Republic.

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Low-cost US-based gym franchise Planet Fitness is opening its first club in Panama, central America.
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