Presque Isle Business Owner Talks About The Challenges Of Opening A Gym

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 1:43 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Starting a new business can be challenging at any time, but combine the usual obstacles with inflation and the employee shortage in Aroostoook County and it can be even more difficult. Sherry Karabin spoke with a new gym owner who decided to forge ahead anyway.

”There’s a lot of need for health and wellness, especially on the other end of COVID and with the conditions in the community we could use some health and wellness programs.”

Aroostook County Fitness owner Steve Plummer is talking about his reasons for opening a gym. Located at 499 Main Street in downtown Presque Isle, it features three main workout areas, including separate fitness and cardio portions upstairs and a weight room downstairs.

“I’m also developing a separate room, a private room downstairs for those who do yoga, giving them some floor space there.”

A professional bodybuilder and certified personal trainer, Plummer is currently running the operation himself, but he does hope to add employees in the future. Although he hasn’t had to tackle the worker shortage issue in the county just yet, that doesn’t mean it’s been smooth sailing.

“Everything is incredibly expensive right now, where it used to be you’d buy iron at about a dollar a pound and now you’re buying iron at about $2.50 a pound, a significant jump. I bought some medicine balls last week over $4.50 a pound. The gym cleaner I purchased is $25 a gallon. So prices are very high it does make it challenging.”

When the doors opened on September 29, Plummer had 12 people signed up for memberships, a number which he expects to grow. He’s also hoping to provide opportunities for personal trainers to work with those members that are interested.

“Currently in our community all the personal trainers or most of our personal trainers are out of work. There’s no platform for them to train at. This facility while it’s not a mega gym by any means at this facility I’m going to give a platform for personal trainers to continue on their work so they can get back to work. "

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Aroostook County fitness is currently open 7 days a week from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., but within the next six weeks the owner plans to provide 24 hour a day keycard access to members. In Presque Isle this is Sherry Karabin reporting for NewsSource 8.