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Posted on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Planet Fitness opening in former Hollywood Video in Ann Arbor

By Lizzy Alfs

Two years after Hollywood Video shuttered its Ann Arbor area stores as part of a company bankruptcy, a buyer has emerged for one of the vacated buildings.

Planet Fitness franchisees Jim Matthew and Dennis Backos purchased the building at 2350 W. Stadium Blvd. for $2 million, city records show.


A Planet Fitness is opening in the former Hollywood Video on West Stadium Boulevard.

Lizzy Alfs |

“We’re just excited to come to Ann Arbor and make it work there,” Matthew said.

“It’s a great market, it’s very healthy and a forward-thinking city, in my observation,” he continued.

The 26,284-square-foot building, between Planned Parenthood and McDonalds, has been vacant since Hollywood Video closed in summer 2010. It was listed for sale with John Fricke of Signature Associates and has an assessed value of $1,392,200.

Fricke said a variety of users expressed interest in the building, and at one point, it was under contract to a retailer who planned to construct a new building on the site.

“I think there is a lot of activity in (the gym) segment right now between Planet Fitness, Fitness USA and LA Fitness. I’m not surprised that’s who ended up buying the building,” Fricke said.

Matthew and Backos, who both have a long history in the fitness business, currently own four Planet Fitness gyms in Michigan. Matthew said they’ve been searching for space in the Ann Arbor market for nearly two years.

Renovations were under way at the building Thursday morning, and Matthew said it will be completely transformed into a basic fitness center with cardiovascular and strength training equipment, a locker room with showers, tanning beds and HydroMassage beds. Matthew estimated they’d spend more than $1.2 million on equipment and $1 million on the renovations.

“It’s a big investment,” he said. “We’re really committed and confident it’s going to be well received in the Ann Arbor market.”

Based in New Hampshire, Planet Fitness is a franchise chain of fitness centers with more than 600 locations. The company’s website says the gyms are a “Judgment Free Zone” where members can “relax, get in shape, and have fun without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms.”

There are 30 Planet Fitness centers in Michigan, including one in the Washtenaw Fountain Plaza at 2748 Washtenaw Ave. Matthew and Backos don’t own that location.

Memberships cost $10 per month or $19.99 per month for the “Black Card” which includes unlimited tanning, use of HydroMassage beds and other perks. Free fitness training is included with the memberships.

“We offer very affordable fitness,” Matthew said. “Beyond the affordability…it’s an environment that is non-intimidating.”

On the first Monday of every month, Matthew said they give out free pizza to their members. The second Tuesday of every month free bagels and coffee are offered.

Matthew hopes to open Planet Fitness in late April and plans to hire 12 to 15 employees to staff the gym. The center will be open for 24 hours from Monday at 5 a.m. through Friday at 9 p.m., and it’s open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 4:29 a.m.

Wow. So many angry people. 1) You do not have to eat the pizza / bagels. If you can't control yourself around it,don't hate on those who can, or those who at least manage to work a slice a month into their diet. And anyway if there are people who are going crazy on the pizza does that make your diet and exercise any less successful? 2) If Planet Fitness does not offer the type of workout you want, don't go there. As people have said over and over, there are already gyms that offer other types of workouts. So go there and don't worry about if someone stopping at PF is getting a workout as perfect as yours. Seriously, it's people like you that make PF so successful. There are many people who want to go do some cardio and lighter weight work without someone scoffing at them that their workouts are not good enough. I,for one, love the PF atmosphere and am thrilled to not have to go out to Ypsi 3-4 times a week for my workout anymore.


Mon, Mar 4, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

I totally agree with you!! I am so excited about a location coming to A2! I belonged to the Ypsi location for years, but eventually got tired of the drive there and back, so ended up paying up the "you know what" for a membership at another gym closer to home. I love the ease of PF, great cardio machines and enough of them you never have to wait! In and out with a good workout in a hour!! I'll take it :)


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:21 a.m.

this is a good use for this property, subway will i'm sure benefit from this.I almost joined planet fitness last month but didnt like the idea of driving to ypsilanti to the mall it was in. so I joined the one on one atheltic club on boardwalk for a $10 a month membership, they have a full weight room plus cardio,and can join some of thier classes for a small fee on the $10 plan, but also includes steamroom & saunas. so I looked at it as a better deal. plus its not all purple & yellow. all the staff at one on one are really nice.

Dog Guy

Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

Is Ann Arbor city council requiring that all exercise machines be connected to electrical generators? Or is Ann Arbor's green outlook merely political posturing?


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Hurrah, now the Ypsi PF will not be so crowded...this is way overdue


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 6:11 a.m.

Ann Arbor is large enough for them to be a 24-7 operation. I have been going to the Novi Planet Fitness for about the last 8 months, and while it isn't perfect, it does fit my schedule. I think Waterford is the only place where they are never closed (except holidays, of course). IMO, the gym is way too cardio-based, when really you should do some weight training to burn fat. Plus, don't be surprised if those 75 lb weights aren't there; my gym stops at 60. But it's $10/month and no contract. Thus, I said "Sold!"

Mike D.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

I would have preferred an E by Equinox, but it's a step in the right direction.

Bertha Venation

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6:10 p.m.

I guess we can expect a lot more distracted driving accidents on Stadium Blvd., if they keep the windows in front.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

No, not really. Never been there but I assume the "eye candy" crowd would hang out at a more serious type gym rather than "the judgement free zone".


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Look, for those who want serious training, this isn't for them and it doesn't pretend to be. For those who would workout if they could only afford the rates, this is a good option. For those who aren't sure but don't want to commit to several hundreds of dollars per year just to get started and try, this is also a good choice. And for those who do have other options and only want something inexpensive to get them through the bad weather months, this is also a good choice. The company is successful and expanding. It will also offer some competition in a burgeoning market around here. I'm all for it. A lot better than another dollar store, resale shop or drugstore.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

I'm pretty excited about this. While I'm currently a YMCA member, I'm excited about a gym being open 24 hours. Sometimes I crave midnight cardio.


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Keep in mind there is an AnyTime fitness open 24 hours already -- very near here (in the shopping center Plum/KMart is in). They do a great job


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

Those hours are going to appeal to many people even parents with kids


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

I think the west side of Ann Arbor is a great location for PF. I am a member of the Ypsilanti PF because you can't beat $10 a month for a gym membership. For the most part I love Planet Fitness, but the thing I dislike the most about Planet Fitness is Pizza Monday's. A few people said just don't eat the pizza, but the smell of it stinks up the whole building. The last thing you want to smell when you are getting a good workout in is 2 hour old pizza and body oder mixed together. Also I have honestly seen people grab pizza and without washing their hands or anything go right to a machine with their greasy hands and start to use it. Plus I would never think about touching that pizza because you don't know how many people come over after their workout without even washing their hands and touch a slice that they aren't going to eat. No thank you. I wish Planet Fitness would do away with Pizza Monday's.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

I've never been to one but this is my thought exactly! The smell would definitely not be something enjoyed during a workout If there is no intention to eat it! I won't eat the food but I'm hoping the equipment is good enough to cancel out the smell?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

Sign me up!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:26 p.m.

I'll be happy when the day that comes that an empty storefront in my area is replaced with someplace that I would actually go to, like an antiquarian bookstore specializing in military history and naval titles.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Start one.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

$10 / month? If that's true, I can get a good workout then nip next door for a Big Mac, then across the street for a Whopper. mmm love them Whoppers!

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

ok I am sure not to go there, free pizza on mondays what. they dont make enough money to serve anything healthy. what an oxymoron come get fit and wait. eat some fattening pizza NO THANK YOU I go to a gym to avoid that stuff and yes alot of young people eat that stuff (and can afford to weight wise) I guess they dont care to get us older people in. I am just sayin


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

You're not required to actually EAT the pizza...


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

"The company's website says the gyms are a "Judgment Free Zone" where members can "relax, get in shape, and have fun without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms."" Sadly enough, as politically correct as society is, there are still stereotypes like this thrown around. I've been an avid weightlifter for 25 years and bad gym etiquette like loud grunting, not racking equipment, dropping dumbbells from waste high, and overall lack of consideration from others exists in many folks who come to gyms and rarely from folks who fit this stereotype. Whenever I do see this type of behavior, I'm usually the one who will politely speak to the offender because most gym staff would rather avoid confrontation because they feel they are not paid enough to care. However someone like me who likes to incorporate deadlifts into my routine and frequently needs dumbbells heavier than 60lbs is discouraged from coming to this gym.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

"@Djacks: You are probably in the 1% with your lifting and you are not PFs customer. They know that and you know that." I suppose the hard core sports nutrition supplement industry doesn't know that then? But it is still a multi-billion dollar industry.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

@Djacks: You are probably in the 1% with your lifting and you are not PFs customer. They know that and you know that. For most other people, it is a pretty reasonable solution. Many people just want cardio.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

@Lizzy: 75lbs is definitely better, but sadly still not heavy enough for my needs. Furthermore, contrary to popular stereotype, weights heavier than 75lbs can be lifted without loud grunting and dropping them loudly. I've found over my 25 years and countless hours in the gym that someone who is loud and/or drops weights over 75 pounds will be just as loud and/or drop weights lighter than 75lbs. This also applies to people I've seen that can't even use the 75lb dumbbells.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

As much as I love my Planet Fitness and my experience there, this kind of culture (with the members as well with the staff who don't want to get involved) still exists even at Planet Fitness. I've lost count the number of times I've seen people not wipe down the machines (cardio or weights) or ignore the 'circuit only /your membership may be revoked if you are using the machines without using the area for circuit training' warning sign. I too have told the person still at the machine that is my next stop and that this area is for circuit training only even after pointing this out previously to the staff about this same person.

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

FYI: Matthew said the biggest weight is 75 pounds. I have to say, it does make me uncomfortable when people are loud in gyms. Especially while I'm lifting my 10 pounders!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

This is great, but adds to an already congested area with some potentially high traffic. Does this building have adequate parking capacity for a gym? I don't remember much parking at all when Hollywood was there.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

There's a lot of parking in the back.

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

Matthew said there is plenty of parking for the amt of members.

Phil Pfeiffer

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

Thanks "King" Snyder, more minimum wage jobs for people to support their families with. We are all so proud of you for bringing in jobs to Michigan!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.

And what on earth does your comment have to do with anything ?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

I'm a member at AnyTime Fitness just down the road by Plum Market and I love it. Truly a 24 hour gym that allows me to work out around the country at any other AnyTime Fitness. Pretty incredible!

Katrease Stafford

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

I don't live far from this building and I'm definitely excited about this. I can't wait to hear more details!

Dr. Fate

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

I've never been to a Planet Fitness but I go to a gym regularly. I really like this location for a gym but I'm not so sure about the line, "without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms." So, people who actually work hard to take care of their bodies and look good because of it are discouraged here? Kind of brings new meaning to "catering to the masses."


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

This is GREAT!! Now maybe I can get a work out in during my lunch break :)

George Allen

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

I'm all about the "inclusive" feeling Planet Fitness has, but it would be nice if they could expand their gym. For example, the squat, dead lift, clean and jerk, etc. are all fundamental exercises; why not divide the gym into two parts? At least have one platform and squat stand.

George Allen

Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

Not sure why got so many down votes... I was just saying they are missing out on some important exercises. The olympic lifts are great addition to any training program.

Rabid Wolverine

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

Because you might grunt while lifting heavy objects. While they are fundamental lifts/exercises PF caters to cardio and light weight lifting. I used to be a member at one until I started getting serious about getting fit and found myself wanted to do these basic lifts. PF didn't have the equipment and wouldn't allow deadlifts to be done even when they did.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Sooooooooooooooo excited about this!!!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

Mostly because there aren't any reasonable clubs in this area!

An Arborigine

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

Glad to see the space improved and occupied. Sounds like the kind of place you don't have to buy new spandex to attend and you won't find men flexing in mirrors. A much more appealing fitness experience for someone who wants to be active, improve their health but not adopt a vegan, whey protein, raw egg and creatine diet.

An Arborigine

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

Excellent point, my bad. I was trying to emphasize the point that not everyone is going to adopt the "healthy workout lifestyle" including extreme dietary changes.

Some Guy in 734

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Uhhh... How can one accomplish a vegan diet while eating eggs and whey?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

In all seriousness, if the PF fitness haters know of a better deal in the AA area, I would love to know about it. $10/month? How do you beat that? BTW, nobody is making you stuff pizza in your pie hole.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

@Lizzy; They often have join for free deals. The $10 enrollment is a one time thing. I think you are correct on the $29/year fee, so that works out to closer $12.50/month. @djacks24 If you are looking for Dead Lifts and free weights, PF is not the place for you and they freely admit this. You can get a lot of machines - leg presses, chest etc. Also, they have cable machines and Smith Machines - so you can do bench presses and squats like that (no, they aren't "free weights". I have been looking for a reason to quit ever since I joined, but I can't find one. The equipment is very well maintained, I rarely wait for a machine, the place is clean and the staff is really nice. Basically, their business model is to get a bunch of people to pay $10/month so they can feel good about "belonging to a gym" without actually going. For $10, it isn't worth quitting. If you actually go, you are reaping the benefit of all the $10/mo couch sitters. @music: I have yet to eat the pizza, and I can buy my own carrots with the $25/month I save over Anytime Fitness.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

I go to 1 on 1 fitness in Ann Arbor and it has been $10 a month for at least a couple years now trying to compete with Planet Fitness. Also, 1 on 1 will actually let you "lift weights" as opposed to whatever Planet fitness encourages. On the down side, the place is usually packed, equipment is old and beat up, and the place is really run down.

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

why dont they add some choices i.E carrots, fruit. its just not right they are to promote healthy eating pizza is not healthy.

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

I've never heard of a $10/month a deal in the area. That's very inexpensive in the gym world. It's also a $10 enrollment fee, I think, and $29 annual fee. So you figure it works out to be a bit more than $10..but still!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

Any gym that serves free pizza but doesn't allow you to do deadlifts shouldn't call itself a gym.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 10:28 p.m.

Pumping irony.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

There's a comment by someone who knows what a gym is all about. A comment voted down by those who haven't a clue. They really DO serve free pizza... you can't make this stuff up!

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

I love it!

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

What do you think, readers? Good use for the building?

Andy T

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

I think it's fantastic. It seems like every city has one of these budget gyms but us. Some people just need a place for a casual workout.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

For sure. I might want to rethink my current local gym membership and check out the new PF. The West Stadium location is not any farther than where I drive to nowadays. I like the idea of more competition and more choices for us to think about. For those who think PF caters to the non serious get out of it what you put into it (your personal training, fitness and well being).


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Great use! I love the Planet Fitness in Ypsi and judging from the number of people at this gym when I go as well as the number that come in to sign up with they have their deals seems to show that others do too. I'm sure AA residents will as well.

Rabid Wolverine

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

While it will end up being a good use for the space, it is not my gym of choice. Too much pandering to those who do not want to make a healthy lifestyle change or take personal accountability. Also, I find the connection between Planet Fitness and the Biggest Loser to be humorous to say the least. The trainers and contestants on that show would set off the silly "Lunk Alarm" and would be promptly removed from the gym.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

I would think it is better than being vacant.I'm not sure how the one in Fountain Plaza is doing business wise but if one can make it there in Ypsi ( twp ) I would think one in Ann Arbor would do pretty good. Oh, I forgot.If they dropped 2 mill on the place I'm pretty sure they did some research first ( at least I would think they did )