Side-by-side fitness clubs operated by the same company are planned at Parkland Mall next year.
Located in the former Sears site at the mall, a 63,000-square-foot GoodLife Fitness and a 12,000- square-foot Fit4Less by GoodLife are expected to open next spring.
The chain said the Red Deer operation will be the largest of its clubs in Alberta. It already has 27 clubs elsewhere in the province.
The company said it has more 350 clubs across Canada, 13,000 employees, more than one million members, and is the largest fitness company in Canada.
The Red Deer clubs are expected to employ over 50 people full time and 50 to 70 part time. Both clubs will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
GoodLife offers personal trainers and coaches, as well as things like group cycling classes and strength training. Fit4Less is a lower cost club, without change rooms for example.
GoodLife was founded in 1979 by David Patchell-Evans, who became interested in fitness after a motorcycle accident.
He opened the first outlet in London, Ont., where the head office is located, using money from a snowplow business he ran while putting himself through university.
Patchell-Evans said on Thursday that the Red Deer business will have between 35 and 40 personal trainers, and it will also offer a child care component called Jump.
He said that Red Deer was an appealing market for the company because Alberta and Red Deer have a young population.
Dan Hachey, general manager of Parkland Mall, said they were thrilled with GoodLife’s decision to choose the mall for its location.
“It’s terrific, terrific news for us,” he said, and he is delighted that it will be the largest GoodLife facility in Alberta.
Since Sears left the mall in 2008, the retail space has been largely empty, with several temporary and seasonal retailers since then.
The GoodLife deal, which is long-term, will take up almost 80 per cent of the former Sears space, Hachey said.
The main access will be through the north side parking lot at the mall. There will be a corridor access to the mall for members of GoodLife. Construction will start at the latest by the end of July.
Serious discussions with GoodLife began a year ago and the deal was finalized on Thursday, Hachey said.
About 20,000 square feet not yet leased is being promoted to larger box retailers who are now on the market looking for space, he said.