Fitness Solutions serves as both a fitness center and a large training studio.

FITNESS SOLUTIONS 24/7

Durango, Colo.; bfit4u@hotmail.com; www.FitnessSolutions247.com

While most people don't work out at 2 a.m., those who want to can, at Fitness Solutions 24/7 in Durango, Colo. Fitness Solutions is the only 24-hour fitness center in the Four Corners region, says Don Roberts, owner, manager, head trainer (and janitor). The way it works, he explains, is that all members have their own private security code, which allows them access to the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Their code is tracked through a numeric touch pad at the front door. Digital color cameras and a digital video recorder monitor activity around-the-clock. Since there are no employees other than Roberts, these technologies add up to security and convenience for him and members. "I am usually at the facility from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. most weekdays. However, my facility basically operates by itself," he says. Also, "with no employees, my overhead is minimized."

The facility was designed as a dual profit center. It serves as both a fitness center and a large training studio. Two trainers work as independent contractors, paying Roberts a percentage of their earnings. Says Roberts, "We are the three most experienced trainers in the region, with more than 52 years combined. ... Together, we [have] approximately 60 training sessions a week."

Another unique aspect of Fitness Solutions is that it is an adult-only facility -- no one under 21 years old can become a member. It caters to baby boomers and older adults, and the clientele base includes more than 50 percent women. Corporate fitness memberships from local businesses (a newspaper, hospital, restaurants) also make up a large portion of memberships.

These members appreciate the extra amenities offered at Fitness Solutions. There are fresh flowers, organic lavender bodywash, hypoallergenic lotion and natural ginger candies in the women's locker room, and natural shaving cream and lotion, and disposable razors in the men's locker room. Other amenities include Cardio Theater, commercial-free digital music (classic rock, upbeat blues, oldies), a daily local newspaper and many magazines.

Roberts is also environmentally conscious: All paper products (paper towels, toilet paper and tissues) are made from recycled paper. Plus, all plastic, paper and glass used at the facility are recycled. And, only two pieces of cardio equipment in the fitness center use electricity.

Fitness Solutions' member convenience, personal training program, extra amenities and environmentally conscious approach have all added up to one thing: success and profit. Says Roberts, "The gym has paid for itself in under three years, including all of the equipment. How many clubs can say that?

Facility Stats

* Date facility opened: August 2002
* Facility size: 5,500 square feet
* Number of members: 275
* Strength equipment: BodyMasters machines and benches, Free Motion multi-directional cable cross and multi-functional lower lift, Iron Grip (IGX) rubber-coated barbell plates and bars, Troy rubber-coated dumbbells (5 to 100 pounds), Hampton rubber-coated dumbbells (3 to 50 pounds), Body Bars (4 to 24 pounds)
* Cardio equipment: Precor treadmills and elliptical trainers, Life Fitness recumbent and upright cycles, Schwinn Airdyne cycles and group cycling bikes, Concept2 rowers, StairMaster Freeclimbers, jump ropes
* Extras and amenities: Free basic training session for new members, customized eating plans, bodyfat and blood pressure tests, Cardio Theater and five TVs, stretching and yoga mats, Bosu trainers, exercise balls, aerobic steps, dozens of magazines, daily newspaper, bottled water, lots of plants, fresh flowers