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Fitness Chain Opens First Of 500 Planned Gyms In Communities Of Color

A nationwide initiative that will bring affordable gyms to Black and brown communities nationwide kicked off in Dallas-Fort Worth earlier this month with the opening of four new health clubs.

Retro Fitness, a Florida-based fitness franchise, has committed to opening 500 of its facilities in 50 minority neighborhoods over the next five years. The company partnered with BlackRock’s Impact Opportunities Fund and Eastwood Capital PartnersJames Collins to develop the first 80 facilities, according to a news release.

Retro Fitness' Dallas location is now open at 7989 Belt Line Road.

"I'm excited to see the positive impact we make with these first locations in the greater Dallas area, and I'm even more excited to continue my partnership with the Retro Fitness team as we open more health clubs for local communities to benefit from, in more ways than one,” Collins said in a statement.

The Project Lift initiative hopes to make exercise, fitness and health affordable for African American and non-Black Hispanic citizens, who have a higher obesity rate than other ethnic groups regardless of socioeconomic status, according to its website. 

The DFW clubs are located in Dallas, Mesquite, Richardson and Garland, per the release. The facilities were previously owned by YouFit, which sold the gyms to Retro Fitness in late 2022.

Retro Fitness is hoping to grow the program by attracting additional investors. Those who choose to participate pay no franchise fee and receive 50% off first-year royalties, per the release.

"This investment is the largest development deal in the history of the company, more importantly we are proud that it is about making a significant difference and giving back to Black and Brown communities,” Retro Fitness CEO Andrew Alfano said in a statement.