It may seem like businesses leave quicker than they come locally, but one business has managed to stay open and grow in St. James for 10 years – Energy Fitness.
The story of how Energy Fitness was formed is simple: two training partners from Mt Sinai – Dan Moreno and Mike Tucci – came up with an idea to open a gym. The two then approached Mike’s brother Trevor, who lives in Port Jefferson, with the idea, and the three took over an existing St. James gym. Two years later longtime friend Michael Fox, who was looking to move back home after living out on the west coast and down south, joined the trio.
While the story of how the fitness center came together could be described as simple, its growth throughout the years could not be.
The fitness center it originally took over in January 2003, located at 556 Route 25A, was 5,000 square feet with outdated equipment and personal training provided only by Moreno and Mike Tucci. Energy’s home today is a stand-alone 9,000 square foot building located at 555 Route 25A, with an additional 1,500 square feet of outdoor turf workout space, manned by 15 personal trainers and a staff of roughly 50 people.
The four owners have also grown to embrace a philosophy of wholeness and treating more than just the body. Energy has teamed up with other local businesses and provides space for day care, physical therapy, aquatic therapy, meditation classes, t'ai chi and more.
With a new year here Energy is introducing yet another change: a greater focus on nutrition. While the ownership is still working on nutrition program details, they said the nutrition focus would include meal plans, group meetings, supplements and more.
Fox said nutrition programs would be introduced over the next few months.
Over the years Mike Tucci said they’ve brought in double the amount of workout equipment than they could house in Energy’s former home, and the machines and products are the most cutting-edge and innovative available in the industry today.
“We're really staying on the cutting-edge of what the industry continues to bring out, it's always a changing environment,” he said. “Now that we have more freedom ourselves we've been able to get out to these fitness conferences and fitness shows and bring you cutting edge stuff.”
Arguably the biggest change Energy has been through was moving into its new home. After months of construction the new location was open to the public in the fall of 2011.
While Fox chooses not to consume himself with staring in amazement at the new gym he helped create, the same could not be said for Trevor, who has claimed a spot on the couch in the waiting area and another spot in the corner opposite the juice bar as his places to sit and enjoy his creation.
"It's pretty incredible to think that this was just an idea when the sign went up for sale over here," he said.
The new location was built how they wanted, but Fox believes it’s not the gym’s greatest asset.
"As nice as it is to have our own facility and the layout that we specifically planned out, it definitely comes down to our team and our approach to be personal and authentic, that will define us,” he said.
Over time, according to Moreno, Energy has changed a number of services and highlighted different programs and classes to adapt to a rapidly changing economy. While the business plan is not the same as when they started 10 years ago, with the anniversary Energy decided to re-introduce some of the past rates and programs to clients.
For their anniversary party on Jan. 31, they are offering rates to clients that they offered in 2003, including five one-on-one sessions for $145, five Reformer Pilates classes for $99, five boot camp classes for $59, five swimming lessons for $99, and a $130 juice bar card for $99.
With the vision of their fitness center transformed over the 10 years being open, Fox said the four owners see no end in sight.
"We certainly are always looking at opportunities and we would still like to move forward when the right opportunity presents itself with another location and we're open to other areas and other elements within the industry," he said.
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