WASILLA — The Shoppes at Sun Mountain welcomed the opening of their second business on Friday as Planet Fitness opened their doors to Valley residents.

While the 6 a.m. opening of Planet Fitness was not quite as well attended as the opening of Alaska’s first Sonic Drive-In location at The Shoppes in August, residents swarmed the location on Friday looking to get some exercise.

“Planet Fitness’ model is based on creating a really comfortable place for everyday people who want to work out and improve their lives,” said owner Dan Afrasiabi.“The Wasilla club will be crown jewel in our entire club network.”

The 25,000-square-foot open floor space features dozens of treadmills, stair steppers and other automated machines. Afrasiabi said that Planet Fitness updates their equipment periodically, ensuring that members have access to state of the art exercise equipment. New member Morgan Bailey registered her membership in December after hearing that Planet Fitness would open their TSASM location this spring.

“I told my husband I wanted it and for Christmas and he got it for me,” said Bailey. “I live this room a lot this specific one because I can do circuit stuff and this is way bigger than the one that I’ve seen before but I really like it.”

Bailey used the tanning bed, exercised her heart and legs on cardio equipment and had worked up a sweat doing body weight resistance exercises. Bailey did not want to pay high prices at other gyms and instead opted for a membership at Planet Fitness. Bailey was one of dozens of residents that formed a line at the entrance hoping to get their membership to Planet Fitness.

Manager Shawn McTaggart said that about 10 people were waiting for the doors to open at 6 a.m. and that she was running from one thing to the next all day. Planet Fitness offers basic memberships and black card memberships which allow members to use tanning beds, happy lights and massage chairs 24 hours a day. Planet Fitness is staffed by about 20 people in total and Afrasiabi said that he hopes the location can accommodate a total of 10,000 members.

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