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Business Beat: GymBox Fitness up and running in Longview

By Mike Elswick melswick@news-journal.com
Jan. 26, 2013 at 10 p.m.


G<em>ymBox Fitness</em> opened its first location in Longview in late December, according to owner/partner <em>Brian Parker</em>.

Located at 110 Triple Creek Drive off of Judson Road, Parker said GymBox was created to address the growing demand for affordable fitness - while ensuring a member experience that is "second to none."

He said this is accomplished through an award-winning design, a commitment to member and guest service, value pricing, a broad offering of membership options that include salon-style tanning, child care, saunas, as well as access to personal and group training.

GymBox also has a juice bar, a pro-shop, and free on-site wireless service for its members as well as the latest and best in cardio, free weights and exercise machines, Parker said. Also included is the Final Cut Cinema, which includes an array of cardio machines in a movie theater setting.

"We are excited about finally getting our first location open in Longview," Parker said. "It's a great community that we are excited to become a part of - and we are especially excited to be offering our concept at the time of year when people want and need an affordable option to meet their new year's objectives."

He said the partners faced "hiccups" along the way in renovating the building that is more than 30 years old. But, Parker said, the owners ended up being happy with the way the gym turned out.

The basic GymBox membership includes no enrollment and a monthly membership rate of $9.99.

The gym's premium membership, which includes unlimited basic tanning and child care also has enrollment with a monthly membership rate of $29.99.

Parker said details of all membership options can be found at www.gymboxfitness.com as well as by stopping at the location.

Parker said the partners made a major investment at the gym and are committed to physical fitness - and to Longview. As part of that commitment, GymBox will donate a share of profits to local public school physical fitness programs, he said.

"In this time of declining funding for physical education and increasing obesity among young people, we feel it is part of our mission to help address this need" he said.

<strong>CNG</strong>

The Longview area's first compressed natural gas fueling station could be up and in operation by April, according to <em>Matt Russell,</em> director of marketing for <em>Independence Fuel Systems</em>.

The Longview-based firm has a site directly behind the new <em>Denny's</em> restaurant under construction, Russell said. While recent rains have delayed the pouring of concrete, he said all the engineering work on the project is complete and concrete should be poured as the ground dries out.

He said all the equipment needed has been ordered, produced and is awaiting installation. Russell said once the location just off of South Eastman Road and Pittman is in operation, Independence Fuel Systems officials have their eyes on two other potential CNG locations.

One of those would be at the <em>Gateway Travel Plaza</em> off of Interstate 20 and Texas 42 near Kilgore. The other is at the travel plaza in Carthage at the Loop and U.S. 59 South.

Russell was not sure which of those would be under construction first, but he said company officials hope to have both CNG fueling locations in operation by year's end.

<strong>Hit a home run</strong>

Former three-time University of Texas All-American and Olympic bronze medalist <em>Kip Harkrider</em> is offering private hitting instruction for boys and girls.

Harkrider has seven years of professional playing experience and is opening a hitting facility in Kilgore. He will also have pitching coaches for girls.

The facility is scheduled to open in early February. Call (903) 503-8494 for information and to book lessons.

<em>- Mike Elswick is the managing editor/business editor of the Longview News-Journal. He can be reached at (903) 237-7737 or melswick@news-journal.com.</em>

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