Ribbon cutting celebrates opening of new Planet Fitness gym in KC’s urban core

KANSAS CITY, Mo -- What once stood as an empty grocery store on Emmanuel Cleaver II Boulevard is now a brand new gym.

"I know from the beginning when they actually closed down the Apple Market that was here, people were a little upset, like what are they going to build here? It's going to be something we can't use, something we don't need," Planet Fitness member Jhavea Dunlap said.

But on Tuesday, many gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony, celebrating the first opening of a Planet Fitness in Kansas City's urban core.

"It means more for the inner city. We have more of an ability to do something," Dunlap added.

Jason Roth, Boys and Girls Club vice president of resource development, believes this location will better serve the kids at his club.

"This is right in the heart of where most of our club membership comes from," he said. "But yeah, it's a little more skin in the game. There's activity right in their neighborhood, besides just the club. Here's another place to go and be active."

Many folks are excited about this gym opening. But this means so much more to the community than just a place to work out.

It represents an investment in the area.

"I do believe this is a catalytic project. When you have national chains come in to the urban core, it does provide comfort for other chains to come as well," 5th District City Council Member Alissia Canady said.

While city leaders are excited about the potential economic development east of Troost Avenue, right now they're happy to see something impact this community in a positive way.

Planet Fitness has a deal for teenagers across the metro. It's called the Teen Summer Challenge.

Starting next week, teenagers between 15 and 18 can work out for free at all Planet Fitness locations. The free membership runs through Sept. 1.

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