The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 21, 2013

Quick response keeps B&G Fitness open

The Daily Southerner
John H. Walker

TARBORO — Patrick Heins had previously been a member at B&G Fitness and, as a businessman, knew the value of a fully equipped fitness facility in any community — especially one the size of Tarboro.

“When we heard it was closing, we started working quickly,” Heins said, referring to business partner Charles Alford. Heins, interim CEO, and Alford, CFO at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital made the decision to make an offer to purchase the center from then-owner Phillip Brown.

“We didn’t want the doors to close,” Heins said. “We went to work to get the deal done as quickly as possible.”

Their efforts paid off, as the sale closed on December 31 and, except for an advertisement that ran in The Daily Southerner announcing Brown’s plan to cease operation, the ownership transition was one that was transparent.

“There were a lot of people who were concerned about it closing,” Heins said. “We wanted to keep that from happening.”

“The whole time we were looking it as kind of a community service,” Alford said.

The new owners said they talked with members to make them aware of their plans to upgrade the equipment and expand the selection of available equipment.

“The cardio equipment is a little old and we want to upgrade it and some of he other equipment,” Alford said.

Heins said that while they want to increase the member base, that was not their first thought.

“Our initial goal was to keep the members that were here before we bought it,” he explained.

Heins said he and Alford were looking at some membership packages to expand the offerings available at the facility.

“We have tanning here as well,” Alford pointed out. “We also have personal trainers who can work with clients and we have a classroom that is also available.”

Classes that are currently available include aerobics, morning stretch, boot camp, yoga and totally abs.

Heins said increasing one’s activity level is beneficial.

“There’s a lot of obesity in the community, but all of that gets better with activity.”

Expanding the equipment through upgrades and additions will allow more people to utilize the facility.

“We’ve got the stuff (equipment) here now, and we’re trying to add things to help. We would like to add some stair climbers and want to upgrade the other equipment,” Heins said.

“We want the community to tell us what they want,” Alford said. “Tell us what classes, what equipment … how we can best serve them.”

And while Heins and Alford work together at the hospital, both are quick to point out that they work together in two separate places.

“They are totally not connected in any way,” Heins pointed out. “The hospital is the hospital and B&G is B&G.”

The facility is open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 824-8000.