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Minority Gym Report: Retro Fitness Targets ‘Communities of Color’ with Project LIFT

Minority Gym Report: Retro Fitness Targets ‘Communities of Color’ with Project LIFT

Two fit African-American women

Within the past several years, there have been various movements created around the world to raise awareness about the inequalities Black and brown individuals face when it comes to health and wellness. Retro Fitness has taken notice and elected to help solve the problem by finally opening the first of its announced 500 gyms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this February. The in-demand fitness chain made the announcement of its “largest deal ever” entitled Project LIFT in 2022, detailing that the project would be dedicated to “open 500 health clubs in 50 Black and brown communities across the United States during the next five years.” At the time of the statement, the buildout of facilities in Dallas, Houston, and Southeast Florida were already underway. 

“I’m excited to see the positive impact we make with these first locations in the greater Dallas area, and I’m even more excited to continue my partnership with the Retro Fitness team as we open more health clubs for local communities to benefit from, in more ways than one,” says Eastwood Capital Partners’ James Collins in a statement. Eastwood Capital Partners and BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund partnered with Retro Fitness in order to make Project LIFT a tangible reality.   

Project LIFT will allow greater access at low prices for “African American and non-Black Hispanic citizens, who have a higher obesity rate than other ethnic groups, regardless of socioeconomic status,” according to leading B2B commercial real estate platform Bisnow. Greater attention continues to be paid towards obesity in America, particularly childhood obesity, and Black and brown communities have been found to be disproportionately affected. For instance, the National Black Leadership Commission on Health reports “non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest prevalence of obesity at 49.6%, followed by Hispanics at 44.8%, and non-Hispanic Whites at 42.2%,” adding, “severe obesity will become the most common BMI category among non-Hispanic Black adults at 31.7 percent by 2030.” Retro Fitness understands the gravity of these statistics and others and anticipates Project LIFT to be a crucial turning point to better health for minorities in underprivileged markets. 

“This investment [Project LIFT] is the largest development deal in the history of the company, more importantly we are proud that it is about making a significant difference and giving back to Black and brown communities,” says Retro Fitness CEO Andrew Alfano.

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The new Retro Fitness health clubs in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, are situated in North Dallas, Mesquite, Richardson, and Garland. Retro Fitness hopes to secure more investors for Project LIFT and those who opt in will “receive 50% off first-year royalties” and relieved of having to pay any franchise fees. Retro Fitness will also donate a percentage of its royalties to a community organization for the duration of the business’s lifetime.

Photo by April Laugh on Unsplash

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