By Brenda Maguire
BERLIN — As George Flonnes walks into The Powerhouse Gym for his workout, he’s greeted with a smile by Jack Banks, co-owner of the gym.
Flonnes has been a gym member since Banks and his partner, Paul Carson, first opened it in 1981. In fact, Flonnes helped them renovate their original building on Ellis Street in New Britain.
“The gym was a group of unique people,” Flonnes said. “We had so many different people and personalities there.”
That was 30 years ago, but the only thing that has really changed is the venue.
In 1995, The Powerhouse Gym moved to 99 Webster Square Road in Berlin, which is six times the size of the old building. It’s grown from 90 members in 1981 to 2,500 today.
The gym has been able to remain successful because of its family-friendly atmosphere, Banks said.
“We’re a very caring gym,” said Ann LeBlond, manager. “We really care about our people and I think that’s what makes us different.”
Oscar Moradian, 84, has been a member for 30 years.
“I’m glad I came because Jack and Paul are great people and it’s a great atmosphere,” Moradian said. “There’s none of that macho stuff.”
In addition to the workout machines, the gym offers a variety of group fitness classes including boot camp and spinning. Tanning, massage therapy, child care and a smoothie bar are among the other offerings.
Powerhouse will be celebrating its 30th anniversary at its annual September Picnic, which will be held next Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Banks is thrilled to celebrate 30 years. “It’s special to us because we are one of the longest-running privately owned gyms in Connecticut,” he said.
As a part of the anniversary celebration, Powerhouse will be offering a $99 membership for three months with two personal-training visits with Peter Thody, head trainer.
There’s also a special offering of a $29.95 per month membership with no contract.
For more information visit http://www.powerhousect.com.