Army Vet Bringing 'Retro' Feeling Back to Fitness
RetroFitness's low cost, comfortable atmosphere approach opens Wednesday in Hillsborough.
With Wednesday’s opening of RetroFitness at the Hillsborough Centre, owner Bill Iovino expects to bring excitement and fun to working out.
RetroFitness is a low-cost, high-value concept that provides high-energy workouts in a fun, energetic atmosphere. There are more than 80 RetroFitness centers located mainly on the East Coast, with plans to continue to grow the brand.
The 11,000-square-foot second-floor facility, lives up to the franchise model, with a vibrant red and yellow color scheme that contributes to what Iovino describes as a “warm and inviting” yet fun and energetic atmosphere.
The monthly membership fee of $19.99 gives members access to a large selection of top-of-the-line equipment from LifeFitness and Hammerstrength and such features as:
- Cardio machines with individualized LCD television monitors and IPod docks
- Treadmills, elliptical machines and bikes
- Free-weight area
- Tanning facility
- Cardio Theater, so members can work out on treadmills, elliptical machines or bikes while watching a different movie each day
- Kids’ Care, with a Wii
- Pro Shop
- RetroBlends, a full-service juice bar
- Full-service lockers with showers
- Virtual reality classes (free) and live instructor classes (small fee) in Step, Zumba and Boot Camp workouts, with more options to come
- Personal trainers
- A chiropractor and massage therapist are also expected to be on staff shortly
“The technology is just incredible,” Iovino states. “We want to do things right. It just makes your workout experience that much more enjoyable.”
“Our focus is to make sure our gym is inviting to everyone. RetroFitness is not just about giving members a facility to help them achieve their fitness goals; it’s about providing an experience that keeps members wanting to come back to achieve those goals. RetroFitness amplifies what everyone loves about working out and integrates it into a friendly, non-intimidating gym atmosphere with unparalleled customer service.”
“All along I knew that I wanted to open a gym. I always loved the atmosphere and the business. I knew that one day I would own a gym; I just didn’t know I would do it this early in life,” he said while laughing.
Iovino, an East Brunswick resident, calls himself “an entrepreneur” with a business management degree from Rutgers School of Business.
He retired from the U.S. Army a few years ago after serving for 22 years. Just prior to his retirement, the Master Sergeant was on active duty and described himself as “in pretty good shape. It brought me back to my days at 17, working out with my friends and getting in shape.”
After marrying wife Susan in 2008, Iovino (who also owns a landscaping business) received a flyer for RetroFitness. He visited the Marlboro location and took it all in. Not only did it pique his interest on a fitness level (he had tried out other gyms, but was unable to find a comfortable environment) but it also reminded him of a business plan he completed while in college–a plan to run a fitness center.
After doing some extensive “homework,” Iovino was ready to jump in, and in 2008 he opened RetroFitness in North Brunswick. When two RetroFitness corporate members suggested Hillsborough as a second location, he was ready.
“This was a more difficult site,” he said of the second-story facility, adding that a great deal of expense and work has gone into soundproofing so as not to disturb the businesses below. He applauds the landlord, building management and Township Business Advocate Gene Strupinsky for their help in making this site a reality.
Iovino also acknowledges his partner, Valerie Filik, who also happens to be his mother. “She was a great contributor to my success here. Not only has she been a great mentor but she has always given me the ability to have courage,” he says.
Iovino expects the fitness center to become an active member of the Hillsborough community. RetroFitness will be holding an open house Sunday, Oct. 7, complete with live DJ, food from local vendors, fun activities for the kids as well as prizes and giveaways.