Anytime Fitness thrives on service
When the Wilton Historical Society last changed leadership, its new administration was having difficulty keeping track of its digital data systems.
“We found all of the database and management material to be very lacking, and realized we needed a new system called Donor Perfect,” said Buck Griswold, the society’s vice president of endowment development.
This software, Mr. Griswold said, was no cheap investment. Though there was a possibility to lease the software, the historical society felt it was in its best interest to fully obtain it.
“I’d say the program cost thousands of dollars. The society just didn’t have the money,” he said.
However, an offhand mention to the ownership at Anytime Fitness on Danbury Road proved to be Mr. Griswold’s saving grace.
“I’ve been very involved in the Anytime Fitness Club after getting two new knees,” he said. “I was talking about how terrific a project it could be, and almost instantly, they said, ‘You know, Buck, we’d be more than willing to consider funding that.’”
A dedication to the communities owners Robb Romano and Dan Zahler serve is the foundation of Anytime Fitness.
“This is a small, tight-knit, family-oriented gym,” Mr. Romano said. “We pull from Westport, Weston, Wilton, Redding, Ridgefield, and New Canaan. Whenever we hear of an event our members are supporting, we usually try to support them as well.”
This dedication, both men said, is founded in a company philosophy of “you get what you give.”
“We don’t have thousands of members,” Mr. Romano said, “we have hundreds of members. We all know each other by name, and everyone does their best to support one another. It’s important to support the community because they support us.”
This sense was especially strong when the business was only six months old, while the world was experiencing the effects of the Great Recession.
“We opened in February 2008, six months before the financial collapse. That was really scary, because we had just financed the whole business.”
However, through thick and thin, the gym’s customers felt dedicated to the Anytime philosophy. One of the biggest pulls for potential clients, the two men said, was that each of their trainers is an exercise physiologist.
Exercise physiology is a certification that requires a full four-year degree. Most personal trainers, Mr. Romano said, have a six-month training certificate at best.
“Our membership really stuck with us,” he said. “We actually grew throughout the recession. We’ve doubled our numbers since that six-month point.”
Becoming an active part of the community, Mr. Zahler said, helps increase the level of trust between clients and staff. In the past few years, the company has supported upwards of 20 charities in many surrounding towns, including Wilton Woman’s Club and the Jewish World Service, among many others.