Earlier this year, the World Gym in Millsboro expanded, tripling in size and moving from its 5,000-square-foot space to a location just across the highway, just shy of 15,000 square feet.
“We opened five and a half years ago. We should’ve been an adequate size for this area,” said Pam Trader, with a laugh. Trader owns the gym with her husband, Steve.
The Traders, who live in Salisbury, Md., opened the gym in Millsboro five years ago, after Steve mentioned he thought it was odd that Millsboro didn’t have a gym.
“Steve worked at the power plant. He would get off work, drive home 45 minutes and say, ‘Gosh — why can’t there be a gym in Millsboro?’” said Trader. “We just thought it was the logical place to go.”
After adding onto their 24-7 gym access with fitness classes at a separate location multiple days a week, the Traders realized they had a demand that was greater than what they could house.
“A lot of people commute, and we found that with the demand for classes and the different services we offer, we were undersized. The last three years, we had a separate location — a studio — to house our classes. So we had to run back and forth between two locations,” she said, noting how inefficient it was.
She added that it was it was important to offer 24-7 access to members so they could work out at any time. Members can simply enter the facility using a swipe card, no matter the time of day.
“It’s a popular trend in the industry now. This is a commuting area, and it’s just as much for the convenience of us as it is for the public. Members can always get in the door, 24 hours a day. That’s important, if something happens — we have a meeting or have to run to the post office — somebody is on the floor with a client.
“We don’t leave our staff at the front desk. We want them to be traveling on the floor. Anyone who’s working back here knows something about the gym. Our people float around because they do everything.”
The new facility also boasts twice the equipment of the former location, as well as a Gorilla Warfare room, a spin room and more.
“We have a Synrgy 360 machine,” said Trader. “This thing a trainer can put eight people on, or more, but eight ideally. We crank up the music and the trainers will put them on an intense workout cycle and have them move stations. When we first did it, all the members would stop their workouts and kind of gather around.
“We had someone from Life Fitness come out and work with us for a whole day, and train us all how to use the machine. It’s always neat when you have something like that, because we all kind of thought we had already explored the machine and knew enough about it. But we learned so much that day.”
The bathrooms are all private, with their own showers — one being handicapped-accessible.
“That’s a nice feature for people who don’t like sharing locker rooms. We feel like 24-hour gyms shouldn’t have locker rooms, because you’re too vulnerable when there isn’t staff at the front desk and in the locker room, I think,” said Trader. “I think our women feel safer knowing that if they’re here taking a shower at night after work they have their own locked bathroom.”
There’s also a fitness room where members can take in-person instruction classes, such as Zumba, or work off of a pre-recorded class.
“We have a kiosk that houses Group X class schedules, Zumba, kickboxing, yoga, all that,” she said. “But we have pre-recorded classes, as well. So when there’s a class not in progress in here, you can still take a class.
“Most of the day, there is not a class in progress. There might be three or four classes a day that are live. The rest of the day, members have access to this room. They can go in, choose a class, come into the studio, and there’s a projector. They can see the class up on the screen and follow along.”
Another important aspect of the new facility was a childcare area. Members can pay just $10 per month for childcare, or can participate on a drop-in basis.
“We also needed childcare. We didn’t have that at the other location. Once we started having classes, it became a real problem, because when we put classes on a schedule the moms wanted to come but couldn’t always find someone to watch the kids.”
The gym has more 20 employees, and Trader said all the trainers are certified, have insurance and have CPR certification.
Trader said that, when choosing what they wanted their new facility to be like, she and her husband took a tour of various gyms.
“We went and toured gyms in the Baltimore area. We just went in and took tours and wrote down what we liked about every place,” she recalled. “We’re also members of Power House gym in Salisbury. We liked how Tony and Laura ran their gyms, as members. Everything they did in member service was important for us to do.”
Trader said that the gym has a rate structure as low as $22 per month.
“For a high service-oriented gym, it’s a really low rate,” she said. “Group X aerobics classes are included in the membership. You only have to pay extra if you’re having a specialty class, like for personal training or a class. Spin pays $10 extra a month, due to the maintenance cost of the machines.”
Trader herself had been in the insurance industry prior to opening the gym and said it was her own personal experience with rehab that was her driving force.
“[Insurance is] a product that people hate. I wanted to work in an environment that I enjoyed, and the gym was the place I enjoyed the most. I had two total hip replacements, and that was the driving force,” she said.
“When I had that, I was still in the insurance business, and the process of being young and rehabbing through two hip replacements excited me so much — the ability to get my strength back and do walking lunges with an Olympic bar over my head after the replacements was the biggest high. I wanted to live that and share that with other people.”
Trader said she hopes the community will take advantage of the high level of customer service they offer to members seeking their own personal fitness goals.
“I hope people come in here and are able to achieve whatever fitness goal they have,” said Trader. “We love our members, and we really try to do all we can for them.”
For more information about World Gym, visit their Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/
WorldGymMillsboro or call (302) 933-0722. World Gym is located at 28632 DuPont Boulevard (Route 113) in Millsboro.