Life Time Athletic opens at Quail Springs Mall

OKLAHOMA CITY - More than 200,000 square feet of space with 8 tennis courts, a café, bar, spa, several swimming pools and a kid’s academy.

Most people who walk into Life Time Athletic agree that this is not your typical gym.

The kids program because the kids get to stay downstairs while I'm up here. Also, I love the variety of the machines,” Member Trish Fontaine said.

"One thing that's big for us. Our son's got allergies and they're conscious about not having food or drink in the kid’s area,” Mike Fontaine said.

And this gem also happens to be in the Quail Springs Mall parking lot.

Something Life Time's staff never dreamed would be the case when it opened 26 years ago.

"The reality was there was the anchor store model at the time that was the thing that worked. It brought the consumers in. Well the consumer habits have changed,” Vice President of Corporate Communications for Life Time Jason Thunstrom said.

Consumers want convenience.

That's proven by the fact online shopping is increasing as the mall population declines.

Investment bank and financial services company Credit Suisse predicts 20 to 25% of malls will close in the next five years.

Department stores like Macy's, Sears and JC Penney are closing their stores, and now Life Time is filling in that empty space.

This location where a Macy's once stood.

"We can do so much more with one drive of the car, one visit and that's really what the advantage is here of two entities like this here together."

This new strategy is the brainchild of executives from lifetime and several mall property groups.

"We bring lots of consumer turns every day. Part of what the malls need is consumer traffic and so we thought it would be a good marriage."

So much so more a dozen Life Time Athletic Clubs are planned in the future. All in a mall or shopping complex.

"Retail is not dead. Retail is simply going through a transformation, so we see ourselves as a solution to part of that transformation again to bring the consumer traffic in," Thunstrom said.

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