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EDEN PRAIRIE, MN-Life Time Fitness said it is building new health and fitness centers in Columbia, MD, and San Antonio, TX–both new markets for the operator. The Eden Prairie-based company plans to open six centers this year for a total of 45 centers by year-end. The most recent center was opened July 8, the company’s 42nd center–this one in Chanhassen, MN. The operator has 15 fitness centers in Minnesota.

Life Time also pans to open seven “current model centers”–typically 109,000 sf–next year. The 109,000-sf sports and athletics, professional fitness, family recreation and resort/spa center in Columbia, MD is under construction and expected to open early next year. The facility, located at 7220 Lee DeForest Dr., will be the company’s first center in Maryland and the third in the Washington DC area.

The company is also building a new facility–also 109,000 sf–at 18510 US 281 N. The center will be Life Time’s first in San Antonio and the 10th in Texas. The center is scheduled to open late in the fourth quarter of 2005.

The land acquisition, construction and equipment costs for a current Life Time Fitness model center total, on average, about $22.5 million, which can vary based on variability in land cost and the cost of construction labor.

The new health and fitness centers typically offer a variety of training equipment as well as personal trainers, rock climbing walls, multiple full-size basketball courts, squash and racquetball courts, dry sauna and steam rooms. The center also sports a large indoor/outdoor swimming pool, including water slides and other pools and childcare.

The company recently disclosed that the current average cost decreased slightly during 2004 as a result of efficiencies gained in the Texas markets, including lower land costs and construction costs. Other markets Life Time has centers in include Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Virginia.

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