MOORHEAD — There's a new option for Fargo-Moorhead area residents to check off their New Year's resolutions.

Apex Fitness opened Friday, Dec. 18, after months of preparations and COVID-19-related delays at 1214 Main Ave. in downtown Moorhead, co-owner Ty Zaczkowski told The Forum.

Apex Fitness is roughly 4,500-square-feet of "pretty much all wide-open space," Zaczkowski said. He and co-owners Loren Bothun, Ryan Bothun and Blake Weidmann aimed to build a gym for all levels of experience.

"We're pretty much open to everybody," Zaczkowski said. "We wanted to have a facility that's comfortable for beginners especially, to intermediate and all the way up to expert powerlifters."

The 24-hour facility offers something for everyone, Zaczkowski said, with cardio equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, stair-climbers and stationary bicycles. The gym also boasts an impressive weight-lifting section, with five- to 150-pound dumbbells, multiple power racks, dead-lift platforms, chains and an assortment of power-lifting bars.

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People workout at the new Apex Fitness on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 1214 Main Ave. in Moorhead.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
People workout at the new Apex Fitness on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 1214 Main Ave. in Moorhead. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Apex Fitness's defining feature its design, Zaczkowski explained.

"You come in here and it has a little bit darker colors, sharper and modern feel," he said. "We have LED lights, really nice flooring, really nice accent brick walls, dark ceilings and private-type bathrooms."

In keeping with COVID-19-friendly practices, a major emphasis has been keeping the facility clean.

"You walk in here and it's a very sharp-looking facility and as far as sanitizing goes, it's very clear where the wipes are. There's no shortage of that obviously," Zaczkowski said.

The new Apex Fitness building is open on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 1214 Main Ave. in Moorhead.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
The new Apex Fitness building is open on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 1214 Main Ave. in Moorhead. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Zaczkowski said the community response has been strong, with Apex Fitness adding 100 members in its first two weeks. "Less than 5% of everybody that’s come in the doors hasn’t signed up," he said.

He credits much of that success to a robust online sign-up process.

"We wanted to have a very very strong online sign-up process," Zaczkowski said. More than 95% of members have signed up online, he said. After signing up, new members receive a email which allows them to immediately access the facility before receiving a key fob.

New members can also take advantage of two free workouts during staffed hours before signing up.

Apex Fitness is currently offering a $25-per-month membership special through Jan. 15. The rate remains the same throughout the length of the membership and there are no contracts or sign-up fees.

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"If you're thinking about signing up, do it now," Zaczkowski said. "It's a great price and prices are going to change after the 15th."

Afterwards, standard month-to-month memberships will cost $45 per month, while annual contract memberships will be $35-per-month. Apex Fitness offers a $25 monthly rate for students and military members.

"People seem to love it. It's very welcoming, so that helps a lot," Zaczkowski said.

The new Apex Fitness building is open on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 1214 Main Ave. in Moorhead.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
The new Apex Fitness building is open on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 1214 Main Ave. in Moorhead. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

The opening has been months in the making. Apex Fitness was ready to open in November, Zaczkowski said, before Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz shut down gyms and other businesses for one month in the hopes of stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

"It stopped (our opening) dead in its tracks," Zaczkowski said. "We were set to open the Friday of the week the governor made the announcement he was going to shut everything down for four weeks."

"We ended up having to pay money on social media to put advertisements out saying we’re pushing our opening date back," he continued. "We spent over three months doing everything and then it stopped us right in our place."

With the month-long shutdown in the rearview mirror, Apex Fitness, open in the former F-M Dog Obedience School, is looking to attract more members.

"As owners, we have a goal in mind of what we want to hit for numbers and after that we want to keep upgrading equipment and adding new equipment for members," Zaczkowski said.

While Zaczkowski and the other co-owners have discussed setting up outdoor equipment during warmer months, they are busy launching the business and weathering the pandemic.

"Right now, we just want to focus on getting off the ground," he said.