Planet Fitness Announces Plans to Expand ‘Judgment-Free’ Approach to Ellicott City, MD

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New Location Comes Just Months after Phenomenally Successful Opening of First Maryland Location.

Today, Planet Fitness will officially begin accepting memberships to its new Ellicott City, Maryland location- just five months after the highly successful opening of its first location in Lutherville, MD.

This newest Planet Fitness franchise will be owned and operated by the company’s first female franchisee Diana Hamilton, along with her partner in this second venture, Hans Dutt. Hamilton was responsible for introducing the first Planet Fitness to Maryland earlier this year. The newest Planet Fitness will be located at 8488 Baltimore National Pike, in Ellicott City.

Planet Fitness, which has more than 150 locations nationwide, has become well-known throughout the country for offering a high-end workout at a low-end price and for its “judgment free approach.” The model is designed to appeal to the average person by offering a clean, fun, non-intimidating environment where everyone can feel accepted and respected regardless of health and fitness levels.

While the gym will not officially open for business until January, the reception area will open on Wednesday, October 18 for people to walk in and join. Planet Fitness will be open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday for membership sign up through January. After the club’s official opening in January, Planet Fitness will be open 24 hours a day. Membership dues will not be charged until January.

The excitement around the Planet Fitness brand and its level of service speaks for itself. While it took Hamilton 20 years to obtain her first 2,000 members as the owner of a Quest Fitness in Lutherville, she more than doubled that number in the first three months after adopting the Planet Fitness brand and business model. She expects to bring that same level of service and quality to Ellicott City.

"The philosophy behind Planet Fitness is incredibly unique and interesting, and I am thrilled to continue to extend the Planet Fitness brand into Howard County," said Hamilton. “With so many high-priced premium clubs in the Baltimore/Washington area, this is a great centralized location to provide the average person with a quality workout facility.”

Hamilton’s rapid expansion into Ellicott City was facilitated by her success in Lutherville. Local real estate brokers Bowie Arnot of Mackenzie Retail and Lacey Aumiller O’Neil of Mackenzie Commercial Real Estate Services contacted Hamilton after seeing her story in the news and recognizing her business as an outstanding fit for the available space. Interestingly, Hamilton’s brand-new facility will be located less than a mile from a Quest Fitness that she helped to start earlier in her career.

Hamilton, the first-born American in her family, began her fitness career more than 20 years ago as an aerobics instructor. She quickly moved into full-time sales and was soon promoted into management. Hamilton started teaching aerobics at Lutherville, MD Quest Fitness in 1994 and took the club over as General Manager in 1996. She was soon promoted again, this time to oversee Marketing and Sales efforts for the Quest brand before purchasing the Lutherville Quest Fitness location in 2001.

The 15,000 square foot gym will feature over 70 pieces of the latest cardio equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, bikes), three lines of strength training equipment (dumbbells and cable units), including a 20-station, 30-minute circuit workout area called PF Express. Planet Fitness members can also receive free unlimited fitness training, which provides workout plans and equipment instruction. Pre-opening memberships are $10 per month (along with a $59 start up fee) and will be offered through November. Member rates are guaranteed not to increase for three years, and no monthly contracts are required.

For more information on Ms. Hamilton, or to arrange an interview, please call Carrie Fox at 301-754-3614. For more information on Planet Fitness, visit

Planet Fitness is a leading franchisor of total body workout centers for the average person, with 80 percent of members being first time gym users. Based in Dover, N.H., where it opened its first center in 1992, Planet Fitness has more than 150 franchise and company-owned gyms in 23 states. Each gym features high-performance workout machines and equipment for cardio and strength training. The company prides itself on providing a respectful, “judgment free zone” environment where everyone can feel accepted and respected regardless of health and fitness levels.


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Carrie Fox
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