For months, Main Liners have been waiting to see if buzzed-about Life Time lives up to its hype. Early announcements for the King of Prussia location touted features like pools, a spa and a healthy café. While those amenities are great, they’re already plentiful. What may be Life Time’s real wow factors are the fitness options themselves.
Costing more than $30 million to create, Life Time’s King of Prussia location spans three floors and boasts four squash courts, two full-sized basketball courts, yoga and Pilates studios, a state-of-the art spinning room with 65 bikes, additional classrooms that can hold 85 people each, a large crossfit area and a boxing annex. The cardio floor’s 400 pieces of equipment elicit that “kid in a candy store” feel. “You’ll never get bored and you’ll always be challenged,” promises Natalie Bushaw, Life Time’s senior director of public relations. Alongside standards like treadmills and stair climbers are zero gravity running machines, metrics-driven elliptical machines and OUTRACE centers, which are basically jungle gyms for cross trainers.
Parents are likely to be impressed with Life Time’s Kids Academy. More enrichment camp than babysitting, children ages 3 months to 11 years can access learning labs, homework tutors and foreign language classes. Sports activities include martial arts, basketball leagues, swimming lessons, kid’s Zumba and a cheer team. “It’s the furthest thing imaginable from daycare,” Bushaw says. “It’s about instilling healthy habits in kids and making the most of their time while their parents exercise.”
Spa-worthy locker rooms have wet and dry saunas, large showers and whirlpools. The discreetly enclosed spaces offer sanctuary to overworked muscles and minds. But all of that luxury comes at a cost.
Current membership fees are $129 per month, plus initiation fees for a grand total of $1,548 per year—far more than other local gyms in the same category. Sporting Club Main Line’s dues are $840 per year; Club La Maison’s are $1,008. Bushaw maintains it’s a worthwhile investment. “Families come and spend hours,” she says. “You don’t have to run your kids to karate, basketball and swim, then pick up dinner on the way home. It’s all right here.”
There are also locations in Mt. Laurel and Fort Washington. A location in Ardmore is slated next, taking over the former Macy’s in Suburban Square. Bushaw says the retrofit has experienced delays and its opening date has been pushed to early 2018. Residents can expect more local Life Times, although Bushaw wouldn’t reveal any details. “When we go into an area, we really go in,” she says. “In this area, we’re not going to stop at just four clubs.”