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Ladies, gym proposition

October 3, 2012
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

My husband and I own the building at 10731 Stringfellow Road, at this location, the store beside the Creative Coast Preschool is vacant. A private party was interested in opening a Curves. I thought, what a crackerjack idea. That is exactly what I need. My arms are turning to crepe and my thighs are getting all puckery. Daycare for moms is right next door. How can it get any more perfect? As time passed, with no result, I contacted Curves myself only to hear: "The Pine Island market doesn't have the population to support such an investment."

Dj vu all over, again. When we first bought Pine Island paint 10 years ago, these are the same words we heard. Flex Bon had been acquired by Sherwin Williams. We were shunned by national paint distributors due to market size. Luckily, we found Povia paint manufactured right here in Fort Myers. It is virtually the same Florida formula. As it turns out, we were the only store that can still make all the old Flex Bon formulas. It was difficult for us to survive offering only paint and picture framing. It had to be different to make it work just like Island Visions and Great Licks in Matlacha. The new owners of the paint store, Dee and James Brennan, did just that. They combined their Center Bait and Tackle business with that of the paint and framing. The unexpected result is growth of each of the individual businesses, not just the simple combination of sales of each. Synergy at work.

My interest is to receive discounted rent and to become a member of the gym, not to be an owner. The people of the island backed the paint store, surely, we can do it, again, for our island women. I am a person of zero energy, but I will try to start it myself. At anytime, I will gladly turn it over to a community charity. They can turn profits into scholarships, etc. If this isn't possible, any business savvy individual can take it over for their own "where there is a will, there is a way."

The nearest gym to the Pine Island four-way is 10 miles. For me, that's two gallons of gas plus my time and energy every time I go to the gym. The Stringfellow facility is already set up for use as a gym. It is an open space with two bathrooms and a kitchen. Our opening date is contingent on manpower. It will be a few hours a day, at first. I visited a Curves facility, their busiest time is 9-10 a.m. I don't know if this will be the case for the island.They charge $34/month for a 1-year contract or $44 with no contract. The rent for our facility is $40/day. You can see how easily the gym can be up and running with community support.

The public has already bartered the use of a treadmill, complete gym and a trampoline for use of the gym. Also, we have received great suggestions such as making it - a consignment store and - a gym, renting a small display area to Avon-like vendors in exchange for a few hours of free labor, using X-box workouts, yoga, dance, selling herbs and vitamins, etc. If you have any suggestions: gym hours, type of equipment, manpower support or your desire to take over the venture, please e-mail me at

Let's prove the national chains wrong. The women of Pine Island deserve a gym.

Diane Cherella




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