Fitness chain plans to kick sand in Equinox’s face

EōS Fitness aims for up to 20 locations over the next five years

A budget fitness chain swole from private equity bucks plans to take on Equinox.

EōS Fitness is looking to open 15 to 20 gym locations in Manhattan for a new luxury fitness line to compete with its ritzy rival — but with memberships costing about half as much.

“Their luxury concept in Manhattan will be [about] $100 per month, but still offering the same full services that most luxury gyms offer in Manhattan,” said Greg Tannor of Lee & Associates, who is spearheading EōS’s search.

Tannor said EōS is hunting for spaces around 30,000 square feet and plans to open the gyms over the next three to five years. It will look “at the same target markets” as Equinox, with a focus on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, he added.

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A representative for Equinox did not respond to a request for comment. The fitness brand, owned by the Related Companies, operates 31 gyms in Manhattan, according to its website. It’s expensive but popular among New Yorkers: A proposed boycott of Equinox to protest an Aug. 9 fundraiser for President Donald Trump held by Stephen Ross, Related’s chairman, appeared to fizzle.

Memberships at Equinox reportedly start at $185 per month for access to a single location and climb as high as $500 per month. Other luxury gyms in Manhattan include Minnesota-based Life Time Fitness, which has a location at the Moinian Group’s Sky rental tower on the Far West Side and plans to open Manhattan locations next year in Midtown, Gramercy, Noho, Battery Park and the Flatiron District, according to its website.

Life Time is backed by private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital.

New York–based private equity firm Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co acquired EōS fitness in 2015. The company landed a $120 million debt facility in January from Golub Capital to refinance existing debt and fund its expansion.

EōS operates 44 locations across the country — mostly on the West Coast and the Southwest — and has 25 more under construction, Tannor said. EōS has traditionally fit into the budget-gym category; the new line is an expansion into the luxury space.