POCATELLO — The Gold’s Gym plaza keeps growing, and the businesses there feed off each other. In one way or another, they’re all focused on healthy living.

The plaza now includes Gold’s Gym, dental and physical therapy practices, Subway, a day care focused on Gold’s customers, Sunsations spa and tanning, Marigolds, a wine and delicacies shop that will offer healthy cooking classes, and a kids fitness center that combines video games with exercise. The businesses complement each other, says Mandy Curtis, general manager of Gold’s Gym, which anchors the plaza.

“We are all working very good together,” she says. “It’s a positive, healthy environment and it’s a fun place to be. I enjoy coming to work every day, for sure.”

The plaza’s newest tenant, Exergame Fitness, doesn’t miss a beat in the healthy living department. Combining video games with exercise, the equipment there is designed to provide a real workout. Managed by Gold’s Gym, Exergame is a new fitness club for kids. Or adults. “We promote it as a kid-friendly atmosphere, but honestly, it’s great for adults, too,” Curtis says. “I love to use it myself.” With obesity being such a problem in the United States, Exergaming is a way to get people out of the house and active, she says.

“Some people have the mentality that exercise is boring or it’s not fun,” Curtis says. “This is a way to get those people active, and they might not even realize they’re exercising.”

The business includes a hand-to-hand combat fitness game, multi-player dance system, Expresso Bikes that allow the user to chase dragons or race friends in other parts of the country, boards that require players to balance on a skateboard or snowboard, the popular Dance Dance Revolution system, and a light space floor with programmable LED lights and pressure-sensitive tiles. This is not equipment you will find at your local store, Curtis says. “This is very expensive equipment. People don’t have these in their homes.”

She says some kids who don’t necessarily want to exercise are more comfortable in a video game atmosphere and won’t even consider what they’re doing exercise. “They are going to play video games anyway,” she says. “We may as well help them get active at the same time, and have fun.

”Curtis says Gold’s has big hopes for Exergame and doesn’t believe it’s a passing fad. “I really think it’s here to stay. It’s got the support of Gold’s Gym. I don’t see it going anywhere. There’s no reason for it to.”

By Sean Ellis sellis@journalnet.com

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