Performance Fitness under new ownership

  • Hunter Burgess turns over the keys to Performance Fitness -- ceremoniously clipped to a barbell plate -- to new owner Eric Wall in the gym last week. The Wall family will run the gym while Burgess continues his attached physical therapy business. Staff photo by Ben Conant—©Ben Conant 2022

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/15/2022 11:58:54 AM
Modified: 3/15/2022 11:58:13 AM

There’s always an excuse not to go to the gym, but the new owners of Performance Fitness in Peterborough have eliminated at least one big one, as the recently purchased Route 202 gym is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

“You want people to get the most bang for their buck,” said Eric Wall, who took over the gym along with parents Brian and Janine on March 1. “We've got the hospital in town, police and firefighters, they work odd shifts, they get out in the middle of the night, we've got Ball Bearing shift workers. So it works for everybody. There's no excuses to not work out because we're open every day, 365, 24/7.”

Wall, a former ConVal football player and wrestler, said he and his family practically lived at Performance Fitness during Hunter Burgess’s 17 years running the gym, but once COVID forced shutdowns and hours restrictions and an electrical fire in the building further complicated things, they found themselves driving to Planet Fitness in the wee hours of the morning to get a workout in around their schedules. 

“So that got old real fast,” Wall said. “And I was like, well, you know what? After the year [Burgess] went through, I bet you now would be the time where if he was ever gonna sell, he'd be interested in selling. So I reached out to Hunter and I said, “We've been coming to this gym for basically 20 years. We love coming here. We want to bring back where it was back in the good old days.”

Burgess will stay in the building with his physical therapy practice while the Walls take over the gym side. 

“I want to continue to do PT,” Burgess said, “and I don't have any plans of leaving where I am at this point...The community's been very supportive of me. They've really helped me to build a good practice. So I get a lot of people who are repeat people that come back with another injury or something like that.”

The Walls reached out to several former gym instructors and brought in some new blood; now, classes with Dave Springfield, Josh Bartsch, Traci O’Malley and others are available throughout the week.

I've seen the potential,” Wall said, “and I know where it's been and where it can go. I don't think it'll take much to get us there. It already feels like a flip of a switch. It feels like the energy's back.”

The transition also opened up an opportunity for longtime instructor Ursula Johannsen, who opened her own gym at 9 Blake Street in Jaffrey, Blue Star Fitness. Johannsen is offering in-person and Zoom fitness classes. 

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