Stephanie and Shayne Reichard envision their gym at 75 Winslows Mills Road in Waldoboro as a welcoming hub where exercise enthusiasts from the area can find community and a fully equipped spot to stay healthy.
“We’re trying to bring life back to the area,” Shayne Reichard said on Monday, Nov. 6.
The building that is now home to Panther’s Gym originally housed an Agway store, said Stephanie Reichard. It later underwent a series of changes, first becoming a swimming pool and spa, then a bar and billiards hall, a gym, and, most recently, a dual gym and physical therapy office, she said.
The Reichards purchased the building, which houses the gym – previously called TheGym@sbpt – and accompanying physical therapy office, earlier this year. Shayne Reichard was familiar with the facility, having spent the past 20 years as a patron and witnessing several changes of ownership, he said.
While the adjacent space, until recently a physical therapist’s office, “will be something” eventually, the Reichards said their focus for now is on the gymnasium.
“Previous owners have just put a little bit of paint on it and called it good, but we’re in it for the long run,” said Stephanie Reichard.
Already, the pair has implemented several changes that they hope will revamp the facility. There are now flat-screen televisions for entertainment, a free water station, a tanning booth and tanning bed, and vending machines, said Stephanie Reichard. The couple is also preparing to purchase new equipment.
The Reichards will soon bring a massage therapist onto the team and there is already a certified personal trainer on staff. The trainer will be offering small-group exercise classes in the coming months, as well, said Stephanie Reichard.
Even with all the big changes happening at the Panther’s Gym, customers seem to appreciate “the little things” the most, she said, saying that many patrons were excited to see the heat turned on as the chill of autumn sets in and have access to free water.
The gym is open 24 hours every day. While a previous iteration of the gym required an added fee for 24-hour access, the new owners have decided to extend any-hour access to all members. They have also reduced the price of membership as compared to previous fees, Stephanie Reichard said.
These changes have already seen results, as the gym has both retained much of its prior clientele and also recently signed on 40 new customers in a one-week span, she said.
Shayne Reichard, an alum of Medomak Valley High School, chose the gym’s new name after the school’s mascot, the panther. As the gym is Waldoboro’s only local exercise facility, he hopes it will be useful for local high school students, since driving to gyms in nearby towns is not always feasible for students who want to work out between school and homework or practice.
“The youth is the future,” he said.
Ultimately, though learning the ropes of gym ownership has been “challenging at times,” the community has been welcoming and the journey exciting, the Reichards agreed.
“The biggest thing is just getting the community back in to the space,” said Stephanie Reichard.
The Panther’s Gym is located at 75 Winslows Mills Road in Waldoboro. For more information, call 790-8585 or find the gym on Facebook at facebook.com/panther.s.gym.2023. To sign up in person, stop in between 4-7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays or 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sundays.