SNAP Fitness opens in Apollo Beach

Published on: January 20, 2016


Staff members of SNAP Fitness, from left: Jenna Chafin, Scott Thomas, Robin Jorgensen, Shelby Kuykendall and Michael Wagner. Lisa Stark photos.

Staff members of SNAP Fitness, from left: Jenna Chafin, Scott Thomas, Robin Jorgensen, Shelby Kuykendall and Michael Wagner. Lisa Stark photos.

If you’re one of the millions of people who listed “getting in shape” as their number one resolution for 2016, here’s a stroke of good luck for you.  On. Jan. 15, Apollo Beach celebrated the Grand Opening of SNAP Fitness, a brand-new state-of-the-art facility that offers a convenient and affordable way to get in shape.

Owned by Scott Thomas and located at 236 Harbor Village Lane in the MiraBayVillage shopping plaza, SNAP Fitness is part of the chain of 24/7 clubs springing up around the country.

“The economy’s tough, but people still value their health,” said Thomas. “I want to help by giving them the best fitness value in town.”

A resident of Mira Bay, Thomas enjoys the idea of being within walking distance to his fitness club and easily accessible to his clientele.  “One of the reasons I relocated here was that I am literally yards away from the gym, and my neighborhood customers know where they can find me.”

Scott Thomas has been a SNAP franchise owner for eight years.

Scott Thomas has been a SNAP franchise owner for eight years.

Thomas decided to move his fitness franchise to Apollo Beach after running his gym in Riverview for the past eight years.  Before that, he spent 25 years in corporate financial services for Citigroup Tampa.  “I basically decided to retire and try something new and personally rewarding,” he said.

After leaving corporate America, Thomas looked around for potential business opportunities that could satisfy his ambitions.  “I started a restaurant/bar and a fitness center at the same time,” he said.  “I figured one was healthy, and one was not-so-healthy.”

After running the Island Bar & Grill in Apollo Beach for several years (later renamed Shenanigans), Thomas decided to sell the bar business and concentrate on fitness instead.

“It’s great to see people improving their health, and the fact that I can be part of their success is rewarding to me,” said Thomas, who also revealed that he recently reached one of his own personal health goals: Losing 40 pounds in just 100 days.

“I celebrated my birthday on New Year’s Eve by reaching my goal weight,” said Thomas, who achieved his remarkable weight loss through the combination of a “tomato juice diet” and the elimination of starches and sugar from his daily meals. “I never felt hungry, and never felt I was depriving myself of anything,” he said.

According to Thomas, the new SNAP Fitness facility will offer 24/7 access through an electronic key card entry, as well as the industry’s best cardio and weight training equipment.

Jenna Chafin demonstrates exercise machines for members.

Jenna Chafin demonstrates exercise machines for members.

“I’ve invested over $100,000 in new equipment, plus what I already had from the previous location,” he said.  The gym will be equipped with machines “that nobody else has,” including a virtual reality bike, an “Ab arcade game” and plenty of wall-mounted TVs with Roku programming.

SNAP Fitness is a privately owned health and fitness club founded in 2003 by Peter Taunton. Headquartered in Chanhassen, Minn., the company specializes in smaller fitness gyms that offer a “no frills” model that does not include pools, tennis courts or locker rooms, unlike other big-box competitors.  SNAP has seen enormous growth in recent years, with more than 1,500 locations in 48 states and six foreign countries.

Everyone who joins the Apollo Beach location during the introductory phase will receive a fitness score session with a personal trainer, a “Basic 8” workout plan, and access to his/her own personal web page featuring workout tutorials and healthy meal plans.  The club offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

“We offer the same great workout experience as those large fancy clubs at a more affordable price, and without any of those long-term contracts,” said Thomas.  Membership also gives you access to any of the SNAP Fitness clubs worldwide, so you can work out at a club near you when you’re traveling or outside your own neighborhood.

To learn more about their special new member offer, or to schedule a tour, stop in the Apollo Beach location, call 813-671-1200 or email