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Tara and Scott Shepherd, from left, are planning to open Work Out Anytime facility in Ooltewah in January.

Ooltewah resident Scott Shepherd was tired of commuting 25 minutes each way to the local Planet Fitness gym to work out.

As a former collegiate soccer player and coach for his daughter's varsity Lacrosse team at Ooltewah High School, Shepherd said exercise and fitness have been a big part of his own life and those he has coached.

"I've wanted to open up my own business in the some sort of sports area pretty much since I was a kid," Shepherd said.

So last year when Shepherd decided to give up his advertising career after 26 years, he and his wife, Tara, decided to channel their entrepreneurial spirit into opening a Workout Anytime franchise location in Ooltewah. The couple plan to open a new 5,600-square-foot Work Out Anytime center in January in the Apison Crossing shopping center near the Tractor Supply store on Apison Pike.

"There are no 24/7 workout facilities in Ooltewah so we think there is a great opportunity here in one of the fastest growing parts of town," Shepherd said.

After studying different fitness centers and sports businesses, Shepherd said he decided to buy a local Work Out Anytime franchise for Ooltewah. The Atlanta-based Work Out Anytime has more than 150 locations, including other local facilities in North Shore, Hixson, Cleveland, Dayton and Athens, Tennessee and in Lafayette, Georgia.

"It's a great brand and I liked the personalities and the support given to franchisees by the company," Shepherd said.

If the Ooltewah facility proves successful, Shepherd said he hopes to open two or three more Work out Anytime locations.

The centers stay open around the clock, providing key access during the overnight hours for members.

Shepherd will serve as general manager and fitness director, assistant manager Meagan Loving is serving as an assistant manager and personal trainer.

The new clinic is expected to be ready to open by mid to late January, but Shepherd began selling memberships in advance for the new gym in November.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or ta 757-6340.

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