Fizio creates a relaxing gym atmosphere in the Truckee Meadows
When Ryan and Lauren Evans looked into opening their own gym in the Truckee Meadows, they wanted a unique concept.
One idea that caught their eye while doing research was an athlete recovery lounge.
“For us to just open a plain gym, that wasn’t that exciting,” Ryan Evans said in an interview with NNBW at Fizio. “There are so many gyms, so this extra component of athlete recovery really motivated us to open up the facility.”
The athlete recovery lounge serves as a place where guests relax on recliners and watch TV and/or sip on a cold alcoholic beverage before or after a workout. While relaxing they have other options such as wearing compression boots or even to relax in an infrared sauna.
The concept is similar to some treatment programs Olympic, collegiate or professional athletes would receive at state-of-the-art facilities.
The idea appealed to the Evanses. As former collegiate athletes themselves, they had access to these types of treatments and they wanted to bring those kinds of services to northern Nevada.
“Our goal is to make Fizio an athlete hangout. A place where you can relax, have a beer or wine, socialize with friends, and recover,” said Lauren Evans in a press release provided to NNBW.
Ryan Evans explained Fizio looks at any of its patrons as athletes, whether they are in competitive sports or just want to get physically fit.
“More than anything, we wanted to create an environment that’s non-intimidating to just about anyone,” Ryan Evans said.
The gym offers other amenities including cardio or strength training equipment, personal training, plus a variety of fitness classes. Fizio staff will also design varied workout programs for clients and display them on TV monitors around the gym on a daily basis.
Fizio’s trainers and instructors are independent contractors, and have one paid employee currently on staff.
“As independent contractors, it allows them to be in charge of their schedules, which gives them a lot of flexibility,” he said.
In their research, they found only a handful of fitness recovery lounges in the U.S., Ryan Evans said. To his knowledge, their facility is the first in Nevada.
They anticipate the concept will allow them to stand out in a crowded fitness marketplace.
Fizio will also accept customers with other gym memberships. Guests can even purchase Punch Pass or Daily Drop-in options to experience Fizio on a trial basis.
“If people have an existing membership at another gym and they like it there, that’s great, but they can still come over here to use the recovery lounge,” Ryan Evans said. “We don’t want the other gyms to feel we’re competing with them, but rather be complimentary.”
Lauren Evans grew up in a military family that took her all around the world. The name ‘Fizio’ is derived from a couple of slang terms — physical therapy in England and exercise in Italy.
When she first proposed the name for the business, Ryan and some family members weren’t enamored with it.
“When we couldn’t come up with other names that stuck, and I went back to ‘Fizio’ and thought, ‘you know that really isn’t that bad,’” Ryan Evans said. “Actually I think it’s been very memorable to people, and it resonates with them.”
Competitive athletes since they were children, Ryan swam collegiately at the University of Iowa while Lauren played tennis and ran cross-country while attending Furman University in Greenville, S.C.
After college, Ryan returned to Reno and was working at a Reno shoe store where he met Lauren who was living in Boulder, Colo., and frequented the Reno-Sparks market as a sales rep for Adidas.
The couple started dating and Lauren decided to move out to Reno to be closer to Ryan. They got married and started their first venture, E-Fast, a resource for runners and triathletes of all abilities. They would meet with clients offsite, such as local high schools or parks.
Ryan Evans said another motivation to start Fizio was to provide a central physical location for E-Fast clients to meet.
Fizio is housed at a nearly 4,000-square-foot space in an older building located at 400 Mill St. in downtown Reno.
“We looked at a few strip malls, but none of those locations really resonated with us,” Ryan Evans said. “I used to drive by this building a lot and thought it was an awesome place although I think it had been vacant for something like 10 years.”
With the revitalization of downtown Reno with projects such as West Elm, The Basement and Patagonia nearby, the couple sensed it was the right time to start their business downtown. Other businesses including Whipple Brewing and Distillery is set to open right next door, and Origins Salon recently opened in the same building as Fizio.
“We are excited to be open in downtown Reno and to work together with other like-minded people to revitalize this part of town,” Lauren Evans said in the release.
Ryan Evans added: “Hopefully soon we’ll have one long stretch of cool, unique locally owned businesses here in downtown Reno.”
For more information on Fizio, stop by the facility or visit them online at FizioReno.com.
The unanimous approvals Wednesday came despite state leaders promising to tighten up requirements for Nevada’s tax abatements and incentives for future companies.