Work begins on Bears-themed fitness center in Vernon Hills

  • This is a rendering of Bears Fit, a Chicago Bears-themed fitness center, which is expected to open this spring in the former Sports Authority in Vernon Hills.

    This is a rendering of Bears Fit, a Chicago Bears-themed fitness center, which is expected to open this spring in the former Sports Authority in Vernon Hills. Courtesy of Chicago Bears

  • This is a rendering of Bears Fit, a Chicago Bears-themed fitness center being built at the former Sports Authority in Vernon Hills. Memberships are now available.

    This is a rendering of Bears Fit, a Chicago Bears-themed fitness center being built at the former Sports Authority in Vernon Hills. Memberships are now available. Courtesy of Chicago Bears

 
 

A Chicago Bears-themed fitness center in Vernon Hills is seeking members, as construction to convert a former Sports Authority building into Bears Fit is expected complete in the spring.

The 45,000-square-foot facility, which will be the first of its kind, will fill a building at 155 E. Townline Road that has been vacant for more than two years.

Mark Palmieri, a Libertyville native who runs Palmieri Personal Training Inc. in Vernon Hills, has been selected as general manager of the fitness center that promises to let ordinary folks train like the pros.

The Bears presented the idea to village officials in January. It's a joint venture between an entity owned by Mark Mastrov, founder and former chairman of 24 Hour Fitness and co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, and Monsters of the Midway LLC, owned by the Bears.

Mastrov also founded M6 Football, which partnered on similar gyms with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, according to the Bears.

"This strategic project marks the organization's first brand extension, and we couldn't be more excited about how it's developing," Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips said in an announcement of the membership drive.

"We're looking forward to connecting with our fans and the community in a new way that also promotes health and fitness."

The facility will feature state-of-the art equipment, a 40-yard sports turf, a recovery center, group fitness classes, saunas and steam rooms. Other planned amenities include a Bears pro shop and an interactive kids club, according to the team.

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As described in January, many pieces of equipment at Bears Fit are not available at other health or fitness facilities, although the facility is not intended only for football players and other athletes.

A virtual tour is available at bearsfit.com.

Membership ranges from $54 per month for an individual to $149 per month for a family and can be purchased at bearsfit.com or the Bears Fit showroom, No. 218 at Hawthorn Mall. Bears Fit Founding Members receive a $0 enrollment special and exclusive gym bag, towel, shirt and hat. Email customerservice@bearsfit.com or call (847) 281-7700 for more.

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