New Zealand professional boxer Joseph Parker has endorsed a brand new gym in Mount Maunganui owned by Tauranga-based promoter Pato and Monique Alvarez.
Joseph Parker was in Tauranga today to visit the local power couple's gym Fit Nation on Newton St.
Fit Nation opened on October 14 but renovations were ongoing to transform the 2000sq m space into a brand new health and fitness centre.
Parker said he was good friends with Pato and wanted to visit the gym to see it for himself.
"I love his work ethic and what he's getting himself involved in. I wanted to come and see the gym before it was completed.
"As a fighter and an athlete I see something like this come alive and it's very exciting. I can't wait to see the finished product."
Parker said every time he was back in the Bay he planned to train out of the new gym.
"This could be our base camp."
Members will have 24-hour access to weights, the latest in Technogym cardio equipment, high-energy group classes, biometric scanning, massage, yoga, pilates and saunas.
It also includes an on-site cafeteria offering raw treats, smoothie bowls, coffee and smoothies.
Once complete, there will be about 20 people working at the gym and it will have the capacity to host about 2500 members.
Manager Nic Haldezos said they wanted to create a "one-stop-shop" from the outset from working out to chilling out.
"It's a brand new concept to the industry. There's nothing like this in New Zealand that has this sort of square meterage and the service that we're doing."
The gym will also aim to connect with local sports teams and businesses, as well as supporting local charities such as the Tauranga Community Foodbank, Haldezos said.
"Our main driver is connecting with people."
Haldezos' background included being in the New Zealand Army and working for an international fitness franchise as a club liaison officer.
Monique Alvarez said the gym offered everything under one umbrella.
"We wanted to create something where existing and new members can come to experience a whole journey with us from the moment they walk in the door."
Opening a new business post-Covid-19 lockdown was challenging but Alvarez said her entrepreneur husband Pato helped bring the vision to life.
"He has that inspiration and motivation to create and make anything happen."
Alvarez said Pato and Haldezos worked hard to bring the new concept together.
"They connected a while back and grew the vision together. Without Nic we wouldn't be able to do this."
Builders, electricians, painters and plasterers had been working hard to renovate the space over the past few months.
"They've been working so hard day and night. Members have come on this journey with us and have been able to see the transition," Alvarez said.
Former New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell was one of the first members to sign up to the gym.
"It's got everything I want here."
Mitchell said there had been a surge in people, particularly younger people, wanting to join gyms and focus more on health and wellbeing post-Covid-19.
"You have to take better care of your body and you've got to start now."