Brandon Myers

Brandon Myers, owner of Plainview Fitness 24/7, stands inside the gym in Plainview. The gym opened in the Plainview community in 2017, and he later purchased it and the building. He now has plans to expand into Pierce and open Pierce Fitness 24/7 after purchasing Fitness 4-U.

PLAINVIEW — Brandon Myers used to drive nearly two hours to maintain a fitness routine.

After receiving his degree in business management and entrepreneurship from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and then working in commercial real estate for a short time, the Pierce County native returned to the family farm near Plainview, where there was no gym. It’s almost an understatement to say he was grateful when Plainview Fitness 24/7 opened in 2017.

“I’ve been working out here pretty much ever since it opened,” Myers said, standing inside the modest fitness center at 512 Locust Ave. in Plainview. “Right when I moved back, I’d been driving to Norfolk four days a week to work out. That makes for a long day after you do your normal day’s work and then you’ve got a two-hour drive.”

But in 2020, the three original owners of the gym in Plainview — two of whom didn’t live in the community — contacted Myers saying they were ready to sell the business. Myers had expressed to a mutual friend that he would be interested in purchasing the business if they ever wanted to sell.

“I needed a gym for myself, and I wanted one for my friends,” Myers said. “As long as we could keep this place running and in good shape, that’s kind of all I cared about.”

In August of that year, he took over ownership of the business, as well as the building in which it operates, and made a few improvements and added equipment, including a new sauna.

Since then, the membership of the Plainview gym has fluctuated between roughly 50 and 65 members, Myers said.

Now, Myers is taking the opportunity to expand on the fitness business. In late 2022, he learned Pierce’s Fitness 4-U was about to close. He made an arrangement to lease a portion of the building from its new owner to keep a fitness center in the Pierce community.

“It was one of those things that came up pretty quick,” Myers said. “I heard she (former owner Peg Waldner) was closing. That kind of started the conversation. I looked at how many members she had and what expenses would be and thought it would be worth a try.”

Pierce Fitness 24/7 will include a variety of free weights, machines and cardio equipment. Myers said he wasn’t certain how much would fit in the space in Pierce when it was undergoing renovation for the new gym.

“It’s kind of hard because you see this big empty room, and then you start putting stuff in there and all of a sudden you’re out of space,” he said.

Pierce Fitness 24/7 will not utilize all of the space Fitness 4-U did. The back room that had feature circuit-training equipment and a studio area on the west side of the gym have been separated by the owner of the building to be utilized for other purposes, Myers said.

Fresh paint and new flooring are the major upgrades members of the Pierce gym will notice as they walk in. The area around the dumbbells, bench press and deadlift platform has rubber flooring so weights can be dropped. Myers also wanted to have mirrors run the entire length of the building so gymgoers can keep their forms in check.

“We’ll also have a wall where you can write on with chalk, and new lights and a new JBL sound system,” he said. “Those are the main things we’re doing to the building.”

The gym offers tanning opportunities and has a shower and spacious restrooms. Eventually, he added, the 24/7 keycards members will have to access the facility will work for both the Pierce and the Plainview gyms.

Myers said he’s encouraged by the buzz about the new gym that he has heard both on the street and social media. He’s looking forward to having the business open in the Pierce community.

“I’m pretty pleased with the reaction. I’ve got a lot of good feedback. People are excited, so that’s really good,” he said.

In other news

The orchestra played, the glee club sang and downtown businesses closed their doors for an hour so everyone could attend the long-awaited dedication of Norfolk’s new high school building.

WISNER — A new display at the Wisner Heritage Museum pays tribute to a married couple who practiced osteopathic medicine in Wisner’s earlier years.