Friday evening, the fitness studio Pure Barre hosted a grand opening party at its new downtown Ann Arbor location. The event was open to the community and included a cocktail party, merchandise sale and a raffle for a free year of classes.
This is Pure Barre’s second location in Ann Arbor, their first is further off campus on Oak Valley Drive. Pure Barre moved to their Oak Valley Drive location after leaving a previous location on Felch Street. This new downtown location on Liberty Street has been open since mid-July. One of the studio’s owners, Erica Heisel, a fourth year medical student, told the Daily that the summer opening led to a bit of a slow start for the studio.
“We opened in the middle of summer, so a lot of people we were trying to reach were not here yet,” Heisel said.
The evening’s grand opening was intended to introduce the downtown community, specifically University of Michigan students, to Pure Barre. Heisel said when the studio moved from the Felch Street location to the Oak Valley Drive location, they lost a majority of their student clientele.
The grand opening was attended by many University undergraduate and graduate students. LSA freshman Marina Gialanella said she was excited to continue taking classes while she was on campus.
“I went in my hometown; it’s always been an amazing experience for me, for staying in shape and meeting amazing people — it’s been just a really life changing experience,” Gialanella said.
Pure Barre staff said since the University students returned to campus this September, classes have been booked solid. The studio will be adding additional classes to the schedule in October to meet the high demand.
“Ever since the day after the first football game, we have been absolutely full,” Heisel said. “A lot of classes have been waitlisted, so we are actually adding six classes per week to our schedule for the month of October.”
Pure Barre offers an “open barre pass” to UM students, where students can attend their first month of unlimited classes for $99 and every month after for $149. Students can also register for a “limited barre pass,” which includes nine classes a month for $99.
The studio offers five to six classes every weekday, with classes starting at 6 a.m. and going as late as 6:45 p.m. The studio also holds two classes each on Saturdays and Sundays.
LSA senior Dani Silverman has been working for the Pure Barre company for four years, and at the downtown Ann Arbor location since late August. Since she started working at the downtown location, Silverman said she has noticed a boom in student members.
“I’ve been working here since I got back for school in late August,” Silverman said. “There has been a ton of students here. We opened in the summer and it was really, really small classes and then as soon as the students starting showing up, all of our classes got super full. We are adding more classes to the schedule, which is really exciting.”
Several employees also added that the downtown studio also aims to focus on University students.
“I’m one of the owners and I went to school at U of M,” Heisel said. “I’m at grad school at U of M and we have a lot of U of M pride at the studio and we are really excited to have so many students.”