COLTS NECK, NJ -- Retrofitness Inc. has announced plans to develop new health clubs throughout the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Eric Casaburi, founder of the Colts Neck, NJ-based 1980s-themed fitness chain, says Retrofitness will open at least 17 new locations in the area during the next three years through a combination of company and franchisee owned locations.

The chain’s first site in the area is under construction in Columbia-Jessup, MD, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

Retrofitness has a robust growth plan that is aligned with strategic franchise and operating partners who are ready for expansion,” Casaburi says. “During a time when development has become stagnant for companies, we are offering new job opportunities to local consumers as well as a new business investment opportunity with a brand that has been built to weather both good and bad economic times.”

Last fall, Casaburi announced a partnership with Lake Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm that invests in service-based companies. Casaburi did not disclose the amount that Lake Capital invested, but he did say that the investors would add “some extra fuel to our engines.”

In addition to the Washington, DC, metro area, Retrofitness will focus its growth in towns throughout Maryland and Virginia, infusing more than $20 million into the Washington, DC, economy through local investments, Casaburi says. Once complete, the expected 17-plus locations combined will employ at least 250 people.

Retrofitness offers a monthly rate of $19.99, retro-style color schemes, classic pop-culture 1980s music and a RetroTheatre where members can burn off calories on treadmills, recumbent bikes and ellipticals while watching famous 1980s flicks. Each club also features more than 50 strength equipment and cardio machines complete with individualized LCD TV monitors.

“Our goal for members is to allow them to ‘exorcise’ their workout demons, while exercising in an environment that keeps them invigorated,” said Casaburi, who also is a diehard glam band fan of Poison and Bon Jovi. “People forget they are working out at Retrofitness because they are having such a good time just being in one of our gyms.”

Casaburi opened his first Retrofitness location in 2004. Currently, the chain has 40 locations nationwide. However, Casaburi says that he has aggressive franchise growth plans that include opening an additional 450 locations during the next three years.

Each club is 10,000 to 15,000 square feet and contains about $400,000 worth of equipment. About 80 percent of Retrofitness gyms offer in-house chiropractic and child care services. Potential investors need approximately $1 million to get a club up and running, which includes equipment, franchise fees and build-out costs. Retrofitness offers franchise investors a full suite of support services, including access to strategic leasing and financing partners, site selection, full staff training on-site or at Retro-University, ongoing operational assistance, sales consulting, architecture and marketing.