Maybe it’s because of the growing obesity problem in the U.S. Or, perhaps, cubicle-bound techies just want to spend their free time thinking about ways to get healthier.

Whatever the reason, I’ve seen a huge boom in startup ideas in what’s best described as the “health 2.0″ space this year. On Monday, for example, I wrote about WellnessFX and noted some of the Seattle players in the space such as EveryMove, Habit Labs, Mindbloom and others.

Now, here comes another entry in the market. It’s called Fitropolis, and the new upstart is the brainchild of former Expedia vice presidents Jenne Pierce and Troy Kaser.

Jenne Pierce

The entrepreneurial duo are not forgetting about their online travel backgrounds, with Kaser noting that their goal is to be the “TripAdvisor for fitness.” That’s a reference to the enormously popular hotel review site which is about to be spun off from Expedia.

Fitropolis essentially is an online directory of gyms, yoga studios, Pilates studios, Crossfit centers and other fitness options. At this point, the service is just available in Seattle, with plans to expand to the Eastside suburbs shortly.

“Basically, we discovered that while Americans are increasingly incorporating fitness into their lives, it’s much, much more difficult to find all the fitness options near you than it should be,” said Pierce, who worked at Expedia for 11 years, serving as the former vice president of product. “Directory sites are often neither comprehensive nor accurate, and many options don’t appear in standard search engines results.”

Fitropolis has compiled about 250 gym locations in the Seattle area, and has personal reviews on each.

That’s part of what makes the company unique, with Pierce saying many directory sites have little or no content beyond name, address, web site and phone number.

“We research each provider and provide as much detailed information as we can, including what services and classes they offer, where to find their updated schedule, and whether they offer a free trial or new client special,” she said.

Comments

  • http://blog.calbucci.com/ Marcelo Calbucci

    This is really cool.

  • http://twitter.com/CiaoErin Erin Zangari

    Love this idea!

  • http://twitter.com/cellartracker Eric LeVine

    Awesome Jenne!

  • Eliza Polly

    Congratulations, Jenne and Troy!

  • Sean Shannon

    Congrats Troy and Jenne!  Sounds like a great service.

  • http://twitter.com/jclaussftw Jason Gerard Clauss

    It doesn’t have the ability to search for gyms that do not play crappy music or gyms with interactive games on the exercise equipment.

    • http://seattle.fitropolis.com Jenne

      Crappy music filter – love it!

      • http://twitter.com/jclaussftw Jason Gerard Clauss

        The interactive game filter might actually be a little easier to implement. And I’m genuinely interested in finding such a thing.

  • Sameer Garg

    Nice one Troy. You site is getting more popular with this media coverage,.

  • Dave

    Seems interesting, but curious how it becomes a real business. TripAdvisor works really well because people often go to multiple hotels in multiple new locations per year with great difficulty choosing among venues that you generally cannot see in advance so the tool is useful to many people on a reasonably frequent basis. Shopping for gyms seems to be a much more infrequent experience for most–once every few years, once a year at most–and since you are fundamentally shopping local you can actually go to the places. Gyms when you travel would be interesting, but I never end up with enough time to actually go to a gym other than the hotel gym.

    • http://seattle.fitropolis.com Jenne

      You’re right – most folks don’t shop for a gym membership that often.  The more interesting bit is all the yoga, Pilates, Zumba, CrossFit, etc. – we find folks swap those out and try new things much more frequently. 

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