Port Alberni city councillor Ron Paulson and Jim’s Clothes Closet owner Don Ferster along with city economic development manager Pat Deakin, third from left, and Jim’s staff cut the ribbon on a newly renovated Port Albeni store. SUSAN QUINN/Alberni Valley News

BUSINESS BEAT: 24-hour gym planned for Port Alberni

Jims Clothes Closet renovation a vote of confidence for business



If you are already planning to get more fit in the new year, a new business in town might be a good fit. Anytime Fitness is opening a new gym at Alberni Mall in the new year, says manager Stephanie Wakelin.

She has lived in Port Alberni most of her life, just recently returning home from three years in Victoria where she was a member of an Anytime Fitness gym.

“I have had a passion for fitness for about six years,” says Wakelin. “I lost 50 pounds and have been passionate about fitness ever since.”

Wakelin says a few things set Anytime Fitness apart from other gyms.

“I love the convenience of being open 24 hours a day,” says Wakelin. “Even at 2 a.m. the lights are on, the music is on, the vibe is there. It feels like the middle of the day.”

Wakelin says Anytime Fitness (4,000 locations worldwide and 12 on Vancouver Island) is suitable for everyone regardless of fitness level or age.

The location in the mall is being renovated with room for top-of-the-line fitness machines and areas for fitness classes.

Anytime Fitness offers personal training, group training, clinics, classes and tanning beds.

“There is also a free fitness assessment and start up plan when you join,” says Wakelin.

While Wakelin has some training in fitness theory and weight training, she won’t be one of the trainers.

“We are looking for trainers,” says Wakelin, who is already working on a class schedule. Find them at www.anytimefitness.com or on Facebook.


Jowsey’s Furniture and Mattresses donated $2,355 to the West Coast General Hospital Foundation toward the purchase of a Panda Warmer for infants. The money was raised in October through a silent auction in store and a donation of delivery fees for the month. www.jowseys.ca


Jim’s Clothes Closet has completed their renovation and revealed the results with a grand re-opening last week. The store has the same footprint as it did before the renos, but the new layout makes it look much bigger, owner Don Ferster said. It has the same design as the Courtenay and Prince George stores.

City councillor Ron Paulson and economic development manager Pat Deakin helped cut the ribbon on the re-opening. “We appreciate the confidence and integrity you bring to Port Alberni with your business,” Paulson said to Ferster. “Thank you for investing in Port Alberni.”

Jim’s has been in Port Alberni for 51 years and now has stores in four locations, including Campbell River, Courtenay and Prince George. www.jimsclothescloset.ca


All Mex’d Up Taco Shop at Harbour Quay now has a liquor license. The have Corona on hand to enjoy with your Mexican fare, with more offerings coming. The license extends to the outdoor space, which now has a fenced area in front of the shop. Find them on Facebook.


Scotiabank celebrated their 60th anniversary with a parking lot party the end of September. The event included classic cars, a barbecue for charity and of course a big cake. The bank, originally known as the Bank of Nova Scotia, has been in the same location since they opened in 1959. www.scotiabank.com


Space Gain Storage on Tebo Avenue is now open. The new self-service storage facility offers three sizes of storage units on monthly and annual contracts. Sign up now to receive special early bird rates and deals. www.spacegainstorage.com


Christmas is just around the corner and Coombs Country Candy is a busy place as candy man Murray Lawlor and his staff create signature sweet treats for the season, including their own candy canes. If you are counting the days, Coombs Country Candy now has their handmade chocolate advent calendars in milk and dark chocolate available. www.coombscandy.com


Photographer Lyndon Cassell is offering a unique gift idea: custom coffee mugs featuring photographs of local locations, or your own photo. Contact him at Azalea Flowers and Gifts in the Adelaide Mall. www.azaleaflowers.ca/Gift-Shop.html or call 778-421-2660.


Shelley Anne Llewellyn has brought her wares to Portal Oddities and Curios at Harbour Quay. Llewellyn custom prints t-shirts, caps, jackets and other swag. Visit her at the shop for personalized gift ideas. She has also added her own homemade jams and jellies to the unique, antique and local artist and artisan offerings in the shop. www.theportalshop.ca or find them on Facebook.

Teresa Bird is the Alberni Valley News’ publisher. Do you have a business tip for her? E-mail her at publisher@albernivalleynews.com.


Jennifer Norn of Jowsey’s Furniture and Mattresses hands over a cheque for $2355 to Chris Francey of the West Coast General Hospital Foundation toward the purchase of a Panda Warmer for infants in the hospital. SUBMITTED PHOTO

A newborn girl is the first use the new Panda Warmer at West Coast General Hospital. Jowsey’s Furniture and Mattresses raised more than $2,000 toward the purchase of the new equipment. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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