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New Athletic Republic Libertyville intends to thrive in face of challenging economy


Kenosha businessman says demand for sports performance training is on the rise, and now is a promising time to launch new enterprise

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Some people would be leery of starting a business in an economic climate that has shuttered the doors of some of America’s biggest enterprises.

Not Jon Palmen. In fact, he sees a depressed economy as a time for opportunity when it comes to service innovation and introduction.

A lifelong amateur athlete, and a coach as an adult, Palmen, president of Athletic Republic Libertyville, LLC, is set to celebrate the official opening of Athletic Republic Libertyville ( inside the Libertyville Sports Complex (1950 N. Highway 45) on Saturday, December 13, 2008. Grand opening festivities are slated for 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., that day.

While fitness club membership numbers have remained constant in the last year, demand for sports-specific and performance coaching under safe supervision is on the rise. According to a 2008 survey released by the National Federation of State High School Associations, the number of athletes and parents who seek a competitive advantage increased for a 17th straight year.

“I want to pursue a career in an industry for which I have a lifelong passion and because of the economy, I want to mirror that passion with a growing entity,” 39-year-old Palmen, said. “Performance sports training is growing because people are looking for more than just a personal trainer; they are looking for a coach, mentor and motivator educated in exercise science, steeped with proven results.”

Some of the biggest businesses in the United States have launched during turbulent economic cycles including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Coors, Disney and Super 8 motels. Advances in technology and consumer demand for specialty services make this a promising time for new enterprise, provided that its marketing is targeted and its business foundation is well-managed.

“Starting a business now has advantages for entrepreneurs who have solid business plans, adequate financing and marketable services or products,” said Bob Watson, a tax partner with Mohr & Associates in Milwaukee, Wis. “The tough economic environment forces a new business owner to have good business practices right from the start. If you can persevere and understand difficult times, it will help you to remain disciplined and creative in a good economy.”

Athletic Republic is an 18-year-old international performance sports organization, with more than 160 locations throughout North America, the United Kingdom, Russia and Japan. It has established itself as an industry leader in performance fitness and sports training, and offers programs created for athletes of all ages. The Libertyville location plans to employ five program certified trainers when it opens, and up to 15 employees as it becomes established in the community.

Palmen, who resides in Kenosha, would like to eventually establish Athletic Republic locations in Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee and another in Illinois.
Founded in 1990, Athletic Republic’s growth is based on the continued research of exercise physiologist John Frappier, M.S. and sport biomechanist Stephen C. Swanson, M.S.



 sports training
 Libertyville, IL

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