Dial 867-5309 for '80s-themed workout

Retrofitness acquires Tommy Tutone song

For a good time, or at least a good workout, gym rats can now call 867-5309.

The rapidly expanding health club chain Retrofitness has acquired rights to the phone number made famous by '80s one-hit wonder Tommy Tutone. It also recently inked original MTV VJ Martha Quinn to voice its fall radio campaign.

The '80s-themed chain has 50-plus locations in Florida, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., and more than 100 in development in Chicago, Tampa, Fla. and other major markets. Each is decorated in bright '80 color schemes (neon yellow, black checkered floor tiles) and includes a "retro cardio" movie theater featuring such flicks as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Sixteen Candles."

"867-5309 (Jenny)" peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. Retrofitness founder Eric Casaburi saw the number as a must-have for his growing Gen X-targeted fitness centers.

"We want to keep the brand as fun as possible," he said. "The devil is in the details, especially in branding. This was a cool detail that people will appreciate when they see it. Plus, it's easy to remember."

Retrofitness received the rights to the phone number late last month. It had been auctioned off on eBay in February for a bid in excess of $350,000, but the deal fell apart. Casaburi was approached by the owners of the number, and he acquired it for an undisclosed sum.

Late last month, Retrofitness also inked a deal with MTV's Quinn. "Her response was, 'That is such a rad idea,' " Casaburi said. "She's such a throwback. It's worth the extra money for people to hear her voice and say, 'I remember her.' "

Retrofitness runs print ads featuring '80s movies references; one current ad reads, "At $19.99 a month, it's better than leg sweeping a Cobra Kai." The chain is prepping TV ads for later this year.

"The '80s were great. ... There was no recession. We want people to get that flavor in their life," Casaburi said. "No one likes to work out -- it's sweaty, it hurts a little. At least we're giving them some entertainment value."
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