Weight Watchers opens Duluth centerWeight Watchers now has its own center in Duluth.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
No more meetings in churches.
Weight Watchers now has its own center in Duluth.
The weight-loss service has been in the Duluth area a long time, meeting in churches around town, said Tammy Gardner, Weight Watchers’ northern
“Attendance has grown and grown to the level where we can have a center,” she said.
The center opened Sunday at 1019 W. Central Entrance, above Cold Stone Creamery, in the Miller Hill Mall area.
The irony of the new Duluth center being located above an ice cream shop hasn’t escaped them.
“We’ve been laughing about it with members, because whenever you do directions, you use restaurants as navigational milestones,” Gardner said. “It wasn’t intentional at all. It was just the space that fit our needs.”
The new center will be open seven days a week for people to stop in and learn about Weight Watchers, become members, buy its products and attend meetings.
Those meetings, Gardner said, are key. People who attend meetings lose three times more weight than those who try to lose weight on their own, she said.
The Weight Watchers meetings that have been held at five churches in the Duluth area will be consolidated and moved to the new center.
While there are 17 Weight Watchers centers in the southern half of the state, with most in the Twin Cities, the Duluth center is the first in northern Minnesota, she said.
“In outlying areas, it’s not as common,” she said. “So I’m super excited.”
Weight Watchers, which turns 50 next month, is among the oldest weight management programs around. But there’s plenty of competition out there as Americans fight the country’s growing girth.
Gardner said Weight Watchers has endured because it works. Gardnerlost 80 pounds on the program 14 years ago. And she’s kept it off.
“There’s a need for a variety of choices for people, and it’s finding what’s best for you,” she said. “For me, it was a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. It’s been my experience that other weight loss programs have been temporary, not something you can do long term.”
U.S. News and World Report seems to agree. In January, it ranked Weight Watchers as No. 1 among the leading commercial weight loss services and has deemed its points-counting diet the best for losing weight.
Besides weekly meetings that offer weigh-ins, group support and presentations, Weight Watchers uses a point system to guide members’ food choices, aided by new technology. Membership costs $13 a week to attend weekly meetings or $42.95 for unlimited meetings and access to electronic tools.
The new Duluth center will be open 9-11 a.m. Sundays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays; and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.