By Ben Lane, TSB Staff
Runners, swimmers and bikers have a new mecca, right here in McKinney. Hundreds of triathletes, exercise enthusiasts, weekend warriors and dignitaries gathered on Thursday evening to celebrate the opening of Playtri, “the world’s largest triathlon store.”
The new store is located at 7951 Collin McKinney Pkwy, Suite 1500, McKinney, TX 75070, below the Times Square apartments in Craig Ranch. The 11,000 square foot store is the company’s second. Their first store is in Dallas.
On Thursday evening, Mayor Brian Loughmiller, a triathlete himself, helped husband and wife storeowners Ahmed Zaher and Staci Brode celebrate the store’s grand opening. Members of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, the blue-shirt-clad “coaches” that work in the store and Matty Reed, an accomplished professional triathlete, surrounded Zaher, Brode and Loughmiller as they cut the ribbon to signify the store’s official opening.
The store features several three-tiered racks of bicycles specially designed for triathlons. Zaher said that they have more than 400 bikes in the store and 1,000-plus in storage. The store also has racks and racks of running, swimming and biking gear, shoes, energy bars and other accessories.
The store is more than just a store though. It also features a chiropractic office for physical therapy and treatment, a gym for strength training, plus that massive selection of triathlon gear, of course.
Zaher told TownSquareBuzz.com that the store’s mission is simple. “We sell health,” he said. “So our goal is to give no excuses to individuals, not necessarily athletes, but to individuals to become healthy.”
He said that the reason to combine all of the varying aspects of the store was to eliminate peoples’ excuses for not being healthy. “We’ve found that one of the problems that people have is that they always have an excuse,” he said. “(People say) I can’t do this. I can’t do that. So we combined everything in one place. Now you can everything in one.”
He said that they opened in Dallas first because it was closer to their home and they wanted to test the formula first. Once they realized they were on to something, they decided to expand and he said that McKinney was a natural fit. “Seventy percent of our clients actually are based in the McKinney-Plano area,” he said. “I always said that if I was a business man, I probably would have opened here first before Dallas.”
For Zaher, McKinney is just the beginning. Zaher said they plan to expand beyond Dallas and McKinney eventually. “Our goal is really to go to Colleyville next,” he said. “And maybe Fort Worth, maybe Austin and maybe national and maybe worldwide.”
He said they hope to continue spreading their message as they continue to expand their business. “Our mission really is, what we call ‘spread the health,’ ” he said. “So we are trying to spread the health one way or another.”