Monday, July 16, 2007

Vida Fitness, the nearly year-old fitness center/spa/salon in the Verizon Center, is expanding to Tysons Corner.

Vida Fitness has just leased space occupied by a former data center to create a 44,000-square-foot health club at 1919 Gallows Road.

The Tysons Corner location will include 24,000 square feet of indoor space — similar to the Verizon Center location with fitness equipment, group fitness space and spa areas — as well as 20,000 square feet of seasonal outdoor space. The outdoor area will feature a lounge with swimming pools and soaking tubs, reflecting pools, cabanas, massage stations and a cafe — “an alternative to the craziness of Tysons,” said Vida founder David von Storch.

Although Tysons Corner has many fitness centers and many spas, there is no good combination of both, Mr. von Storch said.

“My perception of Tysons Corner is that it is really an urban core, a city of its own entity, but it still doesn’t have some of the options that urban cores have,” he said.

The Tysons location will be similar to Vida’s Verizon Center location, except for the outdoor area and the result of one important lesson that Mr. von Storch learned the first time around: Women bring a lot of stuff to the gym. The new club will include more monthly lockers and changing areas for women.

Mr. von Storch said he was originally planning to expand only in the District but couldn’t pass up the Tysons location. The Tysons fitness center is scheduled to open in January along with a third location in Logan Circle.

Baltimore goes YouTube-ing

The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association rolled out last week, inviting residents to submit videos of what they like about Charm City. The Web site and videos, similar to the video Web site, will be used in online marketing promotions and by tourists who want to get a more complete picture of Baltimore.

The association says it is looking for a variety of videos covering everything from the best places to buy crabs to the best bar to the best spot for a date. The video submissions will be entered into a contest with a grand prize of $2,007.

Tysons rocks

Tysons Corner Center has started a summer concert series, a popular draw at other area shopping centers including Arlington’s Pentagon Row. The free jazz concerts will take place Friday nights through Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. in the parking lot in front of Bistro 123 near Lord & Taylor. Joe Byrd and Friends will be featured in Friday’s performance, followed in later weeks by Libby McDowell Jazz Band and Chuck Redd. Chairs are available for rent, with donations going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC.

In other news …

Wednesday is California Tortilla’s annual Pop-Tart Day. In the 13th year of its quirky promotion, the Rockville chain will give a Pop-Tart to all customers in any of its restaurants, while supplies last. No purchase is necessary.

Special delivery at Bebo Trattoria in Crystal City: a wood-burning pizza oven. Chef Roberto Donna’s restaurant, which promised delicious pizzas when it opened last fall, has been operating without a pizza oven. The pizzas, calzones and paninis are cooking now.

Contact Jen Haberkorn at or 202/636-4836.

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