Bright orange mystery bikes no match for city code

This orange spray-painted bike, located along River Road near 200 South, leaves little clue as to its point and purpose, provides passersby with a mystery as to its origins. The orange bikes have been spotted in other cities across the country and are part of a marketing campaign for heralding the arrival of an Orangetheory Fitness gym to the community, St. George, Utah, Sept. 22, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Nothing quite pops out at passing motorists along a busy roadway like a bright orange bike set against a dull red brick wall.

One such bike, completely spray-painted orange upon closer inspection, appeared on River Road just south of 200 South. The bike was chained to a light pole with no clue as to its origin or purpose.

Is it meant to be some kind of art piece? St. George certainly isn’t lacking for those. Or maybe it’s supposed to be some kind of reminder to motorists to share the road with cyclists? That might be the case if it were National Bike Safety Awareness Month, but that’s during May. So what is it and what’s the point of it?

The orange bike, along with a handful of others that have been spotted around St. George, are part of a guerrilla marketing campaign for Orangetheory Fitness, a new gym what will be opening near the new Smith’s grocery store off Mall Drive.

This orange spray-painted bike, located along River Road near 200 South, leaves little clue as to its point and purpose, and provides passersby with a mystery as to its origins. The orange bikes have been spotted in other cities across the country and are part of a marketing campaign for heralding the arrival of an Orangetheory Fitness gym to the community, St. George, Utah, Sept. 22, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The marketing campaign appears to reach back to 2011 or slightly earlier in Florida following Orangetheory Fitness’s formation the year prior.

In December 2011, Patch.com reported orange-painted bikes started showing up in Tampa, Florida, as a way to herald the coming of an Orangetheory Fitness gym to the community – once people actually found out the reason for the bikes that is.

The gym’s owner told Patch.com that, “The orange bikes symbolize energy, fitness, affordability and fun.”

A quick search on Google under “orange bikes all over …” will produce news articles from Maine to Ohio to New York and beyond of the locations where they’ve popped up prior to a gym opening.

In St. George, however, the sightings of the orange bikes will evidently be short-lived as the way they are being used isn’t allowed under city code, Marc Mortensen, support services director for the City of St. George, said Friday afternoon.

City code does not allow signs to be posted on public property, such as power and light poles and the orange bikes fell into that category, Mortensen said.

Originally unaware of the orange bikes’ existence, city officials began getting calls from people asking about them, Mortensen said.

The answer came from a quick Google search that revealed the Orangetheory Fitness marketing strategy.

City officials contacted the incoming gym’s owners about the ordinance, of which they had previously been unaware. The situation was easily resolved with the owners planning to remove the bikes over the weekend, Mortensen said.

Attempts by St. George News to contact Orangetheory Fitness for comment Friday were unsuccessful.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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6 Comments

  • Mike September 22, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Good for the City of St. George! Imagine a business with such an entitled attitude that they think it’s okay to clutter public space with abandoned trash bikes. I drove by it and it screamed “JUNK!” not “energy, fitness or fun.”

    • Icomments2 September 22, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      Oh boo hoo!!! I think it was a great idea!!! Kinda like Summit gyms doing there Summit Rock thing… Oh thats right no one cry’s about that, cuz they have a chance to win money right Mike??? And its not like they were going to leave them there for good!!! I’ve seen some ungodly looking business signs that are there for however long, but the city isn’t doing anything about them are they!!! Suck it up buttercup and and enjoy life a little!!!

    • Kyle L. September 22, 2017 at 11:52 pm

      Really?

  • utahdiablo September 22, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Cut the lock, junk the bike, fine the business……it’s that easy

  • Caveat_Emptor September 23, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Perhaps they could donate the bikes, after they complete their campaign, to local charity shops where folks could tune them up for cheap transportation. The gimmick worked:…..free advertising.

  • mesaman September 23, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Can’t possibly be as visually obnoxious as the DSU psycedelic buffalo.

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