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New physical therapy, fitness businesses open in New Hartford

By Traci DeLore (tdelore@cnybj.com)

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Winberg Physical Therapy and Forte Strength and Fitness, which co-brand under the Forte name, held a grand-opening celebration with the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce on March 22. The two businesses provide traditional physical therapy, along with a gym. PHOTO CREDIT: FORTE STRENGTH AND FITNESS

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. — Winberg Physical Therapy and Forte Strength and Fitness are open for business at 50 Genesee St. in New Hartford.

For Erik Winberg, opening the two businesses is a natural progression in his career. With a doctorate in physical therapy from Utica University, he went to work after graduation in 2019 at SPI Utica in the Accelerate Sports facility in Whitesboro. Winberg began working on the side with area runners that wanted to increase their speed.

Before he knew it, that side hustle was more like a full-time hustle and about a year ago, he began thinking about opening his own business.

“I had the idea last March,” Winberg says. He reached out to a realtor, let his employer know his plans, and began looking for a location. The site at 50 Genesee St., which used to house a chiropractor’s office, needed minimal work to get ready. At 6,000 square feet, it provides plenty of room for the physical therapy and the fitness businesses. While they are separate businesses, they share the leased space and Winberg brands them together under the Forte name.

Both businesses officially opened March 11, and Winberg held a ribbon cutting with the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce on March 22.

Fortunately, many of his running clients came along to his new business venture, Winberg says. “I’ve had a lot of people who have been loyal,” he notes. He is also marketing on the grassroots level, reaching out to doctors and other providers to let them know about Forte.

“We do take insurance,” he adds. “We also offer cash rates as well.”

Winberg is also working with a consulting group to ramp up digital-marketing efforts to get the word out about what Forte has to offer.

While the focus is on athletes and performance, Forte can work with any client, he notes. “Our big difference between us and other gyms is we offer individualized training,” he adds. Using both his PT and fitness background, Winberg works to evaluate clients and develop individualized goals and plans to get there, whether that goal is to be able to pick up grandchildren or pick up weights.

“Function is the name of the game,” Winberg says.

Forte also offers group fitness classes from 7 to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and again from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Winberg Physical Therapy hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.    

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