Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Genesis Health Clubs Wants Salina Indoor Tennis Center, Fitness Facility

“Genesis Health Clubs of Wichita has purchased the former shopping plaza that in the past housed ALCO and Office Depot, at Ninth and Cloud streets, and plans to turn it into a health and fitness center and indoor tennis center. The fitness and tennis center will occupy about 60,000 square feet of the 95,000 square-foot shopping center. Current building tenants Big Lots and Harbor Freight will remain in their present locations, said Rodney Steven, president and owner of Genesis. Steven said he plans to add 25,000 square feet to the east and west sides of the main building to accommodate a five-court tennis facility and pro shop. The cost of the remodeling project is expected to exceed $7 million, and the new center is expected to employ about 40 people, Steven said. ‘You guys have a big tennis community in Salina,’ said Steven, 36, a former Division I collegiate tennis player at Southern Illinois University. ‘It's been that way since I was a kid. For years I've been looking at Salina, wanting to do a health club.’ Genesis, whose four Wichita locations make it that city's largest private health club, opened its fifth location in Hutchinson in October 2006. Its clubs include cardiovascular workout equipment, Pilates and yoga classes, locker rooms, smoothie bars, pro shops and a wide variety of classes free with Genesis membership. Other features planned for the Salina facility include three group fitness studios, two racquetball courts, plasma video monitors/DVD players on each cardio machine, stretching areas and a cycling studio. Observers will be able to watch action on the five tennis courts from a viewing room overlooking the tennis center. ‘People ask why do this in a down economy? I believe exercise is something we have to do,’ Steven said. ‘If our economy is going to thrive, a lot of it will be based on us being healthy. And I believe we have the miracle pill, which is exercise.’”

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