UPDATED – Genesis Health Clubs is adding two new sites in two cities to its chain of facilities throughout Kansas.
Lawrence and Leavenworth locations make the ninth and 10th Genesis sites in the chain.
Owner Rodney Steven II says it’s a chance for Genesis and his staff to grow.
“It just gives them more opportunities.”
The health clubs will be in former Maximus Fitness locations in each city.
Steven plans facelifts at each facility, including locker room upgrades, new cardio and weight machines, expanded staff hours, free towel service and increased personal training and group training options. He plans to hire all Maximus employees who want to remain.
Steven also plans to build a second club in Lawrence. He’s close to picking a site.
“I’ve been trying to go to the Lawrence market for over five years,” he says. “So I know it like the back of my hand.”
Genesis, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has four facilities in Wichita as well as clubs in Hutchinson, Salina and Emporia. Steven also operates the Wichita Ice Center and hopes to add a fitness center there.
Construction on the Emporia Genesis, which is in a former athletic club, will be finished in three weeks. The club is currently open, but there will be a grand reopening soon.
The Genesis in Salina opened in 2009. Steven says it’s been a huge success.
“It’s amazing,” he says. “It’s just off the charts. He says the city “received us really well.”
Steven says the Lawrence and Leavenworth markets made sense to add, in part because they’re not far from his other properties.
In Lawrence, with students who are from Wichita, he says, “Our name is well known there. Our service is well known there.”
As for Leavenworth, Steven says, “It’s so surprising to me how many people move (there) from Wichita. It’s so weird.”
He likes the city. “It’s a town that really surprises you.”
So where is he heading next?
“Those two clubs are going to keep us busy for a while,” Steven says. “They’re well within our reach, and we don’t want to go too far to where we can’t manage them very well.”
That doesn’t mean he won’t be eyeing new markets soon.
“We want to grow.”