Genesis Health Clubs acquires St. Joseph Tennis and Swim Club

WICHITA — With the addition of its first health club in Missouri, the 28-year-old Genesis Health Clubs now has a baker’s dozen.

Genesis has 12 health clubs in Kansas and has acquired the St. Joseph Tennis and Swim Club at 3107 N. Belt Highway in St. Joseph, Mo.

“I just saw a huge opportunity,” says owner Rodney Steven II.

He says his goal is to transform the tennis center into a full-service health club in addition to a tennis center.

“They don’t currently have fitness there now,” Steven says. “They need this really bad, so it’s going to be really fun.”

He plans to begin moving in fitness equipment and then will expand the building and add cardio and weight rooms. Steven also plans to remodel the tennis courts and expand and remodel the locker rooms.

Genesis also bought two and a half acres to the north of the current tennis center to expand.

The chain has experience transforming tennis facilities into health clubs. In 2001, it acquired the Wichita Racquet Club, which had 2,000 members. Today, the health club on Rock Road – the premier club in the chain – has 10,000 members.

Genesis has five facilities in Wichita, two in Lawrence and one each in Hutchinson, Salina, Emporia, Leavenworth and McPherson.

Much of the expansion to other markets has come in the last five years.

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You don’t say

“We made a mistake using an out-of-town vendor. Looking back, definitely work with someone local on LEDs.”

Genesis Health Clubs owner Rodney Steven, who is suing what he calls an unresponsive out-of-state company that he says installed such faulty LED lights that he’s had to revert to the traditional lighting he previously had

North Wind Martial Arts and Fitness to open at Westlink Shopping Center

WICHITA — Florida native Brian Kelley says he came to Wichita a couple of years ago to work as a personal training director for Genesis Health Clubs and liked it so well that he decided to stay and open his own business.

North Wind Martial Arts and Fitness opens in the Westlink Shopping Center at Central and Tyler on Sept. 17.

“I really enjoyed my time here,” says Kelley, who quit working for Genesis last summer for family reasons.

“I really enjoyed your downtown and just the people,” he says. “I looked at the fact that there is a market here for traditional martial arts.”

Kelley’s studio will be in 2,350 square feet.

Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. and Ted Branson of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Kelley says he’ll teach martial arts for “defense, exercise (and) just overall well being.”

“I teach traditional martial arts for a modern world,” he says.

“If you’re not a person who wants to go in a weight room and lift weights, it’s a great exercise.”

North Wind will be for students of all ages.

“I really am not going to confine myself,” Kelley says. “I have something for everybody.”

Williamson Wellness Center to open at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA — After almost a decade and a half of working at Genesis Health Clubs, Wendy Williamson is opening her own Williamson Wellness Center.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Williamson says. “This is just an opportunity to work for myself.”

Williamson has a doctorate in exercise science. She is a post-rehabilitation specialist and an advanced personal trainer.

“I have the privilege … and the opportunity to work with people who are recovering from illness and injury,” Williamson says. “My specialty is low back pain and orthopedic replacements.… I also work a lot with Parkinson’s disease.”

She’s opening her center in 2,529 square feet at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

April Reed of Slawson Cos. and Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Williamson will open her business in early July.

“It’s just time to work for myself.”

Genesis Health Clubs buys new property for its Leavenworth club

WICHITA — Last summer, Have You Heard? reported that Genesis Health Clubs would add Lawrence and Leavenworth locations.

Now, owner Rodney Steven II is buying a new, larger building in Leavenworth at 2924 S. 4th St., which is a former Food 4 Less.

The club currently is in the Leavenworth shopping mall at 3400 S. 4th St.

“Since opening up our location in Leavenworth I don’t feel we have had the opportunity to serve our members in the way we are known for,” Steven said in a statement. “We are sorry it took us so long, but we were unable to get the current landlord at the Leavenworth Mall to work with us on a new lease or purchase of the building on acceptable terms. We didn’t want to remodel the existing space until we owned the building or had a long-term lease in place.”

The club owns all its other buildings.

The 26-year-old Genesis has 10 sites, including five in Wichita.

The new space, which will be ready late this year, will have new features, such as a basketball court, walking track and lap pool.

There will be a studio for the mixed martial arts and American jujitsu along with studios for cycling, aerobics, yoga, Pilates and group fitness. Spacious cardio and weight rooms will feature new equipment.

The club also will have a whirlpool along with steam rooms within the locker rooms.

“I’m excited to start construction and share with our members what we have in store for them!” Steven said.

 

 

Genesis Health Clubs to open new sites in Lawrence, Leavenworth

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.

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Willowbend Golf Club and Genesis Health Clubs form partnership to share services

WICHITA — Willowbend Golf Club and Genesis Health Clubs have a new partnership to share services among their members.

“They were looking to add golf to their repertoire,” says Jim Elliott, Willowbend’s general manager. “So we sat down and started brainstorming. It wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to put together, but we pounded through it.”

Willowbend members will now be able to pay their same monthly membership dues and use any Genesis club for no extra charge.

Memberships at Willowbend cost $241 a month or, for members under 40, $174 a month.

Genesis members now have the option to join Willowbend at a reduced rate. They can subtract what they’re paying to Genesis from the monthly dues at Willowbend.

“For years (we’ve) been wanting to give our members the option to have golf as part of their memberships,” says Joe Oxler, manager for the Rock Road Genesis.

Willowbend co-owner Rod Nuckolls says it’s a unique arrangement in Wichita, though it’s becoming popular elsewhere.

“There’s kind of a trend around the country where the health clubs are becoming kind of golf-connected as well,” he says.

Nuckolls is pleased that Willowbend members now will have access to tennis courts, pools and workout facilities at no extra charge.

Oxler says it makes sense for Willowbend and Genesis.

“It’s going to attract new members for both businesses,” he says. “It was just a perfect marriage.”

City mulls proposals for Wichita Ice Center

0107icerink_mb4.jpgUPDATED — There’s concern swirling through the ice skating community about a possible change in management at the Wichita Ice Center.

The city issued a request for proposals and now is evaluating three potential center managers.

That includes Virginia-based Rink Management Services, which currently manages the center, New Jersey-based Ice World Consulting and Genesis Health Clubs, the only local group that submitted a proposal.

Some parents of children who skate at the center have contacted the city to express concern that Genesis, which doesn’t operate any ice facilities, appears to be the front runner.

“It would be detrimental to our skaters if a company took over the ice rink that had no experience,” says Lisa Totten, whose 11-year-old daughter is a competitive skater at the center.

“It’s not just a business. There’s technical expertise they need to know.”

Doug Kupper, the city’s director of park and recreation, says no decisions have been made on new management yet.

“To speculate who is and who isn’t going to be managing the ice center is premature because we don’t have anything at all finalized. We’re nowhere near where we need to be in even going to the City Council with a recommendation.”

In 2006, Rink Management got a two-year contract with the city to run the center, and that’s been extended with two one-year contracts.

There are no renewals left, though, and the city had to issue an RFP “whether we liked them or didn’t like them,” Kupper says.

However, Rink Management’s contract has been extended to March while the city makes a decision.

“They’ve been pretty good,” Kupper says of the company, adding, “There’s always room for improvements.”

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$635,011? That’s nothing to be happy about

brandonWICHITA — You might expect it was a triumphant Brandon Steven who returned Monday from Las Vegas after placing 10th in the World Series of Poker.

That’s 10th out of 7,319 people, which helped him pocket $635,011.

It’s not quite enough to cheer up the automobile dealer, though.

“It’s like bittersweet right now,” Steven says. “It’s real bitter.

“I didn’t go there to take 10th place. I didn’t go there to lose.”

He realizes how that might sound.

“I feel like a spoiled brat when I say I get upset about it,” Steven says.

He says he’s sure when time passes, he’ll have a new perspective and be happy. He then takes it back.

“Actually, I know myself. I won’t be.”

Two things cost Steven the chance to be in the top nine, who go on to play for almost $9 million this fall.

First, he made a bad bluff early in the final day.

“It was a horrible bluff.”

It cost him $2.5 million in chips.

“It was an amateur mistake.”

The bigger problem, though, is “unfortunately, I went card dead.”

That’s when the right cards quit coming.

“I went card dead at a really bad time.”

Still, in the wee hours of Sunday morning he was still feeling confident.

“At four in the morning, I would have bet you that $600,000 check that I was not going to bust,” Steven says. “I just was certain that I was going to make it.

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