If you’re the type of person who sets your fitness goals on New Year’s Day, the Chippewa Valley YMCA has a well-timed gift for you: Effective September 1, effective January, privately owned Eau Claire Fitness will be reborn as the Eau Claire South YMCA.
3225 Lorch Ave., which until a few years ago was Gold’s Gym. The health club at will become the local YMCA’s third full-service facility at the beginning of the new year.
Derek White said he met Eau Claire Fitness owner Laurie Powers a year ago, shortly after she became president and CEO of the local YMCA. They talked about his operations and his interest in selling the business, which ultimately resulted in a purchase offer from the YMCA.
“The Powers family are friends and supporters of the YMCA, and we greatly appreciate their confidence in the Y as good stewards of the business they have devoted so much passion and energy to building,” White said.
Opened in 2008, the 50,000-square-foot Eau Claire Fitness features amenities such as cardio equipment, a weight room, group exercise areas, basketball court, pool, sauna, child care facilities and more.
Ace of January. As of September 1, the facility will be available to all YMCA of the Chippewa Valley members. Likewise, all Eau Claire Fitness members will also become YMCA members, White said. He added that they can expect a letter explaining the change and the new fee structure in the near future.
My mindset has always been that the Y is the front porch of the community.
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF CHIPPEWA VALLEY YMCA
White said the purchase of the facility is part of the YMCA’s long-term effort to better serve its 18,000 members and the community as a whole. “My responsibility since I was hired last October has been to determine what the long-term plan is for the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley,” he said. “We are working with staff and volunteers on what the next 50 to 100 years of the organization will look like.”
Other YMCA facilities in the Chippewa Valley include Eau Claire Downtown YMCA (700 Graham Ave.), Chippewa Falls YMCA (611 Jefferson Ave.), Menard Tennis Center (1260 Menomonie St.), LE Phillips YMCA Fitness Center (3456). Craig Road) and Camp Manitou near New Auburn.
White said the local YMCA intends for the Eau Claire South YMCA to be a self-sustaining facility because of the new members it will bring to the organization. He said the acquisition funds came from operational funds, which have increased over the last few years. White said the money did not come from previous capital campaigns to renovate the downtown Eau Claire location as part of UW-Eau Claire’s Sonnentag Center development on Menomonie Street (a project the YMCA dropped in 2019) or to build an entirely new YMCA explained. ).
White added that the acquisition doesn’t mean the YMCA plans to leave its downtown Eau Claire facility any time soon: “We have no intention of abandoning anyone. “We want to make sure the work we do is strategic and well-planned.”
To that end, the YMCA has spent nearly $600,000 over the past two years to improve existing facilities for its members.
“My sense has always been that the Y is the front porch of the community,” added White, who has worked for YMCAs for more than 20 years, primarily in the southeastern U.S. “Everybody comes in, partnerships happen and relationships are built. (Purchasing) adds another operational center for us.”