Fri, Jul 7, 2017

Contact Dan Mika, Staff Writer

Ames Racquet and Fitness is putting the last touches on its new south location in the Iowa State University Research Park before its grand opening next month.

The new facility does not have a racquetball or tennis court like the former south location had. However, it adds a dedicated yoga room with hot yoga options, personalized training area and a stadium-style cycle room complete with neon color-changing bars and graffiti art on the walls.

Mandy McGuire, marketing director for Ames Racquet and Fitness, also said the new facility is leasing ground-floor space to three tenants: NuCara Pharmacy, a chiropractic practice and a second location for Studio 7, a salon and spa based in the Somerset area.

The new location also has a child care room with a play center, a basketball hoop and rock climbing wall for children to use while parents work out.

The new facility’s main workout space on the second floor features an indoor track and about 100 new machines, McGuire said.

“And there’s much, more more natural light coming through the windows,” she said.

The new gym is part of the Research Park’s efforts to expand the employee count from around 1,700 currently to around 6,000 within the next several years. To attract those workers, the park reached out to bring amenities such as a gym, a clinic, a child care facility and a restaurant to the park.

Operating partnerTom Durkin said there will be a fee increase coming in the near future to help pay for the construction, but estimates it’ll be around $5 more per month.

Although Ames Racquet and Fitness had some early concerns about moving into the Research Park, which is still a relatively isolated area of the city, Durkin said the projected growth in the area combined with the 1,000 or so existing members who turned out to a sneak peek preview of the new building earlier this week should make the new south location successful.

“They’re looking to put 6,500 millennials out here in the next five to eight to 10 years,” he said. “They think the (Research Park) is going to continue to grow.”

The new Ames Racquet and Fitness south location is set to open Aug. 14.

The new location also has a classroom where the public will be invited to learn about new nutrition and exercise research, she said.