The Fitness Den celebrated a grand opening last week with owner Cindy Wolfe and her friends, family, fellow business owners and the Hiawatha Chamber and Visitors Bureau.
To kick off the grand opening at the downtown Hiawatha fitness center, the HCVB held a ribbon cutting the morning of Thursday, July 7. Wolfe sponsored several give-aways and specials on new memberships.
Wolfe is a Hiawatha graduate from the class of 1984, the daughter of Roger and Ruth Wolfe. She graduated college from Northwest Missouri State University with a major in physical education and a minor in math. She spent several years teaching PE and math for middle schoolers and also 6 years at a college in Joplin, Mo., where she ran an aquatics program. In 2005, she left teaching after several years in Texas and spent two years in sales of technology equipment. Then 15 years ago, she decided to take off and travel the United States in her RV, spending winters with her parents in Arizona.
She came back to area part-time in 2014 when her father became sick. More recently, she sold a home at Lake Viking, Mo., and parked her RV in Hiawatha on property she purchased where she is also building a home.
In 1992 she obtained a masters program in sports management, which actually brings her where she is today.
“It’s always been my dream to open a gym,” she said. “I looked last fall when Blaise came for sale, but I thought about it awhile. This spring I decided it was time to jump in with both feet.”
After taking the plunge this past spring, Wolfe set about a few remodels, painting inside, updating and repair of equipment, updating the website and restructuring the memberships offered. She also beefed up security with additional cameras and a new keypad out front that works with an app on a client’s phone.
Some of the changes in membership include month-to-month memberships or a limited membership with a reduced price that allows the client to work out between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday — rather than 24-hour access — at a reduced cost.
The Fitness Den offers Matrix equipment, including hybrid cycles, treadmills, ellipticals, a Nustep and free weights. There are four employees — including manager Holle Lancaster, who also operates her dance studio in the basement.
Blaise had been open for 8 years and provided a 24-hour/7-day-a-week access to fitness in Hiawatha and Wolfe said she wants to continue that — and possibly expand on it — for the community. She hopes to eventually offer some classes and fitness coaches, but is taking it slow.
“It’s nice to be back on a permanent basis,” Wolfe said. “I have gotten so much positive feedback and am thankful for the community and its support. I just want to keep providing a good service to the community.”