The new operator of the closed gym facility at Saint Mary’s says the reopening of Parkway Athletic Club at Saint Mary’s this October provided the perfect opportunity to extend the Parkway brand.
Cheyne Lealand, partner with Parkway Athletic Club on Double Diamond Parkway in south Reno, recently spoke with NNBW about his company’s partnership with Saint Mary’s Health Network to reopen the fitness facility, which closed earlier this year.
“Back in March, when Saint Mary’s announced the closure, they recognized what that meant to the community,” Lealand said. “It had become a landmark, and their goal always was to reopen it. They wanted someone reputable who was in the area and whose business was running health clubs.
“We toured the facility, ran all the demographics, and thought it was a good deal that made a lot of sense,” Lealand added. “My partners and I have been running health clubs for well over 20 years. We have Parkway Athletic Club, as well as Fitness for 10 locations all over the West Coast. When it comes to running health clubs, that’s what we do. Saint Mary’s was looking for a partner to run that location, and we are excited to bring our know-how to what is really a fantastic location.”
Lealand declined to go into the specifics about how the partnership agreement will work, such as revenue sharing or lease arrangements. Parkway will bear all capital expenditures for new signage and gym equipment, Lealand said, as well as handle staffing and all other facets of running the facility.
“It’s kind of a hybrid arrangement,” he told NNBW. “One of the best things is that we have the help of Saint Mary’s throughout the facility. Expanding any business is a massive overhaul. But we have the backing of Saint Mary’s to help on many levels, from tapping into their events to introductions with insurance carriers. It makes it a lot easier when you have the backing of an organization like Saint Mary’s because they realize this location really was a landmark for the community.
“But this is fully Parkway Athletic Club’s operation, and we will make all operating decisions,” he added.
Derrick Glum, chief executive officer of Saint Mary’s Health Network, said his organization considered a wide range of potential partners for the gym facility, including local, regional and national fitness facility operators.
“They varied greatly in terms of quality, expertise and resource commitment,” Glum said. “Parkway stood far above the crowd in all of those regards. Being a proven entity for high-end gym operations in Reno already, we knew we’d found the right partner. The ownership group of Parkway communicated in clear and transparent ways and allowed us to see the commitment to their members and the community that Saint Mary’s is also known for.”
Glum also told NNBW that reopening the gym was important for Saints since it’s a vital resource and amenity in Reno’s downtown core.
“It was a very high priority for us to re-open the gym under the right circumstances,” he said. “We’ve been very clear that being a hospital and healthcare delivery network needed to take the majority of our focus. But it’s also important that the fitness center is once again open to the community because it allows a safe, state-of-the-art facility to be available to central Reno and the surrounding areas while also providing a stable base for employment, clientele traffic and an overall asset to the community.”
Lealand and his business partners purchased Double Diamond Athletic Club in November 2021 and rebranded the facility with the Parkway flag. Parkway Athletic Club at Saint Mary’s, meanwhile, provides an additional location for south Reno members as well as opens the central and northwest Reno markets for new members.
Parkway Athletic Club at Saint Mary’s will be open seven days a week, Lealand said, but the group has yet to determine the club’s operating hours. Staffing is expected to be around 75 to 80 employees and will include a club manager, fitness directors, personal trainers, aquatics instructors, along with group exercise and specialty class instructors.
Amenities, meanwhile, will mirror the family-friendly focus at the Parkway facility in south Reno and include youth swim lessons, youth training academies, yoga, and programming for all ages and levels of personal physical fitness.
“We have age ranges from four to 90,” Lealand said. “That’s kind of our goal at Saint Mary’s, to basically duplicate what we have done (in south Reno) and have something for all ages, all services for everybody.”
Lealand said that Parkway will likely kick off an aggressive advertising campaign to ensure regional residents know the facility is open to the public. It may be a popular lunchtime destination for hospital workers, and see a lot of visits from hospital rehabilitation patients, but the facility has always been open to the public, he noted.
Parkway Athletic Club at Saint Mary’s is also slated to receive a wide range of new exercise equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, recumbent bikes, weightlifting benches, and UMAX polyurethane dumbbells. A host of new television sets also will be installed in strategic locations throughout the facility to help keep patrons informed about news events and provide a distraction from treadmill drudgery, Lealand said.
The three-story gym includes 55,000 square feet of space. The first floor contains the facility’s front desk, kids club, locker rooms, warm water pool and lap swimming pool. The second floor features the main gym with an indoor track and a wide range of cardio equipment. The top floor contains space for group exercise, spin and Pilates classes, as well as staff offices.
“It is absolutely massive,” Lealand said. We are giving it a facelift to make it look like a new club.
“It really is an impressive space.
“The Parkway Athletic Club brand is absolutely booming,” he added. “We have a fantastic club that is very community oriented. Expanding to a second location, and having the backing of Saint Mary’s, it is going to be very big for the Parkway brand as a whole. It’s a great relationship, and it’s huge for the community.”