Cedar Rapids health club returns to original ownership

After four year absence, Aspen Athletic Club is back

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A familiar name and leaf logo soon will reappear on the exterior of a southwest Cedar Rapids health and fitness club after a four-year absence.

Aspen Athletic Clubs on Oct. 1 repurchased the assets of ActivEdge Fitness Club at 2120 Edgewood Rd. SW.  Des Moines-based Aspen opened the Cedar Rapids facility in February 2003 and operated it October 2008, when it was sold to a third party.

General Manager Rob Markut said Aspen Athletic Clubs plans to invest in some new equipment at the 44,000-square-foot Cedar Rapids location. Markut, a minority owner who has been employed with the club since 2003, said ActivEdge memberships will be honored by Aspen.

"Aspen has a few systematic changes that members would incur, but only if they change their agreement," Markut said. "When the sign on the front of our building changed to ActivEdge in October 2009, a lot of our members didn't have any idea that we had switched, which is kind of the best thing that can happen when the club's ownership changes."

Aspen employs 45 in Cedar Rapids, including eight new personal trainers. Markut said the club's former training manager, who left to take a similar position with Core Fitness, has rejoined Aspen in Cedar Rapids.

"We're going to do a major marketing campaign to attract new members as well ask those members who left us to come back," he said. " I think we will see a strong February and March after we relaunch our brand in January."

Markut said construction of the new Kohl's store on Wiley Boulevard SW and a recent announcement that an investor group plans to redevelop Westdale Mall is good news.

"I think any redevelopment on this side of town is welcome, and I'm all for it," he said. "It depends on what they plan to do and how they execute it. If they were to allow another gym our size, that would definitely be a negative for us."

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