IOWA DERECHO 2020

Future of damaged Cedar Rapids MAC location uncertain

Owners will meet after insurer's estimate

The Aug. 10 storm blew out three of the four walls of the MAC South fitness facility. (George C. Ford/Freelance)
The Aug. 10 storm blew out three of the four walls of the MAC South fitness facility. (George C. Ford/Freelance)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The future of a 23-year-old health and fitness center in southwest Cedar Rapids is uncertain after it was significantly damaged by the Aug. 10 derecho.

The Midwest Athletic Club at 1220 Jacolyn Dr. SW, or MAC South, was constructed in 1997. The recent storm blew out three of the four walls of the 20,000-square-foot building.

Curtis Meier, whose family owns the chain of eight health and fitness centers, said five staff members and about 12 customers were in the building when the storm struck.

“We thank God that no one was injured,” Meier said. “Everyone is safe and sound without a single scratch.”

Meier said his family will be meeting to make some decisions about the future of the MAC South after hearing from its insurer.

“This side of town is becoming very saturated with gyms,” he said. “We have our iGYM over here and Xpress 24/7 in Fairfax. We also are preparing to an iGYM at Park Place in Tiffin.

“Does it make sense to rebuild here or find a different home for a new location?”

Meier’s parents, Wayne and Jackie Meier, founded the Midwest Athletic Club.

Curtis and his sister, Chelsey Meier Oberreuter, launched iGYM in 2014, which will have three locations when the Tiffin facility opens in the spring 2021.

Meier said the family has an emotional attachment to the MAC South.

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“It was my father’s baby,” Meier said. “It was pretty emotional for us for a few days.

“When we were building it, we all spray-painted our names on the concrete floor before the carpet was laid. That’s where I started working for our company.”

Meier said there should be an opportunity to retain some of the fitness equipment from the building.

“We are working with the insurers to help salvage a lot of the equipment,” Meier said. “We will hopefully be able to disperse that throughout our other locations.

“Most everything over there that was electrical is shot, but we may be able to get some pieces for parts.”

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