The Fitness Den celebrated its 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 of the downtown Hiawatha Fitness Center, HCVB cut the ribbon on the morning of Thursday, July 7th. Wolfe sponsored several giveaways and special offers for new memberships.
Wolfe is a graduate of Hiawatha, 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 mathematics. She spent several years teaching high school physical education and math, and also spent 6 years at a community college in Joplin, Mo., where she directed the aquatics program. In 2005, she left teaching after several years in Texas and spent two years selling technology equipment. Then 15 years ago she decided to leave and travel the United States in her camper, spending the winters with her parents in Arizona.
She returned to work part-time in 2014 when her father became ill. She recently sold her home in Viking Lake, Mo., and parks her RV in Hiawatha on the property she bought where she is also building a home.
In 1992, she obtained a master’s program in sports management, which actually led her to where she is today.
“It’s always been my dream to open a gym,” she said. “I looked last fall when Blaise came up for sale, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while. This spring I decided it was time to jump in with both feet.”
After making the move this spring, Wolfe embarked on several remodels, painting the inside, updating and repairing equipment, updating the website and restructuring the membership offering. It also beefed up security with additional cameras and a new keypad on the front that works with an app on the client’s phone.
Some of the membership changes include a monthly membership or a reduced-price limited membership that allows a customer to practice between 8am and 3pm Monday to Friday – instead of 24-hour access – at a discounted price.
The Fitness Den offers Matrix equipment, including hybrid cycles, treadmills, ellipticals, Nustep and free weights. She has four employees – including manager Holle Lancaster, who also runs her dance studio in the basement.
Blaise has been open for 8 years and has provided 24/7 access to fitness in Hiawatha, and Wolfe said she wants to continue that — and eventually expand — for the community. He hopes to eventually offer some classes and fitness trainers, but slowly.
“It’s nice to be back on a regular basis,” Wolfe said. “I’ve gotten so much positive feedback and I’m grateful for the community and its support. I just want to continue to provide good service to the community.”