Is GreatLIFE the new way to run a Health Club?
GreatLIFE Malaska Golf and Fitness is redefining the health and wellness community in Sioux Falls.
GreatLIFE has eight locations in the Sioux Falls area and two more locations in Tea and Central Valley. Location is one of the many reasons why more than 20,000 people use the facilities. But pricing for membership has a lot to do with the popularity as well.
“Our main goal is to enrich the lives of families and individuals with golf, fitness and healthy lifestyles,” said Nick Ovenden fitness operations manager. “That’s how we make all of our decisions, and based off of that our goal is to expand the golf and fitness market.”
There are three monthly wellness membership options available: Single unlimited use for $29.99, couple unlimited use for $49.99 or family unlimited use for $59.99. Other fitness centers or wellness centers in the area can cost anywhere from $20 to $30 more per person or family.
Ryan Lehr, 27, is a firefighter in Sioux Falls and switched from another fitness center to GreatLIFE almost a year ago.“It’s let me save more for other monthly expenses,” Lehr said. “I switched because GreatLIFE had more facilities for me to choose from and I didn’t have to drive across town to go to one gym.”
GreatLIFE has its main gym Woodlake, which is located on Tennis Lane one block West of Sertoma Park. Woodlake now features two new basketball courts, tennis courts, a workout studio, fitness classes, yoga, weights, cardio machines and an aquatic facility.
The other GreatLIFE facilities in the area offer weights, cardio machines, and yoga and the EmBe GreatLIFE Location downtown offers another pool.
“In this day and age there is so much going on, so many electronics that get in the way,” Ovenden said. “People get stuck in front of the TV so much that they forget about the relationships with family and friends.”
When CEO Thomas P. Walsh started the GreatLIFE vision two years ago, he didn’t just want to stop at wellness. That’s why GreatLIFE Malaska Golf and Fitness partnered up with 19 golf courses in the region.
Bakker Crossing and Willow Run are the two closest courses to Sioux Falls and are used often. “The partnership has been wonderful,” said Jason Sudenga PGA director of golf. “Willow Run went up 18 percent in 2014 with us closing the first part of October and we are up 20 percent compared to last year with the months we were open.”
Willow Run revamped their clubhouse and now has a full workout gym in the basement with a sports bar and restaurant above it. The clubhouse is even getting a pool and Jacuzzi this winter.
“The new clubhouse at Willow is awesome,” Sudenga said. “The clubhouse brings more of the country club atmosphere in a public setting and we’re able to provide a better experience which will bring more golfers out to the course.”
The golf course selection for the region is larger than any other membership that is available in Sioux Falls. There is even a partnership with two golf courses in Okoboji Iowa, Emeral Hills and Okoboji View.
These partnerships with each golf course offer unlimited golf to any of the courses and only add $20 a month to a membership. The only requirement is payment for golf cart use at the course if you don’t have the cart plan.
Golf isn’t the only other perk that GreatLIFE has brought to the membership over the last two years either. GreatLIFE has partnerships with Year Round Brown, Crossfit Sioux Falls, Empire Bowl, Bakker’s Crossing Golf Simulator, Golf Addiction and The Ideal Weigh.
With all these perks and partnerships that GreatLIFE has to offer, it’s hard not to think that the organization is going to overtake the gym landscape in Sioux Falls.
“With all the relationships that we create, we found what we feel are the best people in the community with similar goals and missions,” Ovenden said. “Instead of competing with all these companies we try and help each other out.”
GreatLIFE is building a new facility on the East side of town that will be connected to an Orthopedic Institute training facility called D1. The building will be located on 69th street and southeastern avenue
The GreatLIFE portion of the building will be somewhere around 16,000 square feet with a full locker room and basketball court. This will add one more gym to the already eight locations in Sioux Falls and may sway more people to move their gym membership to the already dominant GreatLIFE organization.