Caz Fitness has been in the same location, with the same membership prices, for the past decade. This month, the local business that offers workout machines, yoga, boot camp and personal training classes celebrates its 10-year anniversary with giveaways for free classes and even free six-month memberships.
Caz Fitness, located at 51 Albany St. in the old Madison County bank building, opened in May 2003 based on copious amounts of demographic research and community surveys that showed a large desire for a local health club. De Ann Steinhurst, one of the original proprietors, said hours of meetings occurred with consultants, designers, artists and local contractors on the layout and design of the three-story club.
The original intent was for two floors of workout space, that is until the owners discovered, through the broken door of the pull-down attic, beautiful old stone and brick exposed walls on the third level. They decided to install a suspended floor, some skylights and a few mirrors, and the space became a cozy, unique area ultimately used for some classes, personal training and individual workout space for members.
The first two floors of the club contain free weights, Cybex machines, cardio equipment and open space for classes or training. But it was decided at the beginning that the main areas of the club needed a more Cazenovia-like ambiance. So Corky Goss, then-head of Cazenovia College’s art and design program, was hired to paint a mural on the first-floor wall of Cazenovia Lake at sunrise. He had so much fun with the work that the scene ultimately spanned the entire building, even up to the second floor.
When the building was ready, Caz Fitness began pre-registration for members in the foyer of Cazenovia Jewelry. “The turnout was tremendous,” Steinhurt said, with a line stretching out the door and down the sidewalk. Two-thirds of those first members actually joined before even stepping foot inside the facility. Many of those original members still belong to the club today.
In the past 10 years, not much has changed at Caz Fitness. It remains the only health club within a 10-mile radius of Cazenovia; and the membership price is the same as it was in 2003, said Jenny Hughes, club manager. The only major change occurred a few years ago when the first-floor offices and changing rooms were opened up and converted into additional workout space.
Last summer, the club also instituted a new 24-hour policy, allowing its members to work out in the building any time of the day or night. All members are provided with an individual pass code to open the door whenever they please.
Since 2003, Caz Fitness has continued to grow as a local health club, despite recent years of a poor national economy, Hughes said. “In hard economic times the first thing people drop [from their budgets] is their gym memberships. But even from 2007 to 2009, when times were toughest, we stayed open because of the community and its support,” she said.
Caz Fitness intends to keep moving forward with some new updates planned to take effect in the near future, such as a new roof, interior upgrades and an increase in program offerings this fall, Hughes said. The club also plans to “reinvent” the third floor space into something different that is still functional without losing its charm, she said.
As part of its 10-year anniversary, Caz Fitness is offering two free classes to its members during the month of May. Any members who share the Caz Fitness Facebook page to their friends also get signed up for random drawings to win free six-month memberships, and current members who bring in potential members will receive one month of free membership.
“I am so pleased that Caz Fitness has reached this amazing milestone,” said Steinhurt, who is no longer a proprietor of the club but retains close ties. “It has been a wonderful experience. Although I am no longer a proprietor, I am absolutely a dedicated member and love all the great changes that have taken place since my time there, namely the new 24-hour access which is just so convenient.”
For more information about Caz Fitness, visit their Facebook page or call Hughes at 655-2348.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.
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