I had my second field trip of the week this afternoon during a tour of the recently renovated Midtown Athletic Club, which is just down the street from our building in Overland Park, KS. Molly Markley, general manager, showed the whole editorial crew (Stuart, Stephanie, Jennifer and me) how the company had expanded from a tennis-only facility to a tennis and fitness facility after Bally Total Fitness vacated a portion of the building several months ago. Chicago-based Midtown owns the building, which houses nine tennis courts, a pro shop and a café in a portion of the building. The other part of the building was leased to Bally, but now Midtown has full run of the building and is working to grow membership and offerings through a $600,000 renovation.
When Bally closed shop in the building, the company took with it all of its fitness equipment, so Midtown had to “borrow” equipment from some of its other Midtown clubs to quickly refill the open and light-filled cardio and strength area on the second level of the building. More equipment will be arriving soon, Markley says.
The renovations included some new paint, a remodeled Pilates room, renovated locker rooms, new flooring in the group exercise room (see photo) and a renovated lobby area with a new tile floor.
When Bally left this location, many of its members transferred to another Bally club in the area, so Midtown started its fitness venture in town with just a handful of non-tennis members. However, Midtown has grown its fitness-only membership to about 500 since then, and that's on top of the 900 all-club memberships (which include its tennis members).
The club sits in a competitor-heavy area with Life Time Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Overland Park Racquet Club and Prairie Life Fitness all within a few miles of the facility.
Midtown, which ranked No. 15 on our Top 100 Clubs list this year, is off to a good start in competing with these clubs, not only through its renovations but also by building on its strong tennis reputation in town.