Archive for Tuesday, April 27, 1999


April 27, 1999


Lawrence Athletic Club isn't just rebuilding, it's moving south.

The club, which is rebuilding after being gutted by fire earlier this year, plans to open a second gym on the city's south side this summer.

To be known as Lawrence Athletic Club South, the new gym is scheduled to open about Aug. 1 at 2108 W. 27th. The 12,000-square-foot space now is occupied by Total Fitness Athletic Center, which is moving to a bigger building at 925 Iowa.

Lawrence Athletic Club owner Rick Sells said Monday the south-side center would be less expensive to join than the one he's rebuilding because it won't offer as many bells and whistles.

"It's just a basic gym, like (Lawrence Athletic Club) was when I opened it 15 years ago," Sells said. "It helps people who can't afford the higher price."

The hunt for a satellite location started even before the fire, Sells said. The reasons: To expand his business to the south side and to offer a lower-priced program.

He also hopes to attract Total Fitness members who don't want to go to that club's new location near Ninth and Iowa streets in a building formerly occupied by Hillcrest 5 Theatres. Sells figures he should snag about a third of Total Fitness' estimated 3,000 members.

As for his original club, Sells said it was on track to return to full operation by late August or early September. A Feb. 4 fire gutted its original wing, causing an estimated $1.5 million damage. The remaining portion of the structure -- about 2,600 of a total 32,000 square feet -- reopened late last month.

-- Richard Brack's phone message number is 832-7194. His e-mail address is

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