Seven treadmills, two ellipticals will be purchased
A $43,400 loan approved by the Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority Board of Directors Tuesday will free up Functionally Fit owner Christel Vigness to buy seven new treadmills and two new elliptical machines for her fitness center that moved to downtown Crookston around a year ago.
The board unanimously approved the loan from CHEDA’s revolving fund.
Vigness started Functionally Fit in her garage at home, focusing mostly on “Spin” classes on bikes. She then moved to one of the large bays in the rear of Valley Technology Park before near the end of 2016 purchasing JJ’s Bodyshop on South Main from Jodi Dragseth and moving Functionally Fit there. She received a loan from the City of Crookston to help with the purchase of JJ’s Bodyshop and the whole building, which has apartments upstairs. Vigness has also recently leased space at the former Carquest building a half-block to the south, where several fitness classes are now being held.
CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth said when Vigness first approached him, she was looking to buy more than nine machines, but he said his “gut feeling” though the amount she’d need might be a bit much for the CHEDA Board to consider at this point. So the plan is to move ahead on the nine pieces now and wait a bit to consider the purchase of new free-motion and stationary equipment.
Vigness, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, said some of the machines in the former JJ’s Bodyshop are at least 20 years old and in need of being replaced. The new treadmills will be sleeker and lower to the ground, making it easier for older clientele to climb on and off them.
Asked by Hoiseth to update the board on how Functionally Fit is doing, Vigness said that overall, things are going well and on the right track. She said membership has increased, the new classes in the satellite location up the street are well attended, and a new instructor is teaching new cross-fit classes. She’s looking to bring in another new piece of equipment, Vigness added, and bigger dumb-bell sets and more free-weights in the basement.
If there are any challenges, Vigness said it’s trying to lure a younger clientele to Functionally Fit. “We see a lot of the older population,” she said. “I think the new equipment and more free-weights will help bring in a younger population.”
The apartments upstairs, one of which Vigness renovated, are bringing in steady rent, she added, and have been occupied since her 2016 purchase of the building. She said her customers/members have mentioned that they appreciate the parking lot immediately to the north.
“We’re happy with everything so far,” she said.
Hoiseth noted that Wonderful Life Foods owners Shawn Rezac and Erin Brule have mentioned they appreciate the customers that Functionally Fit brings to their store located across the street. Vigness responded that she is one of those daily regular customers.
“You’re doing a good job,” Hoiseth said. “We appreciate your business downtown.”
Hoiseth said the loan term will be seven years at 4.25 percent interest, which means Vigness will be paying just under $600 a month.