By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN The new owners of Americas Fitness Centers in Lester Prairie and Winsted as of March 1 are Jeff and Brenda Johnson of Maple Plain.
Although the couple haven’t owned a fitness center before, both of them have experience owning and operating a business.
Jeff has owned Jeff’s Vending for 17 years, and Brenda ran a day care for eight years.
Because their children, Kayla, 12, and Sam, 8, were getting older, the day care business wasn’t fitting in with their children’s school activities, which Brenda wanted to be part of, so she decided it was time to make a career change last summer.
For Brenda, finding another job that would allow her to be home to get the children off to school in the morning, and be there when they got home in the afternoon wasn’t easy.
“There weren’t a lot of those jobs out there when I started looking,” Brenda said. “Then I started thinking about working at a fitness center.”
The Johnsons both belong to a fitness center in Maple Plain, and believe in the benefits of a good workout.
“It relieves a lot of stress and it’s a good way to think and clear your head,” Brenda said.
When Brenda told Jeff about her idea of working at a fitness center, he said, “I think we should buy one.”
“At first I said, ‘you’re crazy,’” Brenda said, “but the more we looked into it, we were thinking, ‘this would be great.’”
They started looking around to see what was available. When they found Americas Fitness Center in Lester Prairie and Winsted, and had a chance to see the two facilities and visit the towns, they were impressed.
“Everybody is so nice out here and it’s a nice fit for us,” Brenda said.
“We are definitely excited about being here,” Jeff said.
Since taking over the fitness centers, the Johnsons have installed a new billing system, with future plans to expand the clubs slowly while they learn what the communities’ wants and needs are.
There will be a summer special coming soon 99 days for $99.
“If they haven’t been here before and would like to try the equipment out without a long-term contract, it would be a good time to come in,” Brenda said.
Americas Fitness Center offers its members:
• Digital recorded on-site and off-site surveillance;
• 24-hour access to the facility, including holidays;
• 24-hour tanning;
• Cardio workout equipment including treadmills, My Stride Elliptical machines, Stair Master, computerized bikes, and four broadcaster TVs with headphones built into the cardio theater;
• Circuit training with 13 stations that total a 30-minute complete body workout;
• Complete free weights 750 pounds, with bench presses to dumbbells.
For additional information about either center, call:
Americas Fitness Center at 421 6th St. S. in Winsted at (320) 485-3395; or
Americas Fitness Center at 518 Central Avenue in Lester Prairie at (320) 395-2559.
Insurance discounts for Americas Fitness Center members currently include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, Health Partners, and two new insurance companies soon to be added are Preferred One and U-Care.