Print 2 new gyms join city’s current 3
Written by Lu Stitt   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 11:58

While the city of Cottonwood moves forward with plans for a recreation center, a new gym in town is preparing for an early fall opening.

A question has arisen as to why the need for both? Why have two places for residents to exercise and get fit?

In talking with the city’s Parks and Recreation Director Richard Faust and the owner of Rough Cut Health Club & Spa Laura Morrison, the two centers are also different.

Along N. Main Street the two red brick buildings at N. 10th Street are part of the Riverfront Commons commercial plaza. The largest building is the 50,000-square foot Rough Cut gym.

The gym will have many of the same amenities as the city’s 60,000-square foot Cottonwood Community Recreation and Aquatics Center.

The most obvious difference is that the two-story Rough Cut gym is a privately-owned, membership-only gym and the recreation center is open to the public and owned and operated by public tax dollars.

In November 2006, Cottonwood voters approved $17 million in bonding for the city to build the recreation center from an existing 1 percent sales tax and user fees.

“We are different because we are not for profit and we’ll be offering more recreation-type activities,” Faust said. Other than that, Faust said he could not comment on Rough Cut.

The recreation center will have a climbing wall, a water slide and a competition pool, along with walk/run track, a game room, a multi-purpose room, a catering kitchen and vending machines.

According to Morrison, some of the offerings will be the same at Rough Cut, such as a full weight room, aerobics room and three other group exercise rooms, a day-care center with play equipment, and showers and lockers.

Instead of a large swimming pool, Rough Cut will have four, smaller current pools. They will be for exercise only and people will be able to swim against the current. The pools will also be used for aerobics and arthritis-centered exercise classes. Other amenities include a Jacuzzi and a steam room.

“We’ll also have two, regulation-size indoor squash courts. We’ll be able to bring tournaments in. I also have plans for a juice bar,” Morrison said.

Another difference is a physical therapist with a separate therapy pool and treatment room. For those who want to refresh after a workout, Morrison has added a hair and skincare salon.

“My goal is to make it fun for everybody. My passion is physical fitness, and a health club has always been my dream,” she said.

While Morrison plans a fall 2008 opening, the recreation center will take a bit longer. The plan is to start construction in the winter of 2008-09 and open late 2009 or early 2010.

Both Faust and Morrison agree that there is room enough for both centers in the Upper Verde Valley.

“I think we’ll compete, but I also think we’ll have different clientele,” Morrison said.