The new Evergreen Athletic Club perfectly embodies the mountain area spirit of honoring our history and looking forward to what comes next. With the community changing rapidly around us, businesses are pivoting to provide new services and a sustained sense of small-town intimacy, all at once.
At the start of the year, fitness center and martial arts studio Nick’s Pro Fitness seamlessly shifted hands to two of Evergreen’s most well-known small business owners, Tabor and Laura Cowden. Nick Kapande, a health and fitness consultant with a Sixth Degree Black Belt, has been conditioning the residents of Evergreen for many years now. As the transition finalizes, Nick will be moving to Oregon to be with his family, but he’ll remain a part of Evergreen fitness as the Cowdens relaunch as Evergreen Athletic Club. “What Nick has done here has been phenomenal, and we have been grateful he has stayed on as a consultant in the transition process,” Tabor says.
The main focus has been to maintain the Evergreen fitness community that Nick’s Pro Fitness built. Even as changes begin to transform the space to Evergreen Athletic Club, Tabor says, “We have worked hard not to have the members’ routines disrupted. The goal is that we support Nick in his transition, we support his client base, and we increase our professionals with specific credentials in weight loss, caloric intake—all the different fitness goals people may have.”
Some construction is already underway, along with a growing list of new offerings, and members are benefiting from the changes, even as they are in-progress. Since the business changed hands, the Cowdens have installed a spring floor cardio room, enclosed the weight room, are updating the locker rooms, replaced carpeted floors with black padded flooring, and are finalizing plans to upgrade equipment, spruce up the yoga studio, and restore outdoor field space just in time for spring sports. These efforts aren’t only about maintenance and modernization, but are infused with a real love for the Evergreen community and how physical fitness is a bonding force among neighbors.
“There are people who use a club like this as a community, as a social setting. And then others are here twice a day working out. We’re going to grow with the community, and I view that as a positive thing,” Tabor says. “Some people go in and spend money on something that doesn’t work, and I didn’t want to do that here. I wanted to build off of what Nick had provided and transition into fitness offerings that cater to a wider clientele.”
These goals are probably most apparent in what will be the biggest change at the facility, which the Cowdens view as an exciting move even as there may be growing pains: Pinnacle Gymnastics, the Cowdens’ championship gymnastics club, will move from their Industrial Way location and join the Evergreen Athletic Club space. This motivated some immediate updates—the spring floor buildout, for example—and is driving other major changes, including a huge renovation to the former martial arts classroom space.
“It’s our big project going on right now. We’re putting in pits with trampolines and foam, and then this room becomes gymnastics world, with rings, high bars, uneven bars—all safe under the 22-foot ceilings,” Tabor explains.
Pinnacle Gymnastics is home to 250 athletes, all of whom will begin working out at Evergreen Athletic Club in the afternoons. Why does this work? “The fascinating thing about Nick’s is most of the members would come between six in the morning and noon. With the transition we’re going through, we don’t want to disrupt current membership,” explains Tabor. His vision is that adult members will continue to make use of the morning hours, and that gymnastics will run practices in the afternoon when the club would have been otherwise slow. “We can balance kids in the afternoons and adult fitness during the day.” Tabor foresees that the combined athletic clubs will improve gym flow and increase the energy by filling out the workout spaces around the clock.
This is especially true with summer coming up. Evergreen Athletic Club will be another option for families looking to enroll younger students in summer camp programs. “We’ve hired a lot of new people with expertise in different fields,” explains Tabor, so they will be constructing programs accordingly. Plans for Summer 2023 include two full-day camps for different age groups, plus a summer sports schedule on a week-by-week basis, along with weekly sports field rental.
Additionally, Evergreen Athletic Club will open its facilities and equipment to local high school athletes in training. “The facility at Evergreen High School, for example, is fairly limited. They’re battling for field time, weight room time—things of that nature. We’re going to set up a program through the coach of each sport, so the coaches will be onsite, managing their athletes, training them and being accountable for their students’ behavior,” Tabor says. “We’ll offer high school lifting classes from the experts in each specific field. We won’t have kids in here benching 200 pounds and blowing out a pec. We’ll have the experts in that arena teaching them how to lift, signing off on it—and the kids will learn how to treat the club with respect.”
There is also added convenience for parents and family members with students competing through Pinnacle or other organized sports. “They can drop their child off at practice and head to a yoga class or jump on the treadmill. Get a massage, or sit and work on their computers if they have to,” Tabor says. (Evergreen Athletic Club also has an impressive coffee machine and lounge area.) The idea is to make physical fitness and a healthy life balance accessible to everyone in the community so that education, schedules and travel times are no longer roadblocks to self-care, health and family life.
Tabor describes, “There are different levels of fitness—different goals. Someone may want to come in and only use the weight room. Someone else might do yoga, pilates, follow a class schedule. We want to create a model that is available to each individual level of fitness and cater to different desires.” Every week, the class schedule and roster of expert instructors grows.
And Evergreen Athletic Club has a big-picture approach to health, blending physical and mental fitness with other holistic methods of care. Currently, the club already offers men’s and women’s steam rooms, cryotherapy equipment, beauty services, and massage options, with a chiropractic partnership just around the corner in the same building.
The Cowdens are well-suited to build up this state-of-the-art facility. With their fitness and spa experience running Pinnacle Academy and Salon and Spa at the Ridge, and the business acumen behind The Woodcellar’s success, both Laura and Tabor have experience transforming well-intended vision into reality. And because of the care they have for the community, the community will respond in-kind. “It’s a lot of growth and transition, but I think the community is going to embrace it,” Tabor says.
With many amenities and classes still operating, and more still in the works, Evergreen Athletic Club invites new membership at a variety of levels. Membership information and class schedules are available at evergreenathleticclub.com, and the Cowdens invite locals to schedule a private tour of the new facilities so they can assist in finding the programs that best suit individuals’ fitness goals and needs. Call 303.674.6902 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.