Cheshire Fitness Club to become Black Mountain YMCA

Press release from the YMCA of Western North Carolina:

The Cheshire Fitness Club in Black Mountain will become the Black Mountain YMCA on Sept. 4, following its purchase by the nonprofit YMCA of Western North Carolina.

The deal came about when the owners of Cheshire Fitness approached the Y about buying the business.

“Larry Brank, Dave Wilks, and I have worked very hard over the years to build this fitness facility into a positive force in our community, and we have a responsibility to ensure that our facility has a secure long-term future,” said co-owner Stephanie Hayes. “To that end, we have decided to transition out of the business and place it in the capable hands of the YMCA of Western North Carolina. We’re working extensively with the YMCA to ensure a smooth transition for staff and members.”

The Y sees the purchase as a way to better serve residents of Black Mountain, the Swannanoa Valley, and Old Fort, said Charles Frederick, chairman of the YMCA of WNC Board of Directors.

“We are grateful to the owners of Cheshire Fitness Club for bringing us this opportunity,” Frederick said. “It’s already a first-rate fitness center, and as the Black Mountain YMCA it will deepen the positive impact we have in the community.”

That impact includes afterschool programs that develop character and leadership skills in youth at Black Mountain Elementary, Black Mountain Primary, and W.D. Williams Elementary. The Y’s existing charitable programs in the area include scholarships for afterschool child care and summer camp, youth mentorship, food distribution, and nutrition education.

The new Y will serve as home base for these resources and many others, including swim lessons and youth sports. It will also offer chronic care management programs to manage arthritis, prevent falls, reduce high blood pressure, prevent and control diabetes, and regain strength after cancer. For these and all other Y programs, no one is turned away for the inability to pay.

Black Mountain has been home to YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly since 1906, and community leaders say they welcome the addition of a stand-alone Y.

“The Y’s priorities are to improve the health of the community and to serve people of all ages, abilities, and income levels,” said Wendell Begley, president of Black Mountain Savings Bank. “We’re excited to welcome them as a neighbor and look forward to building a healthier future together.”

Built in 2004, Cheshire Fitness is a 17,000-square foot wellness facility off Highway 9 in Black Mountain. It features a fitness area, indoor pool, exercise studio, racquetball court, and child care area, and serves about 1,400 members.

Current Cheshire Fitness members will automatically become Black Mountain YMCA members in September, giving them access to seven other YMCAs in the region as well as more than 2,000 YMCAs around the country.

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