After seven years, Pilates Fitness Center, 210 36th Ave. SW, has changed ownership. However, patrons aren't likely to see many differences, staff members said.
Previous owners Linda Roberts and Kim Jackson have handed over the reigns of their business, which opened Sept. 4, 2012, to the Cleveland County YMCA, although they both will continue to be involved at PFC. According to a statement released to The Transcript, both of them will assist in the transition and will focus more on teaching and launching a new pilates teacher training program.
“Effective Jan. 10, Pilates Fitness Center will be a member of the family of services provided by the Cleveland County Family YMCA,” Roberts and Jackson wrote. “This is an incredible opportunity to expand our reach in the Norman area and have access to the talented staff, depth of knowledge and creative support services that becoming a part of the Norman Family YMCA affords.
“Our faith was at the foundation when we established our beautiful studio, and the very essence of the Pilates practice is based on building and continually developing a healthy connection between mind, body and spirit. When we read the YMCA’s mission statement — To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all — we knew this would be an incredible partnership.”
Josh Rogers, County Y vice president of operations, said acquiring Pilates Fitness was a great opportunity to partner with a business that has a similar organization goal.
“For us to be able to intertwine these two organizations that have such similar goals and such similar missions and philosophies, it was kind of a no-brainer,” he said, adding that the purchase was finalized a couple of weeks ago. “All the members will continue to be taken care as they've always been taken care of. The staff is staying in place. It is just now an additional premium program that the YMCA of Norman is able to offer.”
Virginia Guerkink, who is working with the previous owners during the transition phase, has been with the Pilates Fitness Center since its inception and began working for the Y in 1988.
“One of the things we want our clients to know is that nothing to them will change. The Y is going to own it now, but everything else will still be the same,” Guerkink said, adding that clients don't have to be Y members. “There has not been a change in the way that we do business here.”
She said the fitness center currently has six instructors. Clients pay by the class, instead of having a membership. Pricing options are available on the MindBody app and pilatesfitnesscenternorman.com. Y clients will have to pay for Pilates Fitness separately.
“I'm looking forward to opening this up to people who have never been able to experience Pilates before. Just a bigger audience, perhaps. We have a great clientele here. With the Y's acquisition, we'll be able to have a lot more exposure than we have in the past, just with the membership there and the support that they'll offer,” she said.
Catherine Miller DeBron, Y director of marketing, said since Pilates Fitness had ties to the Y through Guerkink, “it was kind of a natural selection for them to choose us to take it on. … We have some in-house pilates classes, but offering everything that they have at their facility, too, just makes it better for both of us.”
DeBron said the Y, 1350 Lexington Ave., offers group classes including aqualates, bar Pilates fusion and regular Pilates that teach breathing techniques and stability core training.
“Sometimes they use bands or stability balls. It's really for people of all fitness levels,” she said.
DeBron said the Y has consistently offered Pilates since 2002. Classes are included in membership. Visit ymcanorman.org for membership costs.
She said Pilates Fitness offers specialty, private and semi-private classes that go further with Pilates, including for therapeutic purposes, athletes, pre- and post-natal.
DeBron said the acquisition also helps the Y in their recent mission to bring the Y into the community, “as opposed to bringing the community to the Y.”
“We really have tried to expand a lot of the things we have been doing over the last couple of years, between our purchases of land out at Lake Thunderbird that we've turned into our summer day camp experience we call Camp Arrowhead, Y-Evolved (a boutique fitness training center on 3408 36th Ave. NW) and now our Pilates Fitness Center of Norman,” Rogers said. “We're just trying to find additional ways to provide the programs and healthy living opportunities for our members and for the community that they are out searching for, and we really felt that this was a great, healthy, safe way to offer a program that we wanted to expand upon ... and allow another opportunity for us to serve our community.”
Rogers said the plan is to continue running both Pilates programs like they have been running.
“We want to continue to serve both organizations, both associations the way they're accustomed to being served and taking care of them to the best of our ability,” he said.
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