40 Year Old Gym Takes On It’s Own Transformation
Nearly every Omaha-area gym operates with the mission of transforming users into healthy and happy people. Well, Nebraska Elite Sports & Fitness Complex went through a transformation of its own before re-opening in central Omaha as a premiere workout facility. People of all ages, shapes and sizes have found the revitalized gym to have something for everyone.
Long-time Omaha residents familiar with the Westroads shopping center likely either drove by or were members of the old Westroads Racquet Club. It opened more than 40 years ago but over the years became out of shape and on the brink of bankruptcy. Up stepped a group of investors who took the financial step that led to the facility’s $3.5 million makeover.
And what a makeover it was. Today, Elite offers users more than 108,000 square feet of space for pretty much any sport imaginable. Tennis your game? It’s there. Basketball, volleyball and swimming? You’ll find it there as well.
Looking for a good cardio workout? Elite offers state-of-the art machines along with strength equipment. An innovative spin studio and indoor track was added to lift this huge facility head-and-shoulders above the rest.
Brian Sivinski, manager of the tennis portion of Elite, participated in the discussions that led to the financing of the renovation. He worked there as a senior at Westside High School in 1983.
“This was the place to work out,” he said. “We had a restaurant there. It’s two-and-a-half blocks from the crosshairs of what we call the greater Omaha area. This place is strategically located.”
From the original construction, more space was added to create the basketball portion, a popular year-round amenity for players of all ages.
Geri Hennessy, the gym’s marketing operations director, knows all about the history behind the building and the investors who helped the dream become reality.
“Their parents came here,” Hennessy says. “They had lots of big parties here. It’s a little gem of Omaha that they want to keep going. It has so much history.”
Some of the area’s top tennis players can be seen honing their skills on the indoor courts under the tutelage of Elite’s professional instructors. And there’s an enthusiastic staff of trainers who work with clients of all ages, abilities and goals.
Take, for example, Sarah Reeve.
“We work on everything from movement patterns all the way to weight loss and strength training,” she says. “It could be the athlete to your person who walks in the door who wants to be healthy and has never been in a gym before. I go from training a high school softball player right to an 86-year-old who had two knee surgeries.”
Joe Erdkamp is another one-on-one trainer for Elite who gets first-hand experience with the gym’s various workout machines.
“I am very impressed with the facilities there,” Erdkamp says. “The equipment is top-notch, and the layout and available workout areas allow me to do all the various types of training that I like to do.”
When “on the clock,” Erdkamp focuses his attention on helping each user achieve set goals.
“I work with a variety of clients,” he says, “ranging from competitive adult and youth athletes to your average exerciser looking to lean up and gain a higher level of health, fitness and functionality.”