Bridgwater Fitness Centre Goes Big

Thank you to the Winnipeg Free Press and Bill Redekopp for covering this significant investment in our community.

Bridgwater fitness centre goes big

Startup planning a $30-million, 80,000-square-foot facility

By: Bill Redekop                Posted: 09/10/2018 4:00 AM

South Winnipeg residents will soon be purifying themselves in Himalayan salt rooms and running ninja obstacle courses, among other healthy activities, in a new $30-million fitness centre.

Startup company Altea Active Club Inc., with deep roots in the fitness industry, expects to turn sod for the new building in the Bridgwater area before year’s end.

“Keeping this under wraps and quiet is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” said Coun. Janice Lukes (South Winnipeg-St. Norbert). “I’ve worked on a lot of exciting projects in the south end, and this is at the top.”

The three-level, 80,000-square-foot building will be the largest fitness centre in the city, Lukes has been told.

The third level will include six group rooms, including ones for hot yoga at 40 C; a fusion studio for pilates, traditional yogas and other conditioning programs; a cycle room for stationary bikes with all the high-tech bells and whistles; and a “chill” area for relaxing and being purified by pillars of Himalayan salt (hygroscopy).

The second level will be co-ed fitness, with most of the facility’s 160 pieces of cardio equipment.

‘We feel that it’s a very under-serviced area in terms of the quality of fitness facilities, and we see a very stable economy that’s growing. Those are two magic ingredients’— Mike Nolan, Altea Active partner

The ground floor will have a skating treadmill, two pools, an indoor splash pad and rock-climbing and ninja obstacle courses. The latter two are part of the supervised child-care facility, where children can play while their parents work out.

“There are just tonnes of young children out here, and this is going to be a super facility for burning off energy and parties, and cardio and training,” Lukes said.

There will also be a café — there’s talk it will be a Starbucks — smoothie bar and outdoor terrace, as well as community meeting rooms. It will employ about 150 people.

The two pools will be very welcome in a part of the city with very limited pool space, Lukes said.

“I’m a mom who lined up at five in the morning to sign up my kids for swimming lessons. Altea’s putting up two pools, one for families and swimming lessons and a women’s-only pool.”

There will also be salt water in the pools instead of liquid chlorine. Salt water is replacing chlorine in new pools, partly because it is supposed to leave the skin softer.

The skating treadmills will allow technical analysis and can be used to work on the skater’s power.

“The other thing I think is exciting is the location. It’s in the fastest-growing quadrant in Winnipeg,” she said. “We’re building a city the size of Brandon out here.”

Altea Active will be located at the south end of the commercial district that Kenaston Boulevard runs through.

“There are already a lot of businesses at the north end. Now, the middle needs to fill in,” Lukes said.

“We feel that it’s a very under-serviced area in terms of the quality of fitness facilities, and we see a very stable economy that’s growing. Those are two magic ingredients,” said Mike Nolan, a partner in Altea.

Two of the partners behind the project are president and co-founder David Wu, and Nolan. Wu was a co-founder of Movati Athletic in Ontario, and helped make it one of the leading fitness chains in the province over the past two decades.

Nolan was vice-president of Movati Athletic for southwestern Ontario and in charge of equipment purchasing. He has a fitness background as a six-time Canadian national-champion decathlete who twice represented Canada at the Commonwealth Games.

“For a fitness facility, we’re looking to raise the bar,” Nolan said.

“We somewhat call it a fitness buffet. Having it all under one roof for one low price is what differentiates us from our competitors.”

Construction contracts will be awarded in early October, and completion is scheduled for late fall of 2019. Nolan said the contractors will come from the Winnipeg area.

“Raymond Wan and his team (Winnipeg architecture firm, Raymond S.C. Wan Architect Inc.) are helping with the design and doing an exceptional job,” Nolan said.

Altea expects to host 95 group fitness classes per week to start, and more than 200 when it reaches capacity.

The Altea name comes from the Latin prefix “alt,” meaning to elevate, Nolan said.

Lukes said this project “by no means” relieves the city of its responsibility to build a community centre in the area.

There are 25 acres set aside for the community centre that will be complementing the two new schools being built in the area.