Kelli Hinchey had been thinking about the grand reveal that occured on April 28 10 years ago.
That’s when she first thought about expanding the Yellowknife Racquet Club into a bigger facility.
April 28 is when her thoughts turned into reality as the Racquet Club 2.0 was officially opened to the public and club members. Several people passed through the doors that day to see the new facility and for Hinchey, it was a huge sigh of relief.
“We’ve been conducting the renovations and trying to keep it business as usual at the same time,” she said. “It was frustrating for everyone – our members, staff, the construction team – and we’re not totally done yet but it’s been amazing to see how it all turned out and everyone seems to like it.”
Hinchey may have had the idea to expand 10 years ago but she got the ball rolling officially in 2015 with the planning stage getting off the ground, followed by shovels in the ground in 2016.
“I wanted to move ahead 10 years ago but the timing just wasn’t right,” she said. “I decided in 2015 that the time was right because we were simply busting at the seams.”
Needless to say, there are a few new things people will see at the club when they walk in now. They include an expanded fitness facility with a new studio – which includes a view of Great Slave Lake – a new lounge space, new office space, an expanded outdoor deck which now measures 2,200 square feet, an expanded weight room measuring 1,500 square feet, a new front entrance with a new boot room, two therapy rooms, two unisex washrooms and expanded change rooms with saunas.
“We weren’t able to offer any additional programming because we were so constrained,” said Hinchey. “Now we can provide programs to help people get to their physical and spiritual goals.”
Something people will notice in the weight room is exposed rock, something Hinchey said is a neat feature for people to see.
“We do have some exposed rock in there because this is Yellowknife after all and we’re surrounded by rock,” she said jokingly. “The big thing our members were asking for in the weight room was Olympic-style platforms and we were able to provide that.”
The contractor for the project was Konge Construction while Vince Barter was the architect and Hinchey said they both did an amazing job.
“They designed an incredible space,” she said. “We’ll be able to grow on what we offer currently and diversify our programming so people can get what they need.”
The biggest thing for Hinchey, though, is that everything will get back to normal after two years of construction.
“It hasn’t been easy because of all the moving parts but our members have been so patient,” she said. “It was great to get people in to see what we’ve done and what’s new and it’s made me proud.”