It appears Greater Grand Forks is quite a bit ahead of the national average of 15-percent, when it comes to belonging to a fitness center.
Thousands of folks from Greater Grand Forks are now walking, running, lifting, pedaling, swimming and more… on their way to better health.
The new, Choice Health and Fitness Center is three years ahead of its goal for the number of memberships. In fact, more than 12-thousand people, more than 20-percent of the Greater Grand Forks population, are now members of the Choice Health and Fitness Center or YMCA.
The facility is operated by the Grand Forks Park District. It's become a hot gathering place for all ages, including seniors.
Julie Kirkeby, Choice Health: "Some members get it free and some members have a small fee for it. But it really has brought the senior population in here in exponential numbers."
It offers something for every age group, and folks who never worked out before are now finding their friends here.
Sonja Brucklacher, Grand Forks: "So you can create a routine really easy. It's really great. It's a really great place and a great addition to our Community."
Reporter: "And you're finding your friends here?"
Brucklacher: "Yeah. I really am….ha."
And there's more to come. Plans are in the works for a new, youth ice arena to be built next door .
Funding raising for the 7.5-million dollar arena is now… just a little over 2-million dollars short. Promoters are hoping they'll get the rest of their funding soon, and begin construction of the arena for youth hockey and figure skaters this year.
The Choice Fitness Center and new ice arena are all being funded by corporate, private and public donations. It's hoped the naming rights for the new ice arena will complete a large share of the remaining funding for the ice arena project.