The Change Place in the Eagle Medical Center plaza has some of the newest weights and treadmills in town.
However, it’s not classified as a gym.
They’re going beyond that idea by providing a different atmosphere with motivational conversations, interactive journaling, personal training, and showcasing local artwork.
Free fruit and water are a bonus. But putting it all together, there’s an important message behind those features.
“I’ve traveled across the country and observed other gyms,” said Founder Don Kuhl. “Some of those gyms it can be pressuring and intimidating. People also find a routine to make healthy changes, but how do they stick to it? How can others go about it without any pressure? I don’t think many understand that emotional and mental balance plays a huge part into making changes.”
Combing physical with mental and emotional health is key, and that’s the mindset Kuhl is bringing to Carson City. Although the wellness center is open for anyone, he is hoping to target an age group of 45 and older, as Carson City is a hot spot for retirement.
Kuhl said many locals desire to make changes after retirement, and The Change Place is a place where they can be shown how to go about it.
“I appreciate Carson,” he said. “After traveling for so long, it feels good to be back. I like the people and how honest they are. If we can make it here, we can make it anywhere.”
Kuhl understands that people need to make changes in their lives and are sometimes seeking guidance. That’s why he founded The Change Companies in Madison, Wisconsin in 1988. His business produces writing journals to motivate individuals through the process of behavior change. His products serve over 5,000 organizations across the country.
Even though The Change Companies is headquartered in Carson City, The Change Place is the first of its kind and will be collaborating with the Eagle Medical Center’s patients.
“My love is to empower people,” he said. “We all have so much more to offer by doing the right thing. People need an industry focused on this.”
To support the mental and emotional aspects, the Motivational Conversations that cover topics on how to handle stress, tips on grandparenting, and finances. This is an opportunity for an individual to share what’s on their mind with others who may have similar concerns, as well as a chance to connect.
A one-year membership at The Change Place is $900 and for quarterly is $250. But the membership package could be beneficial to locals, as it contains full use of facility, three classes per week, participation in Motivational Conversations daily, certified personal training and massages, journals and a yoga class.
Gordon Smiley, 55, is one of the first members of The Change Place. He claims he’s a member at many of the gyms in Carson City but his personal trainer introduced him to the new wellness center.
Smiley said he appreciates the cleanliness and space of The Change Place, compared to other local gyms.
“It’s different and a good change for Carson City,” he said. “I plan on using this gym every day.”
In order to build a bond with the community, The Change Place will offer space to local artists to display their work. Kuhl said he’s excited to build relationships with the Brewery Arts Center and Artsy-Fartsy Art Gallery. Kuhl will be raffling off local artwork at The Change Place’s grand opening Tuesday.
“We want it to be a second home for many,” Kuhl said. “We need help in exposing in terms of who we are. The challenge right now is to draw in the right kind of people and tell them how we’re here to help build their life structure. Clients will not only benefit themselves, but other people around them.”
The Change Place opened to the public Oct. 15, but its official grand opening will be celebrated 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, 2814 North Carson St. in Eagle Medical Center plaza. Along with the ribbon cutting, refreshments will be available and the Carson City Symphony is expected to perform. Among the artwork, locals can also enter a raffle to win a year membership.