FITNESS COLISEUM OWNER BRIANNA CARROLL is all smiles as she tours her new S. Water Street business space in downtown Owosso. The area behind Carroll is one of three separate gym spaces. This one will be used for yoga and cycling classes – new FC fitness opportunities. The Fitness Coliseum is currently located on Bennington Road. Carroll hopes to open at the new location in early June.
Carroll is also thrilled about the nearby multi-sports facility opening in the former Capitol Bowl location and hopes to work with owners, Jeremy Dwyer and Michael Ihm, to bring even more fitness opportunities to the community – turning Owosso into a fitness destination in combination with the James S. Miner Riverwalk and nearby Shiawassee River access.
Carroll, who grew up in the Ovid-Elsie area and is a registered dietitian, began training and teaching fitness classes while attending school at MSU. She is a board member at the Friends of the Shiawassee River (FOSR) and an organizer of the Sunday, May 23 FOSR Shi-Tri run/paddle/bike triathlon fundraiser.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
Brianna Carroll, owner and head trainer at the Fitness Coliseum (FC) since April 1, 2018, obviously had no idea that 2020 was going to deliver quite so many challenges, but Carroll has not caved to those challenges. Instead, she has been fully immersed in relocated FC from Bennington Road to downtown Owosso in recent months. The new location on S. Water Street, near the S. Washington Street intersection, is far larger and is allowing Carroll to expand her business to cater to the needs of a more diverse clientele.
Carroll shared that in 2019, her business was “just exploding with everyone having a great time.” She had inherited around 75 members when she became owner – and in 2019, FC reached a membership of 200 on a regular basis. Yet, some clients approached her on expanding fitness opportunities to include classes in yoga, cycling or other areas of interest. Traditionally, FC has offered a boot camp-style fitness program, providing fitness classes to all ages and fitness levels through a support team of coaches, but the Bennington Road facility lacked the space to include other fitness opportunities.
In 2019, Carroll began seeking alternative locations for her business. “So many people wanted to do fitness, but not necessarily our type of fitness,” she explained, referencing the boot camp program. “We really want everyone to be healthy and fit and like activity, but not everyone likes the same thing, so I was looking for a place where I could grow and include programs for individual interests.”
When the pandemic hit, Carroll and her FC team had to become creative to survive while still meeting the fitness needs of clientele. Membership did drop, but by March 2021, it is back to pre-pandemic numbers. “We’ve been back in the gym since last September. People have told me that being consistent in their fitness really helped them with both being healthier and with mental health, too,” Carroll said, discussing 2020 and the toll it has taken on overall health. “Even last year, I continued to look for a new location, though.”
She was picky – or so she explained – because she knew what she wanted for her clients. However, when the Trust Thermal location on S. Water Street came under her radar, she soon realized it was an amazing opportunity. The previous Trust Thermal location includes 12,000-square-feet, with 2,000-square-feet dedicated to up-front offices and 10,000 divided into three warehouse areas to the rear. Carroll has plans to rent out the front office space. The three warehouse areas, including 16-foot ceilings, are ideal for her expansion. Construction on the warehouse spaces is currently underway.
The three spaces will be divided into an area for a boot camp program, a studio area for yoga and other new programs – and “The Box” for weightlifting. Members can decide to join to use any of the three or for a universal membership, allowing access to all three fitness areas. Carroll will be including a team of 15 coaches to help with training in the various fitness areas.
Each of the warehouse spaces, now training spaces, will have open-air access, as well. Warehouse doors are being converted to allow for open-air training spaces during the warmer months. Along with that, locker rooms are being installed to allow for plenty of storage. A welcome area will be near the side main entrance.
“I think more people are now interested in being active, being healthier and what really, really matters,” Carroll added. “I think we are already seeing a shift of people who are realizing what’s really important. You know, being a parent is very draining. Many parents need that active outlet where they can take care of themselves. If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of someone else.”
The current deadline goal is to have a soft opening the first week of June. Carroll plans on moving FC in over Memorial Day weekend. Grand opening plans are in the works and will be formally announced in the near future.
“I’ve already been told by so many in the community how excited they are to come see it, to come utilize it. I think we’re going to become very busy, very quickly,” said Carroll. “For those interested, we are still taking new members at the gym and are still fully functioning and open. Anyone is welcome to jump in and join the gym.”
For more on the Fitness Coliseum, visit www.fitnesscoliseum.com.