4 Reasons to Visit the New Grand Traverse Bay YMCA

A new wo052rkout hot spot has opened its doors to residents of the Grand Traverse Bay region.

The new YMCA on Silver Lake Road in Traverse City is open for business as of Monday, September 22. We took a first look and checked out the new digs last week amidst a flurry of construction activity still in progress.

State of the art fitness arena

The new facility features a fitness arena with brand new equipment, including a Life Fitness Synergy 360 circuit machine, plus Cybex cardio and weight machines.

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Three fitness rooms are equipped with free weights, spin bikes, and more. The new outdoor Meijer athletic fields are ready to host lacrosse and other team sports.

Multiple indoor tennis courts

Ten indoor tennis courts make the new Y one of the largest tennis facilities in Northern Michigan.

Modern swimming facilities 

A recreational/therapy/training pool and 18-person hot tub spa, are ready for swimmers, while a large, eight-lane competition swimming pool will open later this year.025 The opening of the training pool will allow for the Y to begin offering free swimming lessons to every third-grader in its five-county service region.

Carolyn McKellar is Director of Fundraising and Marketing. With studies showing that only 40 percent of area 7th-graders are able to swim 25 yards and a drowning rate that’s three times the state average, she said equipping children with those skills is necessary and a promise that Y leadership intend to follow through on. It’s especially important for those unable to afford traditional swim lessons.

“Some kids just don’t get the chance to go,” she said.

Various wellness and fitness classes for all ages

Space is planned at the facility for teen after-school programs, including a YouthWow initiative to help kids tackle healthy eating and exercise as a way to combat weight issues. A small chapel could eventually be put to use by local churches to offer youth counseling.

Noble Kline, Health and Wellness Director, is excited about the potential the new YMCA facility has for expanded fitness classes. All fitness classes will now be held at the new location and will no longer be offered at the, still-open, Boardman River facility. The multipurpose fitness room can hold up to 70 students for classes such as yoga or Zumba.033

“We could run some of the bigger classes in the area,” he said.

McKellar and Kline are optimistic about projections that could see membership grow from a little over 1,000 members to over 2,300.

“I’m looking forward to the great mass of people we’re going to see,” Kline said.

The Grand Traverse Bay YMCA has been serving Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties, since 1964. The YMCA Woodmere Ave. location continues to offer early childhood education and gymnastics. Basketball and pickle ball are offered at the YMCA at the Boardman River location. Fundraising for phase two is now being discussed, with plans for indoor basketball courts and an indoor running track, plus other upgrades.

Have you been to the new YMCA? Tell us what you think!

Photo credit: Julie Bitely

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