Sioux Falls, SD
KELOLAND News has learned a new business concept in golf and fitness is coming to the city of Sioux Falls.
HenkinShultz advertising and marketing agency is holding a news conference at EmBe, the former YWCA, in downtown Sioux Falls on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. According to our sources, Tom Walsh Sr. is bringing a Topeka, Kansas, based company called, GreatLife Golf & Fitness, to the city that will use existing golf courses and fitness centers.
GreatLife Golf & Fitness was formed by its president Rick Farrant, his wife and brother 25 years ago in Topeka. The company now has 24 locations in Kansas and Missouri. It is changing the "country club" model for golf by offering memberships to a number of courses that either have fitness centers inside them or to separate fitness centers.
Sources tell KELOLAND News that the plan for GreatLife Golf & Fitness involves Bakker Crossing and Willow Run golf courses in Sioux Falls and Central Valley golf course in Hartford, South Dakota. EmBe is also involved as a fitness center.
Reid Hans, the general manager and owner of Sioux Empire Fitness, tells KELOLAND News he knows someone is looking at his club, but wouldn't go into any details. Farrant said he has toured Sioux Empire Fitness.
Farrant said in some of its location GreatLife Golf & Fitness is a franchise, in others it's a licensing partnership.
In Topeka, the company has five 18-hole golf courses and fitness centers. It partnered with the YWCA there and completed a major overhaul. Individual memberships start at $20 and in some markets can run all the way up to $400 a month and include both golf and fitness.
Farrant says the company focuses on failed golf courses and ones that are already operating to enhance their business model. The memberships are family-focused and year-round. Farrant said his company has, "evolved the country club model which focused on fine dining."
Farrant said his GreatLife Golf & Fitness turns old banquet areas in the clubs into fitness facilities. Farrant said his company always heavily invests in capital to improve the locations and amenities. Farrant will be in attendance at the news conference on Wednesday morning in Sioux Falls.
KELOLAND News could not reach Tom Walsh Sr. for comment, but his son Tom Walsh Jr. tells us he won't talk until Wednesday, but he says this is going to "change how golf is looked at" in Sioux Falls.