New owner of athletic club says she’s excited to be back in charge

Vicky Thurlow at the Grand Junctrtion Athletic Club and Day Spa and Salon.

The phone never stopped ringing Friday at Grand Junction Athletic Club and Day Spa and Salon with callers asking if the business was hiring, returning owner Vicky Thurlow said.

According to a judge’s order, Thurlow earlier this week was granted ownership of the longtime health club at 2515 Foresight Circle after previous owner Brad Willms defaulted on rent payments.

Thurlow, who owned the business from 1990 to 2004 before selling it to Willms, said she plans to refocus efforts not only on patrons’ physical fitness, but also on their emotional and spiritual health. Thurlow’s staff is a combination of employees who worked under Willms and others who previously worked for her.

“You can feel the excitement in here,” Thurlow said at the club’s spa Friday. “It’s noticeable. I’m excited to go in this new direction.”

Willms in 2004 paid $100,000 down and agreed to pay the $700,000 balance with monthly payments of $5,200, which he said he did. However, for the past five months Willms failed to make the $20,000 a month payment on the building’s lease to owners with the Boesch Living Trust.

Thurlow, who had a lien on the building and its assets, was legally granted ownership of the business when Willms defaulted on those rent payments.

Willms told The Daily Sentinel on Thursday that he had another agreement with one of the building’s owners to make good on the defaulted payments before the new year, which would keep him as the owner.

Willms said the club was in good financial shape.

“I understand that it’s emotional and it’s bad for them, but actions should have been taken sooner to keep this business in good shape,” Thurlow said.

She said the business was able to make the lease payments on the building when she previously owned the business, and she plans to repeat that success.


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