Ballard Health Club (2208 NW Market St) has been sold to long term member Pat Gilbrough (pictured right) who is due to take over ownership on January 1st 2o14. Current owners Lowen Clausen and his daughter, Sonya Senstra (pictured below) created the club over 15 years ago and Gilbrough is proud to take over the reigns of the local business.
Gilbrough is looking forward to managing what he describes as “a gem for the Ballard community”. “Lowen and Sonya’s vision was to create and operate a special and unique fitness environment that would be different from most gyms, with little to no focus on sales and more focus on service and fairness,” says Gilbrough.
He remembers watching Ballard Health Club being created when he was a tenant in the building many years ago. “My wife, Kellene, joined soon after the Club opened and I joined a couple of weeks later. As it turns out, Kellene is the longest standing active member of the Ballard Health Club,” says Gilbrough.
Clausen and Gilbrough have known each other and each others families (both families pictured below) for almost 20 years through their involvement in the club and their mutual respect for each other is obvious. “We knew that it was time for us to pass the torch to someone who would carry on the gym as all of us would hope. We didn’t have to look far,” says Senstra. “Pat and Kellene live in Ballard, have raised their family in Ballard, and we feel that we are passing the torch from one Ballard family to another,” she continues.
Clausen and Senstra are sad to be leaving the club but know that Gilbrough’s leadership will embody the essence of the gym that they created.
The father and daughter opened the club wanting to do things a little differently. “We decided that we would have fair prices, and we would publish them. We would never do sales and promotion gimmicks. We would have fair and simple freeze and cancellation policies. We would provide training at no extra charge,” says Senstra. They also agreed, differently than many other gyms, to never employ a sales staff. The combination of theses unique policies and a love for the Ballard community has built the club into the successful business that it is today.
“What my father and I didn’t foresee, but have grown to absolutely cherish, is the amazing community that exists and embraces this neighborhood gym. Anyone can have great business policies and structures, but it’s the staff and members that make the heart—and the heart makes this gym unique,” says Senstra.
Both families are looking forward to the future of the club and are excited to see what the changes bring in the new year. “The combination of these staff and members form a special chemistry that I feel is unique to our Club, and I greatly look forward to being involved with it,” says Gilbrough.
Senstra and Clausen want to express their gratitude to the community for the past fifteen years. “My father and I are so grateful for the community that exists within these old ballroom walls. We feel privileged to be able to join all of you as regular members of this very special community called the Ballard Health Club,” says Senstra.
Photos courtesy of Ballard Health Club.