Carrie Rengers

Genesis Health Clubs acquires 19 new athletic clubs

Rodney Steven II at one of the Tulsa Gold’s Gyms he purchased this week.
Rodney Steven II at one of the Tulsa Gold’s Gyms he purchased this week. Courtesy photo

Rodney Steven II says he works so much at his Genesis Health Clubs that his staff is part of his family.

On Tuesday, he says, “I basically invited 1,000 people to become a part of my family.”

Steven purchased 19 more athletic clubs from 24 Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym. They include eight sites in Kansas City, seven in Omaha, two in Lincoln, Neb., and two in Tulsa, which he says he’s particularly excited about because he owns the Tulsa Oilers hockey team with his brothers Brandon and Johnny.

He also purchased four sites in St. Louis and two in Oklahoma City as part of the deal but sold those because he says he’s not ready to go into those markets yet.

Steven didn’t disclose the purchase or sale prices.

The purchases follow Steven’s purchase of four Gold’s Gyms in Kansas City this spring, which follows an earlier buying spree for a total of 44 clubs in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska.

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“The last couple of years, we’ve doubled almost every year,” Steven says of the size of his company.

He says he’s able to grow so quickly thanks to his staff.

“I have a great team,” Steven says. “I value my staff so much.”

He’ll be training his new employees over the next month.

“It’ll be a pretty intense three or four weeks.”

Rebranding the facilities will take longer – some more than others.

“Some of the clubs are already really nice,” Steven says.

Others, he says, are “going to take a long time and a lot of work. A lot of construction.”

He estimates he’ll spend between $500,000 and $4 million at each new facility.

Steven says a key focus with new members at his new clubs will be their experiences in the first three weeks they’re there.

“It’s so crucial,” he says. “Our onboarding program is exceptional.”

Steven says that makes the difference between someone achieving their fitness goals or not.

“If we don’t get them their results and motivate them to come in enough, then shame on us.”

Since he entered the Kansas City area in March 2015, Steven says he’s had big success.

His first purchase there was the Midtown Athletic Club in Overland Park. He says that will be the flagship property of his Kansas City sites when $7 million to $10 million in upgrades – the largest construction project of Steven’s career – are complete.

“We’ve done a really good job of marrying … tennis and fitness,” he says of club.

Seven of his 44 clubs have tennis facilities.

Steven says he’s seen growth just since he purchased the four Gold’s Gyms in Kansas City this March.

“The clubs are growing at a rapid pace.”

He says Kansas City is an “A market.”

“It’s been an exceptional city for us,” Steven says. “We’re doing so well there so quick.”

He says class sizes are growing, too.

“We bring a lot more variety, I guess, than what has been there before.”

Steven says his latest acquisitions mean Genesis is the Midwest’s biggest single fitness provider for “just sheer number of clubs” and members.

He says the 10 facilities that Gold’s Gym has in Oklahoma City probably is the next biggest.

Steven isn’t done buying, either.

“I am working on some deals, yes,” he says. “It’s still fun. It’s still motivating.”

Steven says he’s not going to ask employees to take on extra deals just yet, though.

“They need some breathing room.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers