Council votes to approve useage of warmup building at Mich-e-ke-wis

ALPENA – Alpena Municipal Council has voted to enter into a five-year lease with Performance Locker LLC, which will utilize the old warmup building at Mich-e-ke-wis Park for a new business.

In the deal ,Performance Locker owners Casey and Mary Beth Stutzman will pay the city $600 a month for the first three years of the lease and $1,000 for the remaining two. The city also will receive an annual $1,000 donation that will be used toward park improvements. The city will lose revenue that was generated from facility rental.

The new business will be a blend of fitness, health and outdoor activities that will help to improve the health of its members. Casey Stutzman said the business will offer a variety of offerings for people of all ages, abilities and age.

“We really want to help connect people to a more active lifestyle and be sure it has the longevity to continue it, ” he said. “There are so many amazing resources in this community and we want to help people find them and do them for a long time.”

As part of the agreement with the city, the Stutzmans will make improvements to the building, at no cost to the city. Stutzman said there will be areas of the park that could be used as a cross country ski trail and he will be able to work with clients both in and outdoors. Stutzman told the council that he would like to be able to provide water-related activity rental and training, such as snorkel gear, kayak and canoes.

“We can help people learn more, not only about the activity, but also about the equipment and the techniques for them,” Stutzman said. “We have talked about a lot of different things, even snow shoes, but our primary offering this winter will be cross country ski rental. We have also looked at things like standup paddleboards for the summer months. We just want people to get outside and enjoy these things.”

Stutzman said he had looked at various locations around the area and couldn’t find one that offered him what he needed to operate his business. He said Mich-e-ke-wis is perfect and he is happy to be able to utilize it, as well as make improvements to it.

“We had very specific things in mind. We needed specialized flooring, locker rooms and big open spaces,” Stutzman said. “We wanted to be near town, but not in a strip mall or parking lot. Here we can go outside and have access to water and nature and all of the things we want to connect people to.”

Besides helping people get in shape and learn more about activities, Stutzman said Performance Locker also will teach people the importance of eating healthy.

“Nutrition is going to be a huge part of who we are and what we do and what we offer,” Stutzman said. “It is a huge piece of success. We will have a registered dietitian on our team who will be running our nutrition programming and a professionally trained chef for wonderful culinary experiences.”

Stutzman said the city was great to work with and he is happy the council agreed to the lease.

“The city was spectacular during this,” Stutzman said. “They were very supportive from the word go. The staff worked very closely with us to find an arrangement that is mutually beneficial and have been so supportive. We are so touched and honored by the amount of support we have received from the community, but the elected officials and their staff. I just got the sense that they really do believe they think this is something that can increase the quality of life in the community and we’re honored that we can be in the position to provide something like that.”

Stutzman said he hopes to have Performance Locker open in early June.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at www.thealpenanews.com.