Buffalo Grove health club comes out swinging
Buffalo Grove - Sky Fitness, is a high-end health club recently opening at 1501 Busch Parkway, Buffalo Grove. They offer high quality, high tech ftiness soluions for corporate and private client alike. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Mixed martial arts competition
WHAT: The club organized a mixed martial arts event that will feature 12 bouts with local fighters
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Sky Fitness, 1501 Busch Parkway, Buffalo Grove
COST: $40 for general admission, $50 for the upper floor and $480 for VIP tables
RSVP: (847) 229-4292
Updated: February 27, 2013 8:19AM
BUFFALO GROVE — Amid nearly 70,000-square-feet of latest-generation exercise equipment, many exercise enthusiasts at Sky Fitness still prefer the old-fashioned workout from walking.
And not necessarily on one of the club’s high-tech treadmills or elipticals — just around the edge of the gym’s upper floor.
“You don’t realize how many people like to walk,” said Larry Heller, Sky’s executive director. “An actual, natural walk.”
Buffalo Grove’s newest workout facility occupies the building that once held the Highland Park Hospital Heath and Fitness Center.
Heller and Sky owner Matt Katz said they are trying to build on some parts of the previous tenant’s reputation, but added that they are committed to separating their new business from some of Highland Park’s other memories.
“We’re going to be really clean, and we’re going to be really friendly, and we’re going to be incredibly functional,” Heller said. “We want people to know that it’s a different place now.”
Katz, a Buffalo Grove native and Wheeling High School graduate, was living overseas when Highland Park Hospital ran the gym as a high-end fitness club. He was working as a consultant for the federal government, but the boxer, judo player and wrestler decided to come back to the area, and saw the fitness center as a business opportunity.
“This was a great place, 15 years ago,” Katz said. “Everybody knew the place, everybody wanted to be a member. Over the years, it became just a place. No new investment, no new ideas.”
The gym never missed a day of operation, but Katz bought it in October, and rebranded it later that month as Sky
Heller estimated that about 1,800 of the club’s 2,200 current members rolled over from the former management. Memberships begin at around $60 monthly for individuals, and Sky offers family and corporate discounts.
“There’s a lot of pressure,” Katz said. “It’s a very trying experience. You have to meet your own expectations, as well as the expectations of the community.”
Renovations, cleaning and the installation of new equipment followed. Sky now features 400 group exercise classes and 83 yoga sessions each month. The basketball court is open, and aerial yoga equipment is set to be installed next week. On the second floor, members can use weight machines and a non-electric, foot-powered, curved treadmill that makes runners feel as though they are running uphill, straight ahead and downhill in a single step.
There also are accommodations for the old-fashioned walkers. But at Sky, they are walking on an impact-absorbing, joint-soothing rubber track.