Gym gains new owners, becomes rehab center
November 19, 2005
A chiropractor, a registered nurse and two personal trainers joined forces to open Iron Horse Health and Fitness Center in the former Freestyle Health and Fitness building. Iron Horse Health and Fitness now consists of a full service gym and lap pool, chiropractic offices, physical therapy offices and a massage room. "There is a lot packed into this space, and although we are three separate core businesses, we all complement each other to help people improve their health and their quality of living," said Pam Cofer, owner and registered nurse. Cofer said she offers cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and weight management consultations. Her husband, Donald Cofer, owner and chiropractic orthopedist and certified sports physician, specializes in back injuries, neck whiplash and injured extremities. Owners and physical therapists Brandon Judd and Dan Ivie concentrate in sports medicine, orthopedics and spine treatment. Judd formerly worked in Salt Lake City and joined Ivie earlier in this year at a practice in Kimball Junction. Judd said although his former locations coincided with small gyms, his move into Iron Horse Health and Fitness is a step up. "The full service fitness center gives my patients a much better opportunity to progress their rehab to a normal exercise program," he said. Donald Cofer, a chiropractor in Park City since 1981, said he originally came to Park City in 1970 as a ski instructor and he still races gates on The Masters ski team. "I am active in sports and I enjoy getting an athlete back to a sport as fast as possible with improved performance," he said. Donald Cofer launched the Center for Team Healthcare in 1998 in conjunction with other chiropractors, therapists and physicians in Park City. He said having chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers and the gym and pool in his new location furthers his vision of cooperative healthcare and rehabilitation. "This is a final dream step, having this all added together," he said. After remodeling and building out the chiropractic offices, Iron Horse Health and Fitness opened in August. Brian Frost, head personal fitness trainer at Iron Horse Health and Fitness, said the gym offers spin, ski conditioning, a boot camp for brides to be and Pilates fitness classes. He said the gym recently added a spin classroom with black light and disco ball options. "It’s kind of a distraction and keeps it fun," he said.
Judd said the group hopes to add rehab classes in the gym’s lap pool this year, including water aerobics and classes for patients with knee and hip replacements." "The benefit of a pool is it takes 70 percent of the body weight off a patient so they can exercise with less pain," Donald Cofer said. Pam Cofer, who personally benefited from rehab in pools after sustaining back and knee injuries, said she hopes to start scheduling swim classes soon. "The lap pool was really the reason I wanted to buy the gym," she said. Cofer, a cancer survivor and co-founder of the nonprofit Women Beyond Cancer, said she also wants to add healing Nia and yoga classes for people who have had cancer.
The new gym owners recently expanded their partnership with the Learning Center’s post-high school special education transition program. Cofer said in addition to working out during the mornings, the students come in to the gym in the afternoons for ‘life skills’ training. She said students wipe down machines, vacuum the floors, wash the pool decks and greet guests.
Tessie Palczynski, coordinator for the post-high school special education transition program, said the purpose of the ‘life skills’ program is to train the students to become independent members of society. "It’s really hard to teach life, and yet that is what we do, we teach life," she said, "and they are providing an avenue for us to do that." Palczynski said 10 students participate in the ‘life skills’ program at Iron Horse Health and Fitness, including James Vesely, an intern with cerebral palsy who greets guests arriving to the gym.
Pam Cofer said there are no initiation fees or contracts for the Iron Horse Health and Fitness gym and rates run on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Monthly memberships cost $39, fitness classes cost $5 and discounts are offered to seniors, teams and businesses.
"It’s really a friendly, down-home feel and we want to keep it that way," Cofer said. On Dec. 6, Iron Horse Health and Fitness will hold a grand opening, Cofer said, with free day passes, food, prize drawings, a free body fat analysis and personal trainers on-site to show guests how to properly use equipment. Iron Horse Health and Fitness Center, located at 1255 Iron Horse Drive, is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon-Fri, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information call 658-5115.