Sunday, January 5, 2014

Come One, Come All! The Cook County Community YMCA is OPEN; everyone is welcome!

The Cook County Community YMCA opened its doors on January 3, 2014 with
 a celebration open to the more than 800 people who became charter members.
The Cook County Community YMCA celebrated its Grand Opening with a Charter Member Celebration on Friday, Saturday morning Senior Social, and Ribbon Cutting on Saturday afternoon.  The facility was packed with kids, families, adults and seniors--all discovering and enjoying the facility for the first time. Duluth YMCA Staff was on hand to join the celebration and ensure the event was a success, and it was!

Members of the Cook County High School Band played "YMCA"
to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony in the new gymnasium!

Representatives from Y-USA, Duluth YMCA, Cook County
Community YMCA, ISD166, the City of Grand Marais and
 Cook County all shared in the ribbon cutting for the new facility.

With a big smile on his face, Chris Francis, Duluth YMCA CEO, reported that after being open just one day, the Cook County Community YMCA sold over 400 Membership Units which translates into 822 individual memberships, shattering the conservative estimates Francis built the business plan around.  "I anticipated selling 400 Membership Units by the end of Year One; I'm more than thrilled that we surpassed that original goal on the day we opened the doors!", said Francis.

Major amenities at the Cook County Community YMCA include a new 4-lane swimming pool with additional zero depth entry area for easy access and play, a fully renovated gymnasium, separate weight lifting and cardio rooms, exercise studio, men and women's locker rooms, family lockers rooms, teen room, child watch, party room, and lounge area with wireless internet access area.  The entire facility is accessible.

A spirited game of pick up basketball was enjoyed by adults,
high school athletes, boys and girls on the lakeside half court
in the newly renovated gymnasium of the YMCA.

Parents and tots played in the zero depth entry of the new
aquatic center while others swam laps, tried log rolling, played
water basketball or relaxed in the large hot tub.  The water slide
is nearly complete and should be ready for use this week.

The weight lifting room is on the main floor of the new YMCA;
the cardio and exercise rooms are located on the upper levels
of the facility and accessible by stairs or a lift.

I had the pleasure of spending the entire weekend at the Y.  Here are some of the remarks I overheard:

-  "That teen center is sweet!"
-  "The pool is so awesome!  And the jets in the hot tub are strong!"
-  "I didn't realize how many classes are included with the membership!"
-  "My kids are having a blast in the child watch, and I am free to work out".
-  "Wow, the new machines are really good".
-  "It's so wonderful to be in this beautiful space, especially on such a cold day".
-  "It feels like we have a whole new community!"
-  "In just two days, we've already gotten our membership fees worth!"
-  "My son couldn't sleep last night; he was so excited to get here".
-  "I can't wait until my grandkids can see this place".
-  "I'm going to LIVE here!"
-  "Everyone is so happy!  Everybody in this place is smiling!"

For more information about the Cook County Community YMCA
 go to