Peak athletic club to open in downtown Missoula 

In the coming days, the owners of Missoula's Peak Health and Wellness will begin revamping downtown Missoula's Artcraft building, which has stood vacant at 150 E. Spruce Street for years, into a $3.5 million, 18,000-square foot athletic club. Peak co-owner Jack Tawney says it will be a "huge complement" to its larger fitness facility on the other side of town, on Blue Mountain Road.

Peak closed the deal about two weeks ago. Tawney's hoping the new facility, which will offer pilates and spinning, weight and cardio rooms, and locker rooms with showers, saunas and steam rooms, among other amenities, will cater to Missoulians who live and work downtown, as well as residents of the University District, Rattlesnake Valley and Grant Creek areas. "We think there's a large market there," he says.

Linda McCarthy, director of the Missoula Downtown Association, says Peak's downtown fitness center will fill a hole left by the closures of the Missoula Athletic Club on East Broadway and other, smaller fitness studios.

"The nice thing about Peak," McCarthy says, "is that they're a known entity, they've done a great job with their current project, they've invested a lot of money, they've grown their membership, they've built the tennis center. But if you think about it, unless you live on the south side of town, it's hard to get to."

McCarthy says the new project serves as evidence of an uptick in downtown investment. She counts at least 12 construction projects underway this summer. "I think that's an indicator of a little bit of economic recovery," she says. "I think it's an indicator that people are interested in investing downtown."

Peak plans to lease out at least 4,000 square feet of the building that fronts Spruce Street.

Tawney says Peak, which runs 12 fitness clubs around the Northwest, will offer two membership types: a lower rate for use of just the downtown facility, and a higher rate—the current rate—for members who want access to both facilities.

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