The former site of national chain 24 Hour Fitness in Kahului is being transformed into a family-operated gym called The Club Maui.
Danny Crowell and Whitney Correa of Kahului own and operate the newly renovated 15,000-square-foot gym, which is slated to open next week at 150 Hana Highway. It is the club’s third Maui location.
The fitness center will have men’s and women’s sauna and steam areas in the locker rooms, state-of-the-art gym software and an array of equipment and classes. The renovation includes new air-conditioning units, flooring, paint and interior design.
Functional fitness equipment that includes air bikes, bars, bumper plates, platforms, Glute Ham Developer machines and a pull-up rig is being installed. The remaining 24 Hour Fitness equipment eventually will be replaced as new items arrive.
The location became available after June 2020, when 24 Hour Fitness shuttered its doors. The national fitness chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief due to COVID-19 impacts.
That year was a particularly difficult one for businesses in Hawaiʻi. The state had the biggest decline in the country for real gross domestic product growth at 8 percent, according to the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization.
Correa and Crowell inquired about the space about a year ago. After other gyms expressed interest, the couple pressed pause.
“We hadn’t really pursued it much and was told some other gyms were also interested in it, so we just stepped aside,” she said. “Honestly, it’s just been all about timing and patience and maybe the fact that I am pregnant again with baby No. 3 that those things just fell into place.”
Now, at a time when many Maui mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar stores have had to close due to limited resources, financial hardships and online pivoting, Correa and Crowell also have plans to expand to the neighboring warehouse for their CrossFit Maui classes.
The two are no strangers to fitness.
Correa, who’s from Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, grew up a self-titled tomboy, surfing and playing sports.
Crowell, a Maui native, graduated from Maui High School to attend Linfield University in Oregon, where he won a national championship in football in 1982. He transferred to University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and walked on the football team, earning a full-ride scholarship as the starting running back. He played in the NFL as a free agent in 1987 and 1988 for the St. Louis Cardinals.
After many years of supporting local football leagues, Crowell now is coaching their 6-year-old son’s flag football team.
“Even if we’re not in the gym, we’re doing something active,” Correa said. “Our kids were practically born in the gym, and the third one will soon be, too.”
In 2009, the two started one of the first CrossFit gyms on Maui, called CrossFit Maui. After moving the CrossFit and eventually selling it, Crowell and Correa decided to combine their passions of weights and machines in a traditional gym setting with functional fitness and CrossFit classes. They partnered with longtime family friend Jeff Lee of Kailua-Kona. He has owned and operated The Club Kona for 35 years.
“We had a vision of providing Maui with a premier fitness center,” Correa said. “We wanted to offer Maui something it had never seen before and that’s how The Club Maui started [in 2017].”
The first two clubs are in Kahana Gateway Center and Outlets of Maui, both on the west side, with about 1,000 members combined.
“We are a hands-on ‘ohana and are very involved with our business,” Correa said. “Even if we have to bring the whole family in to work, which happens often, we have thrived by being present and connecting with our members and guests.”
Membership information is available on the club website: www.theclubmaui.com. Daily rates in some of the most popular packages average about $2 a day. Certain club members also may work out at any of the three Maui locations.