Gymnasts get more room to tumble |

Gymnasts get more room to tumble

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff

The 32,000-square-foot KidzPlex gymnastics center will be even bigger by summer’s end, but not in its Grand Junction location. It’ll grow in Glenwood Springs.

KidzPlex Glenwood should open by August, with 6,800 square feet in the Midland Center, owner Brian Bensley said.

The new gymnastics center delights local parents tired of a long commute to Grand Junction.

“I would wish a gym like that for every community,” said Nancy Vidal, of Silt, who takes her 13-year-old gymnast to Grand Junction three times a week. “Kids are going to be coming from everywhere for this kind of coaching.”

Vidal said she didn’t know if she’d start her daughter at KidzPlex Glenwood right away, because her daughter is excelling as part of a strong team at the Grand Junction location.

The Grand Junction KidzPlex is one of the largest children’s facilities in the county and features everything from gymnastics and dance to rock climbing and child care.

The Glenwood Springs KidzPlex will feature gymnastics, child care, and a cafe that will double as a cafeteria for kids in child care and as a cafe for adults waiting on their kids, Bensley said.

KidzPlex’s expansion into Glenwood Springs comes at a time when the future of gymnastics in town is uncertain.

Glenwood Gymnastics Academy has taught the valley’s gymnasts for 20 years but is certain to lose its current lease by January 2006 to make room for an expanded Glenwood Springs High School. Owner Rob Jones hasn’t found another location but is working with the Roaring Fork School District on other options.

Initially KidzPlex had hoped to partner with Jones, but things didn’t work out, Bensley said. Jones largely declined comment on the subject, but did say he didn’t feel he was offered a partnership.

“There wasn’t any money on the table,” Jones said.

Jones also said he doubted KidzPlex Glenwood would be big enough to hold a gym.

Bensley said his space will accommodate 90 percent of gymnasts, but not those at the highest level. Bensley is also considering expanding once the second and third phases of the Midland Center are developed, he said.

Despite KidzPlex Glenwood’s smaller scale, local parents are excited about a new gym.

“I can’t sing (KidzPlex’s) praises enough,” Vidal said. “I’m really happy for the Glenwood community.”

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