Rodney Steven II, the owner of Genesis Health Clubs, has embarked on a one-of-a-kind project in Goddard, Kansas.
On November 5, 2018, the club operator broke ground on the development of a new hotel and indoor waterpark complex, in partnership between the city of Goddard Kansas, Genesis Health Clubs, and Imagine Hotels & Resorts.
Attached to the 123-room hotel, the waterpark will feature a large interactive play structure, multiple slides, lazy river, hot tubs and more.
The hotel and waterpark will be adjacent to the Goddard Aquatic Center, which upon completion will include a Genesis Health Clubs location, pre-school, youth sports camps, baseball diamonds and competitive swimming natatorium.
According to Steven, the project will be a huge draw, as it will boast the largest indoor waterpark within a three-hour drive.
“In this industry, we usually draw from people who live a few miles away,” said Steven. “Between the waterpark, the natatorium, the hotel and the baseball fields, this will be a destination that will draw from hundreds of miles away. It’s a huge parcel of land, with hundreds of acres. We’ve carved some out to sell to restaurants and retailers, so we expect this to grow into a major health, recreation and entertainment destination for the midwestern U.S.”
Bruce Neviaser and Craig Stark, the principals of Imagine Hotels & Resorts, were founders of Great Wolf Lodge, and as a result bring years of experience in the hotel and hospitality industry.
“We obviously know the health club industry,” said Steven. “We have been doing pools for decades, and we’ve been getting heavily into youth and sports programming over the past few years. The only part of the project that isn’t one of our core competencies is the hotel. That’s why I knew we had to partner with the best. They pretty much invented the concept of a large hotel and waterpark with the Great Wolf Lodge, and they’ve only got better since then. It was a natural fit.”
Concerning the project’s biggest challenges, Steven said fortunately, those have already been overcome. “Just to get this off the ground, the city and state were involved. Plus finding a hotel partner, plus all of the usual financing and architecture tasks to be completed,” he said. “That’s all behind us now, and it’s full speed ahead on construction.”
The hotel and waterpark project is expected to be complete by the end of 2019. Genesis Health Clubs now boasts 45 locations in the Midwest and Colorado.