New fitness area open to public at Hobbs Ice Center

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – The holidays are just around the corner, but there's still time to get fit and stay healthy.

Starting Wednesday night the Eau Claire Parks and Recreation Department is giving Chippewa Valley residents two ways to reach your fitness goal on the ice and off at the Hobbs Ice Center.

The fitness center includes weight machines, free weights, stationary bikes, exercise balls, gym mats and an open space room.

The fitness center was originally a part of the remodel project at Hobbs but funding fell short at the end and the room remained unfinished.

In January 2012, Hobbs Facility Manager Stu Taylor says a group of organizations including the Eau Claire Youth Hockey Association, the Hobbs Center Ice Club and University athletics got together and put money together to fund the project.

The fitness area has since been open to athletics programs but now, for the first time its open to the public.

Taylor says it’s something parents and those working to get a quick workout in their day can appreciate.

“So we thought during our public skating hours we'd also open up this fitness room to people who maybe not want to take advantage of the skating opportunities or maybe they have kids that go out and skate and the adults and parents come out here and utilize the fitness room to get a workout in,” says Taylor who often sees parents hanging out at Hobbs waiting for their kids to finish open skating.

He says the Eau Claire Parks and Recreation Department strives to promote a healthy and fun lifestyle for the community.

“The program itself is something we wanted to open up to the public. It’s always a thing for us within our department to promote and preach healthy lifestyles and healthy living,” says Taylor. “We ask if youth utilize the workout room, that they have an adult with them.”

The fitness area doesn't have an official title yet, but Taylor says that will be determined in the near future.

Cost to use the fitness facility is $5 for adults and $4 for youths 17 and younger.

Open Skating: Cost is $5 for adults, $4 for youths. Skate rentals are $2. A 15-session punch card is available for $65 for adults and $52 for youths.

The fitness center and open skating are available from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sundays through March 27.

For more information or to inquire about rink or room rentals at Hobbs Ice Center, contact Eau Claire Parks and Recreation at 715-839-5040.

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