By Kathy Brown.
While things have been shut down due to COVID-19, HK Fitness has moved from 23 Killingworth Road to 66 Killingworth Road. Owner Merle and Diana McKenzie bought the building at 66 Killingworth Road three months ago, and have been tearing down walls, expanding doorways, painting, replacing carpet and windows, and getting the place ready to move in all of the fitness gear. Now they have moved in the treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowers, Peleton bicycles, a Hydrow rower, weight benches, spin cycles, and deadlift platforms. They also added a sitting area, in case you want to relax after your workout, or wait for your workout buddy to join you before starting. “Both our new spin room and cardio deck face the Higganum Reservoir for a stunning view,” said Merle. They have two spin instructors for classes.
Merle opened CrossFit Ironworks in 2012, then opened HK Fitness in spring 2017. He then sold CrossFit Ironworks in 2018. He and his wife are very busy people. He also opened Montana Nights Axe Throwing in Newington in 2018, and Odin’s Keep Axe House in Enfield in October 2019. He also started Relentless Jeans in 2014, and then rebranded two years ago to Edison Atlas Apparel (jeans for athletes).
Merle and Diana moved to Haddam 16 years ago because they wanted to live in a rural community. Diana was a teacher at Haddam Elementary School until last year. Now she works in the family businesses.
The square footage of HK Fitness went from 3000 at the old location, to 5500 at the new location. Their free weight area has tripled in size, allowing more squat racks, Olympic benches, deadlift platforms, and more. “We always knew that the old location was small and missing some things we would have preferred to open with, however, at the time that’s the only space that was available and we made it work,” explained Merle. “The opportunity to buy the current building presented itself and allowed us to make major improvements in what we offer for fitness and it was a no brainer.”
Once the governor gives the “okay,” the hours will be the same as before, 4:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. every day of the year. “Once you join, you receive a key fob to gain access whenever you like,” explained Merle. The rates will also stay the same as they were at the old location.
On their Facebook page, they announced “HK Fitness made a conscious decision to not only survive this crisis but to thrive and get better.” They show a video of the new space and sent the message, “We are proud of the role we have played in our town’s fitness and well being. We are super excited to welcome you all back and let you experience the new HK Fitness once we get the all clear.” You can also check out their website.
“The new place feels huge comparatively but still quaint,” said Merle. “It’s warm and cozy but has a lot more to offer for fitness. Instead of it being a place that just gets the job done, now it’s a place you want to go and spend time.”