By Debbie Adams
BoomTown CrossFit celebrated its grand opening in Vinton with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 20 with town officials and the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce. The ceremony was followed by an open house, a free community workout session, free food, and door prizes on January 22. About 40 individuals turned out on that very cold morning to participate.
BoomTown CrossFit is a gym and physical fitness center, promoting functional fitness and lifelong health. It offers workout programs for all ability and skill levels, focusing on both physical and mental well-being.
Owners are Tamara and Greg Bell, Joel and Brittany Linkenhoker, and Michael and Hannah Venable. They actually met one another through CrossFit programs. They have day jobs ranging from civil engineering to financial analysis to occupational therapy but wanted to take on the challenge of introducing BoomTown to give back to the community. The business has been open since December 6.
They have spent several months renovating a former electrical storage warehouse at 703 Tinker Avenue (near Cargill, formerly Southern States) into the spacious and well-equipped gym.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, co-owner Mike Venable explained the “BoomTown” name. The fitness center is “all about community.” It is located in the backyard, so to speak, of Vinton, right next to the railroad tracks. The group wanted to pay homage to Vinton and its past as a booming railroad town. Products and goods came through the town by rail and led to its initial growth. Today, Vinton is once again booming economically, with many new businesses and residents in an “invigorating, exciting time” for the town.
Co-owner Tamara Bell said the group chose Vinton for their business because “it was a good opportunity. There are not a lot of gyms or fitness facilities in the Vinton area or the Smith Mountain Lake market area.”
Venable said the location literally “fell into our laps. We are happy to be part of the current business boom. It fits us, and this place fits us.”
Vinton Mayor Brad Grose, who participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, agreed that BoomTown CrossFit “fits Vinton and what’s going on in the town right now. We are definitely booming.”
Roanoke County Economic Development Specialist Marshall Stanley noted that the Vinton community is “pumping out all different types of businesses, both big and small, which it takes to create a community.” While many new restaurants and apartments have opened in Vinton, as well as new industries, BoomTown CrossFit will help balance out the community and meet the needs of the community more comprehensively.
Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce President Jason Boothe welcomed BoomTown to Vinton and thanked the owners for choosing the town for their location.
Venable and co-owner Joel Linkenhoker spoke to the crowd at the grand opening about their goals for their business and the Vinton community.
Linkenhoker commented that Vinton was an obvious choice for location– “Vinton is a tight-knit community and CrossFit is a tight-knit community.”
He emphasized that “anybody can do CrossFit. We have worked with ages 15 to 62 so far. Everyday, BoomTown CrossFit offers something different. It will be the best hour of your day.”
BoomTown is for athletes and for those who are currently more couch potato than athlete. “We can help you get healthier. If you have a bad knee or a bad back, our goal is to help you get better. Just give us a chance.”
Venable explains that CrossFit intertwines fitness, community, and nutrition in an “atmosphere of friendly faces.” The program involves everything from weightlifting to running to rowing to biking to rope climbing, to cardio, to squatting, to gymnastics. He also says it’s a program that will translate into the rest of your day and life– with activities that will help you “carry in the groceries, carry your kid on your shoulders, pick up something from the floor.”
BoomTown programs are built around life’s busy days with the goal of 60 minutes “in and out and on with your day.” Venable says that challenges faced in CrossFit can also translate into improving your approach to difficult situations in life in general.
“The methods we use at BoomTown CrossFit are what makes us so unique,” the owners say. “We find out what’s important to you and set you on a path for success. This allows us to help you achieve your goals in record timing. We have everything you need– knowledge, experience, and equipment.”
All the activities are “scalable” and can be modified to meet individual ability levels and goals. There is a coach to help you. You will get a workout that meets your own level of ability.
As for opening a fitness center during the pandemic, Tamara Bell says with strict attention to cleaning and ventilation that was not a real issue. In fact, COVID has made the need for developing good physical and mental health even more imperative.
The renovated space includes a children’s room with large windows, toys, and a television so parents can keep an eye on their children and their children can see them while they are working out.
Currently, BoomTown CrossFit classes are available Monday-Friday at 5:15, 6:15, and 8:15 a.m.; at 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30 p.m. (no 6:30 on Friday), plus open gym at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday with another CrossFit class at 9 a.m. Classes generally number about 20.
The six owners, plus Sam Mixter, serve as instructors and coaches. In addition to group workouts, BoomTown offers one-on-one and small group personal training and nutrition coaching– both with Mixter, who has her ISSA Nutritionist certification.
The nutrition coaching is available to both members and non-members. The program includes a personalized plan with individual macros, weekly check-ins, meal ideas, and more.
BoomTown CrossFit features unlimited memberships and punch-card options, along with discounts.
For more information and class options, visit their website at https://www.boomtowncrossfit.com/ or their Facebook page. You may also call 540-397-1258.