Last day for the Northfield Athletic Club?

Kyle Snesrud at the Northfield Athletic Club Griff Wigley and Kyle Snesrud outside the OH! Dale! racquetball court at the Northfield Athletic Club Kyle Snesrud, Eric Pritchard, Griff Wigley Kyle Snesrud and Eric Pritchard 
I may have played my last racquetball game ever this morning at the Northfield Athletic Club.  The club is due to close at the end of the day.

Therese and Jeff Smiens purchased the club in January of 2010 (blog post here), leasing the building from former club owners Kyle and Dale Snesrud (Dale died from cancer last November). The Smiens were not able to make the club work financially and Kyle has not been able to find a buyer. (If you know of someone who might be interested, contact Kyle via one of his two Olympus 24 hr Health & Fitness clubs in Rosemount and Farmington.

It’s a sad day for  area racquetball players, as Northfield has more racquetball players per capita than any other town in the state.  But it’s a particularly sad day for Eric Pritchard who has worked at the club for over 15 years.

I’m grateful that we’ve had the club for the past 35+ years, nearly my entire life in Northfield. Not only have I had fun and stayed in shape playing a lifelong sport, I’ve met and developed lifelong friends there.  I’m really going to miss it.



  1. Kyle Snesrud said:

    It not just the racquetball players either: Brett Carlson and the classes he started to teach there, the glus that Becky Carel was in the office, Rose Turnacliff, Cindy Kramer, Sandy Jenson, oh man every person mentioned is another pain felt and a memory with some sense of loss. Bev Brumbraugh helping us get started. There are a thousand points of light that simulate the friends and cherished relationships Dale and I had for our time spent in that business. And there is no way say thank you for all the great times and good friends there. Even putting up with Bruce Morlan was worth it. yuk yuk yuk.

    May 31, 2011
  2. Joy Amunrud said:

    Who will make the necessary and expensive building improvements to make the facility functional for the patrons? I have attended the club five mornings a week for the last four years and I really dislike exercising in a jungle (A/C broken). This is a sad day for all of us.

    May 31, 2011
  3. I really enjoyed the group exercises classes as well. The facility was pretty bad, but it was definitely worth it for the great instructors and team atmosphere. I do hope, in absence of a new owner here, the YMCA considers taking up some of the popular franchised group fitness classes that NAC has done — like Bodypump and Spinning.

    As a member, I am a bit annoyed that there has been no formal communication thus far. I happened to go to a class on Saturday, and was told then. The club owner made no mention during her Thursday class.

    May 31, 2011
  4. Joy Amunrud said:

    From my understanding, Therese was still waiting on Thursday to hear if the bank would loan the landlord money for building improvements.

    May 31, 2011
  5. Natalie Chell said:

    Therese did a great job with the conditions she was given. The buiding obviously needed improvements, that was out of Therese’s control. She worked hard at trying to get things fixed, trust that.
    I agree, LOVED the group fitness classes. You had a great group of instructors. Thank you for brining Spin to the club, we had wanted it for a long time!
    Thank you Therese and Jeff for the club you gave us for the last year, your hard work, dedication and determination! You had Great passion!

    June 1, 2011
  6. Melissa Sharpe said:

    As a (now former) instructor at the NAC, I loved every minute I worked for Therese. She did a great job, and the members were wonderful. I miss them already.

    But as others have noted, the building was in need of major repairs – repairs that weren’t being made. I recently had to stop teaching in the middle of a class, apologize for the broken air conditioning and the slippery floor that resulted, and tell people to hold back on their workout for safety reasons.

    You can’t run an effective class that way, much less an entire Club.

    June 1, 2011
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld Patch: Northfield Athletic Club Finds a New Home

    Days after closing the Northfield Athletic Club because of issues with its building at 1000 Hwy. 3 S., owners Jeff and Therese Smiens have signed a lease for a new space, according to the NAC website.

    The club will move a few blocks south on Hwy. 3 into the former space of Anytime Fitness, which moved to Division Street last year.

    June 3, 2011
  8. It’s nice they’ve found a new space, but the new location is unfortunate. I came to a class 3x/week from St. Olaf, and many Oles were interested, but didn’t want to schlep over to 1000 Bollenbacher. This is more than mile farther south. The old location wasn’t exactly ped/bike-friendly, but it was quite close to downtown. Jefferson Rd (especially if it gets its bike lanes) is a popular bikeway, so I do wish them well, and hope many walk and bike there. But I think it’ll be too far away for me.

    June 5, 2011
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld Patch: Building Owner: Northfield Athletic Club Four Months Behind on Rent

    [Kyle] Snesrud said on Tuesday that that isn’t the whole truth as to why the business shuttered.

    He said about a year ago he and his father, Dale, who co-owned the building and has sinced passed away, worked out an agreement to help with rent payments because business wasn’t going well for the Smiens in a tough economy and competitive market. According to Snesrud, he said the Smiens were four months behind on rent when they closed the club May 31.

    June 7, 2011

Leave a Reply