Colorado native, ultra-distance runner and fitness studio founder Amy O’Connell has stepped into the Steamboat Springs fitness scene, purchasing Steamboat Pilates & Fitness from longtime owner Wendy Puckett.
“I owned two studios in Denver but also co-own Barre Forte,” O’Connell said. “That is a barre workout. I actually own the company with a couple other ladies, and we license out that barre format to other studios, as well.”
O’Connell and her husband, Dan, bought a home in Steamboat four years ago and sold the Denver studios. Three years ago, the couple moved to Steamboat along with their 7-year-old son, Kellen.
“We love to run, ski and my husband’s an avid fly-fisherman,” O’Connell said. “We wanted to give Kellen the chance to grow up in the mountains.”
O’Connell said the purchase of Steamboat Pilates & Fitness gives her a chance to become a bigger part of the community, too.
She met Puckett through mutual friends and knew Puckett was interested in selling the Steamboat studio. The two connected in August and made a deal. O’Connell took over Sept. 1.
“I feel really fortunate, and I’m just really excited to be more of a part of the community in a health and wellness capacity, and to continue to keep and make Steamboat strong,” O’Connell said.
She said the fitness studio will continue to focus on Pilates moving forward, while also offering other fitness opportunities to residents.
“While Pilates remains the heart and soul of the studio, I’m excited to infuse the space with new energy with our HIIT & Run cardio and Barre Forte classes,” O’Connelll said. “Strength and movement are the core of all that we do, and we will continue to keep Steamboat strong and active.”
Steamboat Pilates and Fitness will continue to offer private Pilates classes for groups from one to four people with one instructor and reformer classes, which are basically larger Pilates classes using reformer machines.
There will also be mat Pilates, yoga, circuit training and running classes in addition to HIIT & Run, which is a mixed workout featuring a treadmill and floor strength exercises. Just last week, O’Connell introduced the Barre Forte workout to the 3,500-square-foot studio at 111 11th St.
“It’s a gym filled with all my favorite workouts,” O’Connell said. “My background is actually in running and ultra-running. I found barre as a runner because it’s a great cross-training, recovery type of a workout that helps with injury prevention, because it just works all these very small muscles that runners tend to avoid.”
Puckett said she will continue to teach for O’Connell at the studio and is excited about what the future holds for Steamboat Pilates & Fitness — and for her.
“I have a few other projects I’m working on, and my kids just graduated from high school, and they’re in college now,” Puckett said. “It’s been great to free up my brain to do other things.”
Puckett opened Steamboat Pilates & Fitness on Dec. 5, 2001. She partnered with her sister, Kristin Stevenson, for about 10 years in the middle but has owned and operated the studio for the past 10 years on her own.
She is currently working on a certification for mindset coaching and expects to remain engaged in the Steamboat community moving forward.
She was thrilled that she will be able to move forward knowing O’Connell will keep the team she has built and carry on many of the traditions that she brought to town with the studio.
“It’s just another phase of my life,” Puckett said. “I’ve been doing it for so long, and I still love teaching, but the minute we decided (to sell Steamboat Pilates & Fitness), my brain jumped into some of these new projects that I’m excited about pursuing — so it was great timing.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.