Prince Albert Curves closing their doors

Jodi Schellenberg
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It is the end of an era for a local business in the city.

Jean Burdick is sad to be letting Curves go at the end of the month but is excited to start the new chapter of her life.

The local Curves is closing its doors at the end of the month, something owner Jean Burdick sees as a bittersweet farewell.

“I’m closing for several reasons but the main one is I needed to relocate,” Burdick said. “My lease here is finished and I needed to move on and there isn’t really anything suitable in Prince Albert who didn’t want long-term without improvements. The improvements were going to be expensive.”

The gym has not grown and as a small business is unable to compete with other exercise giants in the city.

“There are too many gyms in Prince Albert so it is not viable,” Burdick said.

Burdick and her daughter Twyla opened the business eight years ago and have enjoyed their time getting to know the ladies who frequented the gym.

“It is very sad that there is not going to be a women’s gym in Prince Albert,” Burdick said.

The women who work out at Curves in Prince Albert had a farewell party for the Burdicks on Sunday.

“To have 50 women come to a party last night in our honour was humbling,” Burdick said. “Because it is Christmas I know there are lots who would have liked to come. It has been almost eight years my daughter and I have been here and it has been so rewarding.”

As a retired health professional, Burdick thought the business was a perfect fit for her.

“I am a retired nurse so I feel in a lot of ways this is still nursing,” Burdick said. “I’m (still) helping women look after their health, so I am seeing them on a proactive measure instead of acute care. Exercise is amazing for all kinds of illnesses.”

Although the customers are disappointed the gym is closing, Burdick said they have been very supportive of her.

“They are disappointed but there hasn’t been a negative comment at all,” Burdick said. “The whole environment here has been so warm, friendly and positive. I’ll definitely (miss) the women, the fun, the friendships.”

Now that she will no longer have a business to run, Burdick said she and her husband will hopefully be heading to Jamaica to do development work there.

“That is our plan is to go there and work -- we build houses for extremely poor people,” Burdick said. “We both have a passion for that. We set that aside when I was here because … when you run a business you have to be here. That is our plan, to pursue that again.”

She said in the past they lived in Jamaica with their family and she often went there with medical teams before the Burdicks moved to Prince Albert.

The gym is for sale, but Burdick said many people aren’t interested to buy it because they would need to find a new location to lease. If the gym is not sold, Burdick is looking at donating the equipment.

“With Curves the machines have to be sold to another Curves that is operating or they have to be donated to a charity or destroyed,” Burdick said. “I’m looking to find a home for them at this point. Where I would really like to see them go is the First Nations population doesn’t attend a Caucasian gym and that is a side of this city that needs (them).”

She said as a retired nurse she noticed a lot of First Nations people do not feel comfortable going to a Caucasian gym and donating the equipment to a gym for their culture would be ideal.

“I personally I would like to see this stuff go to that side of the city because there are lots of opportunity for people to go to the gym if they want to if they are white but (not) the First Nations people,” Burdick said.

Anyone interested in the equipment or even buying the business can call 306-764-1600 or email Burdick at curvespa@sasktel.

Organizations: Prince Albert, First Nations

Geographic location: Jamaica

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