Rodney Steven did not let the disappointment from the defeat of a proposed property tax break bill get in the way of growing his company.
Last week, Steven's Wichita, KS-based Genesis Health Clubs announced it acquired both of the Ozark Fitness Centers in Springfield, MO. Steven had been working on the deal for several months with Ozark Fitness owner Dan Martin.
"I am proud and excited to announce that the sale is official, and the high quality of service and programs that have been a part of Ozark Fitness will continue and will thrive to a new level," Steven said in a statement. "We want to commend the high level of service that Dan has provided. He and Ozark Fitness have been warriors for the health and fitness industry for years, and we are looking forward to working with him to continue and expand on his fitness legacy."
Last November, Genesis Health Clubs crossed the border into Missouri for the first time when it acquired the St. Joseph (MO) Tennis and Swim Club. The rest of the 15 Genesis Health Clubs are in Kansas, including five in Wichita. Steven told the Wichita Eagle that more expansion could be on the horizon, particularly in the Midwest.
Earlier this month, the property tax bill that Steven championed was soundly defeated in the Kansas House of Representatives. The bill would have given a property tax break for for-profit clubs in Kansas, some of which have argued their nonprofit competition—mainly YMCAs—have an unfair advantage because of their tax-exempt status.
Last week, Missouri lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Jay Nixon to sign that will provide sales tax breaks for fitness centers, a move Steven told Club Industry was a "great initiative by the state to promote healthier lifestyles."