WICHITA, KS -- Genesis Health Clubs recently opened its seventh club in the state of Kansas and its first in Emporia, KS.

Genesis will remodel the 10,000-square-foot space in downtown Emporia formerly known as Walburns Fitness and Wellness and add about 6,000 square feet over the next five or six months, Genesis owner Rodney Steven II says. A cycling studio, locker and steam rooms, and an expanded cardio area and weight room are part of the remodeling plan. Twelve to 15 employees will be added to the club, which officially opened as Genesis on Monday.

Steven bought the club from Kenny Walburn, who started the club in 1979, and his son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Frannie Walburn. The Walburns will retain a minority interest in the property, Steven says. Brian Walburn will serve as the general manager of the club.

“This is a great market to expand in,” Steven says. “The Walburns wanted to really grow the club to the next level to offer Emporia the best in health and fitness.”

With no major fitness club chain in the Emporia area, Genesis Health Clubs’ two main competitors are Emporia Fitness and the Emporia State University Student Recreation Center.

Genesis also has four clubs in the Wichita area plus one each in Salina, KS, and Hutchinson, KS. Steven says he is looking at other markets for further expansion.