Owner of Great Lakes Athletics and Fitness in Fulton has passion for helping youth
By Steve Yablonski
Q. Why did you decide to start your own business?
A. I have a passion for helping local youth and the community. I currently own King Development Company LLC and King’s Roll Off Services.
Q. Where did the idea come from?
A. I wanted to give kids the opportunity to meet and train with pro/semi-pro athletes, have a chance to grow as individuals, compete at a higher level, earn more college scholarship possibilities and to precipitate the attract-ability of new people and businesses to the area for the benefit of themselves and Oswego County.
Q. Have you had experience before?
A. Not in this field. But owning and running a number of businesses, yes.
Q. How did you manage to secure the needed funds for start-up?
A. Perseverance! Never giving up! I used personal funds.
Q. How much effort did it take to get the business going?
A. It takes an extraordinary amount of time, relentless energy and dedication. Much more intense than other businesses I have started or owned. My other businesses were easy in comparison. It took a lot of research, seeking assistance where I could find it, attempting to find the right location and facilities and much more.
Q. What does the business offer?
A. To my knowledge, we are the largest independently owned sports performance and fitness gym in Oswego County. We offer a full range of workout equipment, sports performance training, personal training, a professional indoor turf facility for all field sports, batting cages and more; even a cheerleading facility.
Q. How is it going right now?
A. It’s been very challenging with memberships and personal training since COVID shut us down for seven months. Since December, our turf facility has been very busy with team usage, sports camps and training. Fulton Fury and Fulton United Soccer have been with us for quite some time. Teams from Phoenix, Central Square, Baldwinsville, Mexico, Cicero North Syracuse, Pulaski, city of Syracuse, Hannibal, Tully, Fulton and more come here.
Q. How many employees do you have?
A. One part-time at present, due to recovering from COVID.
Q. Do you plan on expanding?
A. At this very moment, we are working aggressively toward adding a 75’x135’ gymnasium by September for basketball, volleyball, fitness classes, wrestling, sports training, tournaments, indoor walking and so much more. We’ll be adding one full-time and four part-time jobs to get started. We are willing to do all the work to make this happen. We need the support of the community and local financing to get there.
Q. How have you been able to keep going during the pandemic?
A. Fortunately we have been able to keep going through the use of personal funds and our other businesses’ resources.
Q. What problems (other than COVID-19) have you had to overcome?
A. Getting the word out about our facilities and the opportunities they present for our youth and local communities. Changing peoples’ habits from the way things have been done for years without the resources we provide. We could use some support from local schools and sports community.
Q. Do you offer specials for teams or groups?
A. Yes. We offer discount packages for teams. And we have discounts for parents who wish to train with or just spend time with their kids.
Q. Where are you located?
A. Just outside the city of Fulton at 7 Silk Road, corner of state Route 3 across from Northern ACE Hardware.
Q. Do you have a presence online?
A. Absolutely. People who need more information about the business can visit www.glatf.com.