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Silverlake breaks ground on $9 million expansion in Erlanger; includes clip ‘n climb, ropes course, more

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Silverlake, a fitness organization with locations in Erlanger and Ft. Mitchell, broke ground today on a $9 million addition to its Erlanger campus.

Erlanger Mayor Tyson Hermes (left) and Silverlake Co-owner Chris Derry talk about the expansion plans for the facility. A waterpark, the focus of a $5 million expansion project in 2008, can be seen in the background (photos by Mark Hansel).

The new 55,000 square foot building will house a variety of entertainment options for children and adults.

“We call the new building Silverlake 4.0 because it is the fourth major offering in our fun and fitness family,” said Silverlake Co-Owner Chris Derry.

In addition to the new building, Silverlake also has full-service fitness clubs in Erlanger and Ft. Mitchell and a water park on its Erlanger campus.

“And like our other expansions, this building is designed to meet the specific needs of our members – namely, to have a 12-month operation with a lot of different options,”Derry said.

Features of the new building will include:

Clip ‘n Climb

The new Silverlake building will feature the largest Clip ‘n Climb in the United States. It will feature Astroball, Dark Tower, Face-to-Face, Red Square, Stairway to Heaven, Twister and Velcro.

Ropes Course

This three-story ropes course will feature two separate ziplines perfect for ages 6-12, who will be able to ascend to comfortable heights without the need of a chaperone. The ropes course can accommodate 50 climbers at one time.

Duckpin Bowling

Duckpin bowling is a variation of standard bowling, featuring smaller balls (about the size of a softball) that are lighter and have no finger holes and pins that are shorter, smaller and lighter.

Trampoline Park

The park will feature a freestyle court, dunk hoops and dodgeball court, and programming with fitness classes, parties and open play.

Café & Play

This full-service bar and grill – featuring fast-casual food and adult beverages – will be open for lunch and dinner. For adults, the bar and grill will include a game room with tabletop shuffleboard, electronic darts and a golf simulator. A sectioned-off area of the bar and grill will cater to toddlers and include water tables, a train table, dress-up area and play kitchen/grocery store for pretend play, all in full view of parents.

Renderings of the expansion project (click to enlarge)

Silverlake 4.0 will also house an expanded Silverlake Academy, which offers preschool, afterschool care and other services, as well as a new multipurpose gym, outdoor playground and four reservable party rooms.

Derry said the new building was designed to provide more options for adults.

“Parents will be able to relax in the bar and grill but still be able to keep an eye on their kids,” he explained.

Erlanger Mayor Tyson Hermes said the Silverlake expansion is a major plus for his city. In addition to more jobs and tax revenue, an expanding Silverlake is another sign of growth for Erlanger.

“Silverlake is an anchor for Erlanger,” he said. “It is one of our most recognizable features. I like what their expansion says about our city.”

Brent Cooper, president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, stressed the importance not just of the business expansion but how it will impact other area growth.

“The jobs are important, of course, but a successful region needs amenities like this,” Cooper said. “What they’re doing with that new building will be something you can’t find anywhere else.”

A more traditional groundbreaking took place before the children, whose parents are members of Silverlake, were given hardhats and shovels.

Tim Geraci executive director for Silverlake, said the new facility has been part of the master plan since 2003 and represents a culmination, as well as a beginning. This year, the Silverlake and Better Bodies families celebrate 25 years in business.

“It’s a beginning because we are moving forward,” Geraci said. “Better Bodies started it off, then it was Silverlake. In 2008, we did our outdoor waterpark and starting today it is our 55,000-square-foot fitness, fun and entertainment building.”

Hermes said Silverlake has been and continues to be a wonderful community partner.

“An integral part of any community is having a place to have fun, to socialize, and to stay fit and Silverlake has provided that for our community for many years,” Hermes said. “You make our city a better place. We’re excited and honored that Silverlake is expanding and increasing their investment in Erlanger.”

Silverlake is a member-only club, however, there are opportunities for non-members to use the facility for birthday parties, non-member swim classes and non-member gymnastics classes.

“When we acquired Silverlake in 2001, we never dreamed it would become what it is today, a social entertainment membership club, where families come for fitness and fun,” Derry said. “From the $2.6 million renovation that was completed in 2005, to the $5 million waterpark opened in 2008, Silverlake has always strived to provide additional member value.”

Derry called the addition of the water park a necessary “leap of faith,” and said getting it financed was a challenge. They were ultimately able to obtain financing because Silverlake is a members-only club.

“Membership has its privileges, because you are getting that much more value,” Derry said. “Your child is a member of a club-based facility that doesn’t have anyone from the outside at the door or the gate. You get that safe place for your children.”

The leap paid off and, while Silverlake doesn’t reveal how many members it has, Derry said it has doubled since the waterpark opened.

The waterpark also allowed Silverlake to provide options for members beyond the winter months that traditionally drive sales for a fitness and swim facility.

“What we needed to do was to increase that and the way we felt we could do it was to build a water park,” Derry said. “That took us to May, June, July and part of August. So now, with this additional expansion, Silverlake becomes a facility that will provide value and options year round.

Construction of the new building has already begun and it is expected to open in the Fall of 2018.

Silverlake is located at 301 Kenton Lands Road in Erlanger. For more information, click here.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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  1. Awesome! Congratulations Chris Derry, and Erlanger!

  2. Paul says:

    Glad this is coming – but I was really hoping for a racquetball court or two.

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