Asylum Gym

Tawny and Mike McVay relocated The Asylum gym in November to 1711 Sixth Ave. N.

Tawny and Mike McVay had always wanted their business to outgrow their garage, but they never expected it would happen so fast.

The Billings personal trainers relocated The Asylum gym at the end of October to a renovated commercial space at 1711 Sixth Ave. N. suite 1.

The pair launched the business last fall behind their home, where parking, space and hours were limited. Still, people liked the high-intensity workout classes with free weights and other equipment used in parkour-style workouts, Tawny said.

The new space is about 5,400 square feet, about five times larger than their previous spot. The McVays invested about $10,000 in the expansion and $50,000 total to start the business, with financing from First Interstate Bank.

Asylum offers “high-intensity” workouts based on climbing, jumping, rope work and other exercises. Both McVays are personal trainers, and Mike taught self-defense courses in the Marine Corps.

The gym also has a new trainer, Scott Brady, who has a third-degree black belt in aikido. The gym has fitness and self-defense classes, which are based on real-life situations, Tawny said.

Cost is $175 a month for unlimited classes or $99 a month for three classes per week. Asylum is holding a grand re-opening Dec. 17.

Hours are 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. The phone number is 406-702-1990.

First Interstate renovations

The law firm Holland & Hart announced last week it has completed a six-month renovation of its offices in the First Interstate Center in downtown Billings.

The 1,500-square-foot, meeting-space remodel was completed on the 12th and 15th floors, adding a contemporary design with light wood, soft cream and blue accent colors, according to a news release from the firm.

The space includes a new steam fireplace on the 15th floor, seven total conference rooms, five with video conferencing and new common space.

Holland & Hart did not disclose the cost.

The 15th floor main conference room houses an 18-person table with bench space for another 10 people, featuring panoramic views of the Billings skyline, according to Holland & Hart.

The general contractor for the job was Billings-based Hardy Construction. Sub-contractors who worked on the space include Yellowstone Electric, Northwest Glass, NorPac, Star Service Neal Drywall, Enterprise Communication and 360 Office.

Holland & Hart has operated in Billings for 36 years. The firm has 500 lawyers in 15 offices in Mountain West state and Washington, D.C.

Mall shopping strong

About two-thirds of properties owned by Starwood Retail Partners, which owns Rimrock Mall, performed better or stayed pat with last year during the first full week of holiday shopping, the Chicago-based company announced last week.

In its weekly holiday season report, Starwood officials noted that sales in its Western region, which include Billings, ranged from flat to an 8 percent increase.

The reports this year are the first of their kind for Starwood, which owns 30 malls and shopping centers in 16 states. The company does not break down numbers for individual properties.

CEO Scott Wolstein said in a written statement that online retailers are extending promotions through the months, which is driving in-store traffic.

“Our centers are reporting that promotions continue to drive the in-store experience as well. Shoppers are well-trained to look for value and are taking a wait-and-see attitude on larger purchases,” he said.

Cosmetics, fragrances, athletics shoes and boots were strong sellers through the week in all properties, according to Starwood.

Changes in Glendive

Dawson County’s top business-recruitment agency has a new leader.

Craig J. Anderson accepted the position of interim executive director of the Dawson County Economic Development Council, beginning Dec. 1. The former Dawson County sheriff has been chairman of the economic-development group for the past two years.

Anderson is replacing Cathy Kirkpatrick, who is remaining with the agency through the end of this month to ease the transition. She will also help with bookkeeping for Dawson Economic Development for the next six months.

“Dawson County is positioned for future growth and development as a hub of activity for tourism, agriculture, business development and expansion,” Anderson said a written statement.

He added that he plans to work on the Makoshika Park potable water project and boost relationship with city, county and state leaders.

Haikus from the valley

Coal companies should

threaten move to Mexico.

Worked for Carrier.

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