In the coming weeks, Robert Hill and John McConnell hope to begin transforming the former Ziggy’s building materials store, a 70,000-square-foot structure in Billings’ West End, into a sports training facility and events center with something for everybody.
Their vision includes year-round workout facilities for both serious athletes and everyday folks seeking workout, MMA fight skills, martial arts classes, yoga, baseball, softball and soccer workouts on artificial turf — with even room in the building’s warehouse for side-by-side roller derby practices.
The operation, which the two plan to open after Jan. 1, will be called the High Octane Training Center.
“Our programs,” the two say in their mission statement, “will unlock the athlete’s true physical potential while reducing the chance of injury. Our programs will lead you to the results that will revolutionize your game to the next level!”
Ziggy’s closed after a liquidation sale in the summer of 2016. Hill, an athlete, coach and trainer, said building owner Jack Ziegler is leasing the building to High Octane.
Constructed in 1997, the former building materials and hardware store sits on about six acres at 1760 Monad Road.
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On a tour of the building Friday, the two men said that people studying construction of an aquatic center or other facility in or near Billings could find a home at the site, since the former store could be extended up to about 100 feet across a parking lot to accommodate even more uses than the two already envision.
The men say they’re eyeing American Ninja-style training as well as kickboxing and other sports to be held in the former warehouse, together with year-round opportunities for traditional sports including softball, baseball and soccer there, too, with artificial turf and netting provided to help them train year-round.
Hill thinks the facility could also be used as an events center, possibly including concerts, parties and reunions.
“It’ll be a go-to place,” he predicted. “We want to hold community events. Any group that wants to help make this happen” is invited to contact him at 406-690-7288.
“Any business that wants to help — we’ll have sponsorship opportunities,” he said. “I don’t want this to be known as my place. We may be in Phase 1 of planning now, but we’ve got Phase 2, 3 and 4 in mind, too.”