It was an exciting and meaningful grand opening for the longest running health club in New England on Thursday.
A devastating fire in March 2017 leveled Cedardale Health and Fitness in Haverhill, Massachusetts. But on Thursday, members returned to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.
“It feels great to have our members back home where they belong,” said one of the owner’s Carolyn Veasey Jackson.
The doors are open, the music is bumping, and the energy is back at the Boston Road health club.
“Last night, I was like, ‘can I sleep, can I sleep,’” said Julie Belmer Spencer who lives in Groveland, Massachusetts.
“It’s open again, our second home is open again,” said Leo Byron of Boxford, Massachusetts.
“We’re just thrilled, it’s so exciting, it’s been a long road,” Veasey said.
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The journey started in 1971 when Ed and Zoey Veasey opened the club.
Over the last half a century it’s become an area landmark - the longest running health club in all of New England, possibly the entire country.
“I really don’t remember my life without Cedardale and I think that’s the same for a lot of people,” she said.
That’s why when the club went up in flames in March 2017, the community was crushed.
“Someone called me and said, ‘the health club is burning down,’ I said, ‘No way, can’t happen,’” recalled Belmer Spencer. “It was devastating.”
“It was tough,” Veasey said. “A lot of our members stood outside and watched the building burn and it was devastating for them as well.”
The Veasey family promised to rebuild and they did.
Inside the 110,000 square foot, multi-million dollar facility there are basketball courts, tennis courts, a state-of-the art weight training area, an indoor track, spin studios, outdoor pools, indoor pools, a court-side café, and so much more.
“This great family said, ‘We’re coming back bigger and better than ever,’ and they have,” Byron said.
It’s easy to understand why Thursday was such a special day, not just for the Veasey’s, but for nearly 4,000 people who call the club their second home.
“This is so exciting, it was great, great, we waited a long time,” said Trish Ryan.