AL!VE expansion adds fitness center, children’s recreation area and conference space

AL!VE, the experience-based, destination health park in Charlotte, Mich., has expanded its facilities, programming and hours; increasing the services and experiences offered to the mid-Michigan community.

The 20,000-square-foot expansion opened Monday, Dec. 10 and it took approximately 10 months to complete. Construction began in March 2012 and 90 percent was completed using vendors and labor within a 50 mile radius of AL!VE.

“AL!VE is very much a community facility in all aspects,” said Matt Rush, FACHE, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital president and CEO. “It was essentially built by the local community for the local community. It has a unique approach to positively impacting the health and vitality of the region, and it would not have been possible without the support of hundreds of local businesses, individuals and organizations. We are proud of the collaboration and the success it is already seeing.”

AL!VE: Your Community Well-Being Place was opened by Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital in November 2011. Since then, local residents from more than 65 ZIP codes have walked through AL!VE’s doors more than 70,000 times. Rehabilitation services and mammography screenings have increased by 12 percent, and the indoor walking path averages 200 walkers a day, especially during the fall and winter months. The HGB Wellness Center added nearly 350 members since services and activities expanded with the opening of AL!VE.

AL!VE is open to all mid-Michigan residents with no entry fees or membership requirements. It includes Nourish, a healthy eating café, Journey, a women’s health center, Empower, rehabilitation services, Bridge, a transitional workout space, Relish, a demonstration teaching kitchen, Fuse, spa services, and Soar, a multi-purpose gym.

More than 900 mid-Michigan residents took the opportunity the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 9, to view the newest features, which include an expanded indoor walking path, an indoor tree house-like play structure, and a formal board room available for public rental.

The opening of the expansion adds:

  • Move, offering state-of-the-art fitness equipment and facilities, including Indulge, men's and women's locker rooms featuring dry saunas. The fitness center was formerly the HGB Wellness Center located at 123 Lansing Road. Membership opportunities are available at Move, but it is not a requirement. AL!VE guests can  purchase a day pass to use Move any time. New members, who join before Dec. 31, lock in the current membership rate until Jan. 1, 2014. Call 517-543-9575 for more information.
  • Grow, the recreation and development area for children ages six months to 12 years, offers indoor and outdoor play structures, including a multi-story indoor tree house, plus arts, crafts, interactive gaming systems, computers and a designated learning center. The cost is $4 to drop off your child 3 years and older for a maximum of 90 minutes. Children six months to two years require reservations and can be dropped off for a maximum of 60 minutes. Parents must remain on-site while their children are in Grow. Call 517-541-5803 for reservations or information.
  • Gather is conference space featuring its own separate entrance, a board room and two additional meeting rooms, plus a breakout area with a place for catering. These spaces will be available for rent by the public. Call 517-541-5812 for more information or to schedule an event.
  • Explore, the indoor walking path, which nearly doubles in size from 1/16 of a mile to 1/9 of a mile.


“The additional spaces have allowed us to increase programming so there is literally something for everyone,” said Patrick Sustrich, AL!VE executive director. “We offer cooking demonstration classes, group exercise classes, support groups and clubs, and special education events and presentations throughout the year for all ages.”

There are no entry fees for AL!VE, and there are several free activities, including Explore, the indoor walking path, Ascend, the rock-climbing wall (available during open climb times), tetherball, open-shoot basketball, a monthly book club, a monthly women’s tea, and support groups for Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes. In addition, there are multiple programs for a nominal fee. Family programming has included area partners like Impression 5 Science Center and Fenner Nature Center.

AL!VE is located at 800 W. Lawrence Ave., in Charlotte, Mich. It is open 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit for information about the expansion, the hours of Grow and Nourish, as well as details about programming and events.