Downtown St. Paul flexes its muscles during pandemic

16 Mar 2021


Kris Nelson is feeling optimistic. The doors to his new skyway-level gym, D1 Training, opened at the Treasure Island Center on St. Paul’s Wabasha Street — a former Macy’s department store building — on Jan. 4, the first day that the state’s pandemic-era lockdowns lifted for group workouts.

Customers have come in from across the metro to shake off their blahs or ready their kids for summer leagues using the same laser-targeted performance-measuring tech employed by the National Football League. Nelson is catering to clients ages 7 to 65-plus.

“Week after week, we’re seeing a lot of new faces in the door,” said Nelson, whose gym has a retractable wall that opens to a football-field-length indoor training turf he shares with Ben Utecht’s Conquer Ninja Gym. Utecht, a former Super Bowl Champion with the Indianapolis Colts, expects to open his obstacle course-style training facility the weekend of April 17, hand-in-hand with Finish Line Wellness, an integrated health provider that offers chiropractic and massage care.

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