The Ticket Fitness and Wellness Center opened in the Cherokee Shopping Center off Taylor Mill Road in early February. The small workout space features cardio equipment, weight machines and a turfed area for training and classes. And while the inside looks like a typical gym space, the owners share a dream of making it something much greater.

“The reason we opened is to give back to the community, not just Taylor Mill but all youth. We want to give kids a chance to work and succeed and thrive at a high level. It will be more of a community center than a fitness center. We truly care about our clients’ future,” says Kameron Crim, who owns the gym along with Matt and Amy Luken and Nelson Perrin.

Crim met Amy Luken when he was training her two sons who play football, baseball and basketball. Crim, who helped pay his way through college at Northern Kentucky University as a freelance trainer, shared with her his goal of opening his own space one day that would provide a safe and motivational place for kids to train for their athletic endeavors and for life. His own life, he says, was shaped by high school coach Dave Simpson, who used athletic training as a tool to provide support and guidance. Through training, he was taught the value of hard work and perseverance.

Amy, as luck would have it, had a similar dream. After years of dropping off her boys for practices and training, she envisioned a workout space where she and the other parents would be invited to work out alongside their children instead of being forced to the sidelines. When the location became available in the Cherokee Shopping Center, she knew it was the right place to open. Until now, the area hasn’t had a gym or wellness center. She hopes the small size of the facility and the friendliness of the staff will help people overcome any uneasiness they might have with joining a gym and she knew Crim was the right person to partner with.

“Matt and Amy saw the potential in what I was trying to do for the community. They related to me. They saw my vision to not only train the kids but help them become better citizens. We not only want them to be great athletes but great people,” says Crim, who graduated last spring from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in exercise science and is now pursuing his master’s in human nutrition from the University of Cincinnati. “It was always my dream to open my own place. They just let me do it sooner.”

During a self-described rough childhood, Crim says athletics offered opportunities and developed his passion for sports and training. It was his grandmother, however, who provided the inspiration for the business’ name.

He smiles when he talks about her and reveals her portrait tattooed on his right shoulder. During a time when he lived with her as a child, she explained to him how to play Bingo. She told him that once the numbers on your card had been called, you yelled “Bingo,” but you had to have the ticket to win.

It was a conversation that stuck with him not so much for the literal Bingo lesson but as a motivational metaphor. And when it was time to name his new gym, he knew immediately what it should be.

“This can be the ticket to success,” he says.

Crim will train individuals and groups in areas including sport-specific drills, strength and speed development and agility. Additional trainers, including professional Olympic Masters weightlifter Lavetta Tevis, who has competed in the Pan Am Games and the Reebok Crossfit games, and Perrin, who has served as a coach for the Scott High School football teams, will offer a wide range of classes and training services.

“Our biggest difference is we have elite trainers. Everyone has a degree or a high-level certificate. We all have a high level of experience,” says Crim, who has worked as a trainer at other facilities. “One thing you’re going to get is a high level of training that lets you see results.”

The gym is already partnering with local youth organizations for training options but is looking to build other relationships.

Classes will include some workout classics like yoga, Pilates and cardio along with some unique offerings such as POUND, a cardio jam session inspired by the fun of playing the drums, and a glow-in-the-dark dance workout. Boot camps and sand pit workouts will be added this summer.

“Some people have issues with the mirrors and the glass. I think the glow-in-the-dark exercise classes will be great for that,” says Amy Luken. “We’ll have something for everyone. We want this to be the gym you want to go to. We want to make sure everyone has fun while they sweat.”

A Ticket Fitness membership is $20 per month and includes access to the gym anytime during hours and two free classes per month. Cost for additional classes ranges from $8 to $15 each with discounts available on packages. An annual membership is $200.

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