|Volume 15, Issue 5||
Sunset Athletic Club celebrates 40 years of fitness and fun
Carleen Prentice, long-time General Manager notes, “While we are grateful for the club’s achievements, we are most proud of the exceptional people we meet here. It’s been awesome to watch so many of them grow up while enjoying our programs and facilities—then returning with spouses or families to make new friends, and share their love of our fitness community. Our members are a special family—a group we’re privileged to host. Our staff continues to be our most important asset. They are what makes this place special.”
Locally owned and independently operated, Sunset Athletic Club, or “SAC,” began as Cornell Court Club in 1977, as a racquetball and fitness center at 13939 NW Cornell Road in Cedar Mill. Owner Chuck Richards, a former Olympic athlete, set out to create a community center, “a place where families and friends could meet and share fitness together.”
The next year four indoor and two outdoor tennis courts were opened, along with the outdoor pool. The club built its reputation in the local sports and fitness communities for two decades. In 1995, a setback occurred when a fire closed parts of the club for weeks. The staff soon had the damage repaired and programs resumed.
|Founder Chuck Richards chats with members at the banquet for those who joined during the first years of the club.|
SAC experienced a huge expansion that began in 2002 with an extensive FitCenter upgrade. With the patience of their members, and a ton of hard work, they successfully worked through three more expansion phases over the next five years that tripled the size of the club. It’s now the second largest Athletic Club in Oregon. Their nod to the “green building” ethic earned them a feature article in Inc. magazine, (Green is the New Black, June, 2005).
The facilities now include: Indoor Aquatics Center with three large pools (lap, exercise, therapy), Jacuzzi, steam and sauna rooms; outdoor heated pool and splash-play pad (seasonal); gym with two full basketball courts, elevated track and climbing wall; bistro for meals and snacks; FitCenter with extensive equipment; large Cardio Center theater; on-site licensed physical therapy; Kids Korner child care; plus extra amenities like locker rooms, pro shop and banquet/meeting facilities.
The club is an epicenter for racquet sports, hosting multiple local and national tournaments each year on their seven indoor (and two outdoor) tennis courts, and nine racquetball courts (two also convert to squash). SAC is also a magnet for local kids, thanks to decades of summer and Spring-Break camps—and the unique SAC Clubhouse, a separate building dedicated to kids programs, activities and parties.
True to its “community-centered identity,” Sunset High School racquetball and tennis competitors, as well as local athletes from other sports, train at the club. The SAC Attack swim team fields 200 kids every year in the Metro Swim League. Plus, the club looks for ways to help the community directly, including: sponsoring the Oregon Sports Academy and it’s many programs to help young athletes; supporting the Oregon Track Club Masters (ages 40+); helping to sponsor local school and sports organizations; and contributing used equipment to charities.
Chuck, Carleen and the staff at Sunset Athletic Club are looking forward to serving their Cedar Mill community for years to come.
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PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291