Pilates studio adds to Willits surge | AspenTimes.com

Pilates studio adds to Willits surge

Scott Condon/The Aspen Times

An 8-year-old Pilates studio is the latest business attracted to the booming Willits Town Center section of Basalt.

Studio 360 relocated to the Starbucks building at Willits in October and is celebrating with a grand reopening today. It was technically already located in Willits, in a small space above the Willits General Store, but owner Robin Beck wanted a larger space closer to the core of the commercial area.

The studio doubled in size by moving into a space that is 1,000 square feet. Beck originally opened in Willits because she liked the prospects of the area with the opening of Whole Foods Market. That project was delayed when the original developer ran into financing problems during the recession. The grocery store finally opened in August 2012 and sparked a boom at Willits' commercial area. Bristlecone Mountain Sports moved to the area, as did Basalt Bike and Ski, among other businesses.

"It's a nice, upbeat environment," Beck said, adding that the central location in the valley helps Studio 360 attract and retain customers. "We get clients from upvalley and downvalley."

Beck said the studio weathered the recession reasonably well and now is expanding its customer base again. The studio gets excellent word-of-mouth referrals from existing clientele to drive the growth, she said.

"We've developed a consistent clientele that sees the benefits of Pilates," Beck said.

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Pilates is a total-body conditioning system aimed at helping mind, body and spirit. It strengthens and tones the body, improves posture and flexibility, enhances balance and coordination, increases stamina and sharpens the mind, according to Studio 360's website.

"What most people think about is core strength. It's so much more than that," Beck said.

It's appropriate for anyone — from those who want to complement their workout routines to people rehabilitating from injuries, Beck said. The studio accommodates both devotees and newbies to Pilates.

The studio offers both private instruction and public classes. Moving to the larger space allowed hiring more instructors and adding classes. One of the instructors, Margaret Hjerlaid, has been with the studio since soon after its opening and has brought the discipline of ortho-bionomy to Studio 360. That body therapy is used to correct postural and structural imbalances that cause chronic stress, pain and injuries. Hjerlaid said it is a great adjunct to Pilates.

The public is invited to the studio's grand reopening from 5 to 7 p.m. today at 723 E. Valley Road, Suite 203, directly above Starbucks. It will include food and drinks, drawings for free classes and instruction at the studio and an introduction to the instructors. The event is being held in conjunction with Illuminating Wellness, an adjacent business with health coaches.