Great Shapes women’s gym for sale, owner to retire

By Emily Cooper, Staff Reporter

Great Shapes has been meeting the workout needs of women in Carbondale for 35 years; the locally-owned gym is now up for sale as Cathy Turner, the gym’s owner, prepares to retire. 

“When you own a business, you’re usually tied down to that business,” Turner said. “It’s time to spend more time on myself.”

Turner has owned and operated the gym as a women’s only gym since 1984.


“Women empower each other; there is no intimidation about men being in the gym,” Turner said. “It makes it more comfortable for women to workout and relax.”

Beth Malmquist, a member of the gym, said she began coming to Great Shapes six years ago.

“I really liked the location,” Malmquist said. “It was easy for me to get here.”

She said she has looked at Gold’s Gym and recently found out the SIU Rec Center is opened to community members.

“Gold’s is a larger gym and obviously a mixed community,” Malmquist said. “I really like the classes here; I like the camaraderie of the class interaction.”

Brandi Gullett said she has been coming to the gym for the past 10 years; before that she was a member for five years prior to having children.

“After having kids, I was trying to get some ‘me’ time and get back in shape, find myself again,” Gullett said.


As far as new blood, Gullett said someone new would take over with new ideas. She wouldn’t want it to change much.

“Ideally, I would hope this gym stays the same or gets better,” Gullett said.

Turner said her ideal goal would be to keep it going the same because the gym has a lot of loyal, longtime members who love it the way it is.

“They don’t want me to leave, but I have to have a life outside of the gym,” she said.

Malmquist said she hopes someone is willing to buy Great Shapes by the time Turner is ready to retire.

“It’s nice to have this resource here and I just hope someone will decide to buy it,” she said. “It has really added to my experience in Carbondale so far.”

Turner said she is eager to retire after 35 years, and as of now, her plans are to retire by the end of this year.

“The business is for sale,” she said. “It would be great for a woman that is very passionate about women’s health and fitness. It is just really good business and easy to run. It would just be awesome if we could find somebody that could step in. I’m looking for young blood that can still cater to the longtime members that we have.”

Staff reporter Emily Cooper can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ECooper212.

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