Longtime FAC employee Michelle Wesson greets guests and takes their temperature as they arrive for their workout.
Editor’s note: A version of this article was published in the 2020 Best of Flagstaff winners magazine Dec. 6.
When Carla Caslin first began working at Flagstaff Athletic Club, she was a fresh-faced college student on track toward a parks and recreation management major with a minor in health promotion.
“I thought, ‘I’ll do my internship and I’ll be on my merry little way,’” she said with a laugh.
Now 28 years later, Caslin is the general manager of FAC, helping owners Holly and Jim Garretson continue the local gym’s nearly 42-year legacy in Flagstaff.
The world looks a lot different than it did when the west side FAC opened in 1979; it doesn’t much resemble the world of 1984, when the east side location welcomed its first customers in 1984, either. With COVID-19, FAC has undergone major changes in daily operations, all with the health of its patrons front and center.
“When we first got shut down in March, we used that as an opportunity to thoroughly deep clean the clubs—we’re talking paper clips and base boards,” Caslin said. “We started top to bottom so when we were able to open back up in May we were able to adhere to, or exceed, the local, state and health department and CDC guidelines.”
Being in the business of health, she added, keeping people safe and well remains the top priority.