Cashton graduates expanding passion for gymnastics
March 20, 2019
Courtesy of the Sparta Herald
By PAT MULVANEY
The former Colonial Bowling & Banquet Center is losing the bowling aspect of the old business but along with the banquet service, it will still be a sports venue. Only that sport will be gymnastics.
AMKM Gymnastics of rural Bangor purchased the building and will be replacing the lanes with floor mats, balance beams, vaulting horses, uneven bars and every other kind of gymnastics equipment.
AMKM is the acronym for the four sisters who currently run the business in a pole building on Hwy. 33 between Portland and Middle Ridge. They are Amanda Langrehr, Meghan Arentz, Kelsey Giraud and Molly Arentz.
Amanda, Meghan and Kelsey are Cashton High School graduates and athletes in the schools gymnastics program, while Molly graduated from Bangor High School and was in its program.
The family bought the gymnastics equipment from Brookwood after it canceled its program and placed it in a newly constructed pole building built as a gym on the dairy farm owned by their parents, Terry and Susan Arentz. They started offering lessons in 2005.
According to Amanda, they had been looking to expand the business for the last 3-4 years and were considering places in West Salem, La Crosse and Sparta, when the Colonial caught their eye.
The building, which had been sitting vacant since May 2017, fit their needs. It had plenty of room and was centrally located so the business could draw new clients from the Tomah, Norwalk, Camp Douglas and Cataract areas to add to the 55-65 athletes they typically train.
They put in an offer on Jan. 22 and closed on the property Feb. 28.
“It was a really quick turnover,” said Amanda. “We’d been kind of planning on it so we knew what we wanted to do.”
Their hoping to have the gym up and running by this August but the other part of the business will take a little longer.
The building’s bar and banquet hall will remain, although it will undergo a makeover to update and modernize it.
“We’re looking at building a premier event center where we can host everything from conferences and workshops to birthday parties and weddings, you name it,” said Amanda.
The name for that side of the business will be The Avenue Events & Venue, and will offer full-service event planning along with hosting the affairs.
That’s where the Arentz brothers Tyler and Alex come in. According to Amanda, the Arentzes are very family oriented and they all bring their own talents to the table. She said her siblings have experience in catering, cake making and photography, all of which will enhance the banquet side of the business.
And most of the siblings bring along spouses who will also will help out the business, including Nathan Langrehr, Nick Giraud, Amanda Arentz and Kyle Peters, Molly’s fiancé.
Plans are to also host regular events at The Avenue, including occasional comedy acts and trivia nights. Amanda said they hope to start taking event bookings no later than Jan. 2020.
Those wishing more information on AMKM Gymnastics can call at (608) 386-7846 or email [email protected] You also can check out their Facebook page.