LINO LAKES — The recreation center officially has a name and a logo, and a partnership has been established with an area fitness provider. 

The City Council has signed off on the new name, which will be The Rookery Activity Center. The logo, which council also approved, incorporates a great blue heron. 

“A primary key to success of launching the former YMCA facility is to create a brand identity for the new recreation center,” said Public Services Director Rick DeGardner. 

Earlier this month, Marc Morgan, managing partner of GameDay Sports, presented the proposed name of “The Rookery” along with several marketing themes for the recreation center. Based on feedback from the council, GameDay Sports, along with the city’s engineer WSB, developed several logo concepts that were reviewed by the Rec Center Advisory Committee. Council members got their first view of the logos at the work session held before their meeting last week. 

The City Council voted 4-1 on the new name and logo. Council Member Tony Cavegn said although he liked the design of the logo, he could not support the name. “I love the logo. I think it is fantastic,” he said. “I’m not going to vote in favor of this based on the naming. In looking up term ‘rookery’ and ‘rook,’ there are several negative connotations to those terms that I can’t support.” 

The council also unanimously approved a contract with Endurance Fitness to operate the fitness component of The Rookery Activity Center. Endurance Fitness is currently located in Lexington. 

“Endurance Fitness has been in this community for several years. They are well respected and run a great operation, which is one of the primary reasons the city explored the potential for partnership with them,” DeGardner said. “After months of discussion and looking at logistics of everything, we think it would be a great fit. The hope is for a long-term business partnership.” 

Endurance Fitness Co-owner Ron Carlson, of Plymouth, explained that about six years ago his wife organized a petition to try to keep Les Mills fitness programming at the Y, but it was unsuccessful. “I opened up a facility for my wife to be able to keep her Les Mills classes, and that’s how we started.” 

He thanked the city for the opportunity, which his business desperately needed. “The opportunity to join with you guys here and the old Y is a great opportunity for our members,” he said. “With COVID, we have been decimated and were barely hanging in (there) and we probably would have shut down if it wasn’t for this.” 

Per the five-year agreement, Endurance Fitness will operate all the non-aquatic programs such as classes and personal training programs, furnish fitness equipment and fully staff the fitness center with instructors, employees and supervisors. 

Carlson said the timing was perfect, because his company’s lease was up this November, but they have been granted an extension to February.

City Administrator Sarah Cotton explained that per the agreement, Endurance Fitness will be permitted to be in the building by Feb. 1, before the target opening date of April 1. Cotton explained Endurance Fitness will likely be permitted to start moving equipment in around mid-January. 


Managing Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or

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