ELKO – From one generation to another, a family business Elko passes the command. Kierra Watson is now the CEO of Empower Fitness, owned by parents Jeff and Mindy Watson.
“It (fitness) has been my whole life,” Kierra said. “My parents started training themselves in 2002. Since then, I’ve been in this Kids’ Club. In 2007 my parents bought the gym and I lived here.
Growing up, she never really thought about running the business. In fact, she attended college at Utah State University with other plans, graduating in 2021.
“I want to go to college and do my own thing,” she said. “I graduated with an associate’s degree in general studies with a business certificate. Then my father offered me the job as soon as I graduated. It kind of worked.
Kierra now manages Elko and Spring Creek Gyms.
“From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I’m constantly on the phone, answering customer questions, talking to employees, dealing with social media. I plan events now. I manage all the inventory and retail, wholesale, everything right now.
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“It was a challenge, of course, but I like it a lot.”
Kierra says she really likes the people she works with.
“I worked at a restaurant when I lived in Logan and worked 10-hour shifts,” she said. “At the end of this shift, I would just be gutted. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I didn’t want to do anything. But, 10 am here is like child’s play. I do what I love. I can talk to tons of people all the time. I love health and fitness.
Along with coming from a family of fitness enthusiasts, Kierra also played soccer while growing up and studied Brazilian jujitsu for six years.
“I dedicated my childhood to football.”
Kierra recently launched a series of Empower workshops.
“My vision is that I will have a different focus for each workshop,” she said. “Our first Empower workshop was an ‘Empower Women’ workshop.”
She also plans a workshop for young people, like when her father taught teenagers how to properly bench, deadlift and squat.
“It was phenomenal to see these kids – barely lifting anything due to poor form – only to get stronger by doing the correct form.”
Kierra also plans workshops on women’s weightlifting, meditation, nutrition, and supplements.
People can find out about the workshops via Facebook, flyers posted at gyms, and a newsletter that Kierra publishes weekly.
“We will eventually have a link on our website,” she said.
“For spring break, we have Little Yogis and Twinkletoes programs. This is the second or third year we’ve been doing this.
Kierra said she thinks the gym’s friendly and inviting atmosphere keeps people coming back.
“Our facility has been voted the cleanest gym in Elko for several years,” she said. “We want everyone to feel like family because we care. My dad cares more than anyone I’ve ever met. He loves everyone who walks through that door.
Besides fitness, the establishment also offers tanning booths and a massage therapist.
“We have a 19K coming up,” Kierra said. “It’s the Empower to Empower Run. We start at Spring Creek and end at Elko via E Mountain.
The event is scheduled for May 21. It’s free for members and $25 for non-members.
“Our members care about each other, even if they don’t know each other,” Kierra said. “If someone is struggling, there is always another member rushing in to help a member.”
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Elko responds to coronavirus