Wilmington gym closing its doors as owner recovers from stroke

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A landmark local business is closing its doors after a year that presented more challenges than the pandemic alone.

Nick and Wanda Kentrolis own the Crest Fitness Club in the Lumina Commons Shopping Center off Eastwood Road in Wilmington.

It was a dream come true when they opened the doors in 2002 and after two decades they have made the difficult decision to close them permanently.

“It’s felt great which makes it feel so bad right now that this has to end,” Nick Kentrolis said. “This isn’t something we would have chosen to do if my neurosurgeon hadn’t recommended that I really not be around the stressful environment of work for at least 8 to 12 months. In order for my mind to heal, I need to really rest.”

In February, Nick suffered a stroke after a bacterial infection caused a brain aneurism. Wanda started a GoFundMe to help pay for the medical bills. The community rallied around the couple, donating more than $50,000 and showing a lot of love.

“This is definitely our family,” Wanda Kentrolis said. “We see these people every single solid day so it’s really a hard decision to close.”

The couple looked for someone to buy the gym that would uphold the legacy they created but to no avail. Instead, they secured a new home for their members at O2 Fitness. Wanda says some members have already planned to attend the same location on the same days to keep their family together.

The Kentrolises are lifelong hard workers and the two have always done everything together, which is something that makes the journey ahead a little less scary knowing they’ll have one another to lean on.

“We’ve made this a priority for a long time and now we really need to focus on getting Nick well and then visiting with some family for a little while,” Wanda said.

They likely will not reopen the gym in the future, but it’s not a goodbye to the family they created at The Crest, only a see you around.

“We’re just so grateful that they stepped up and helped us out when we needed it the most,” Wanda said. “I mean, they were amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be around than our members.”

The Kentrolises will permanently close the doors of The Crest Fitness Club on Wednesday at noon.

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