Universal Training Facility to hold grand opening this weekend
The newest business in San Juan County is holding a grand opening celebration this weekend, February 26 and 27.
The Universal Training Facility is a new 6,000 square foot state-of-the-art workout facility located at 627 East Flour Mill Road in Blanding.
The grand opening this weekend features ten percent off any membership plan, as well as free prizes including t-shirts and raffles.
The Grand Opening is Friday, February 26 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, February 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The opening also includes a pull-up contest with the winner getting a six-month membership.
The Universal Training Facility is operated by Thomas “Wildman” Denny, a professional Mixed Martial Artist with more than 20 years of experience. Denny says he’s looking to expand fitness for the young and old throughout the area.
Denny started training for fights while living in California, where his workout routines caught the eye of fellow gym patrons who started asking him to show them how he worked out.
Eventually, Denny paired up with a friend to open a 2,000 square foot facility in California and grew his clientele to over 100 students.
Afterward, Denny made his way to Colorado and opened some gyms there. In addition to his own professional fighting career, Denny has helped train over 25 champions – members of Team Wildman – who have competed across the globe.
Although Denny has found success training amateur and professional fighters, he’s most excited about bringing fitness and opportunities to Blanding.
“Fitness is something for everyone’s future,” Denny says, “So bringing it out here and getting kids out of sipping on Mountain Dew and playing on cell phones and not really having any aspirations, to get them out here and give them something to look forward to.
“Teaching them about being healthy and showing them the future can be a little bit different.”
Denny’s business partner Sterling Stevens has seen changes in his own life after working out with Denny. Steven’s battle with Parkinson’s disease previously required him to use a walker or cane to get around.
Denny says since training with Team Wildman, Stevens has gained strength and even competed in a Jujutsu tournament.
“He’s a fighter in a whole different realm,” Denny says of Stevens. “That guy has to fight every day of his life. He’s a huge inspiration to a lot of us.”
Denny says his training with Stevens inspired him to expand the offerings of the gym. Classes are available for children, seniors, and people suffering from illnesses.
Other training options include getting fit without getting hit classes, fitness for the future for those who have never worked out before, and others.
Stevens also introduced Denny to Blanding when the two traveled to southeast Utah for a visit more than a year ago.
“I came down one weekend and fell in love with it,” Denny said.
Denny did some research and decided his next gym would be in Blanding. Cement was poured in February of last year, with the grand opening now just one year later.
Denny hopes to grow the operation in the coming decades. There is talk of a swimming pool in near term and future long-range plans could include an auditorium, paintball, and BMX courses, as well as a shooting range.
For now, the new 6,000 square foot Universal Training Facility offers mat space, a fighting ring, an 80-foot turf area, sleds, ropes, and weights, along with other amenities. Denny is excited to offer fitness training for anyone interested.
“We’re not just MMA or a fight gym,” he said. “We are a gym for the future.”