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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver Elite Gymnastics Academy opening gym at Port of Camas-Washougal

Third facility will help address long waiting list

By Doug Flanagan, Camas-Washougal Post-Record
Published: April 6, 2024, 6:08am

WASHOUGAL — Camas-based Vancouver Elite Gymnastics Academy is turning 20 later this year. To celebrate, the gym is giving students and families a gift — a long-awaited third facility.

VEGA has leased a 9,900-square-foot suite at the Port of Camas-Washougal industrial park. The academy will use the space for team gymnastics training, according to Candace Miller, founder and general manager.

“We’re calling it the ‘team training gym,’ ” Miller said. “Everybody’s super excited about this next move. It’s going to be great for the kids, and it’s going to be great for the families.”

VEGA hopes to open the new gymnasium in June.

“The biggest challenge for us right now is coming up with the best floor plan for all of the equipment,” she said. “We do have some equipment ordered already, and it’ll start arriving in a week or two.”

VEGA currently provides gymnastics, dance and preschool classes to more than 1,000 children at two Camas locations: A gymnastics and preschool facility on 10th Avenue, also known as the Armory, and a performing arts studio on Northeast Third Avenue.

Moving team training to the port location will benefit the academy’s recreational gymnastics program, which currently serves about 630 students and has “a couple hundred more on the waitlist,” according to Miller.

“To be honest, on the gymnastics side of things, we’ve been space-constrained,” she said. “Now there’ll be more space for all those kids. … We’re giving the team families an improved space, and we’re giving all the rec families the opportunity to actually enroll and get off those waitlists and have more space to move around the gyms.”

Miller said VEGA leaders had been “looking on and off for the past 10 years” to expand, but didn’t find the right fit until they came across the industrial park location.

The port suite features 24-foot ceilings, vault runway space and three large bay doors.

“It’s gorgeous. It’s just what we need,” Miller said. “Our requirements for space are very unique. We needed a ceiling for the higher equipment, such as the men’s rings. We needed a flex space — not commercial retail — that was big and open and very level. The rec program is really well suited for the Armory, and this new space is great for our teams.”

“The good thing about VEGA is that they will help to boost synergies with other tenants,” port Business Development Director Derek Jaeger said at the commission’s March 20 meeting. “Parents will come in and drop off their kids for the program, then maybe hang out at 54-40 Brewing or Recluse Brew Works.”

On the web

For more information, visit vegagym.com.