At the age of 15, Red was a skinny red haired kid who was inspired by his Uncle Harold’s muscles. Red’s dream was to be Mr. America and to own a gym. Red’s dream was spurred on during a conversation with Joe Gold in 1953. Joe Gold (founder of Gold’s Gyms and World Gym International) opened his first gym called “Ajax Gym” in New Orleans in 1953. Joe really seemed to like Red, even though he was a kid at the age of 17. One Saturday over lunch, Joe looked at a magazine with Bill Pearl on the cover and told Red that “You could win Mr. America one day”. From that day, Joe became Red’s mentor.
After Mr. New Orleans, Mr. Audubon Park, Mr. Navy, and several other titles, Red’s dream was realized in 1960.
Red Lerille won the Mr. America title in 1960
On January 13, 1963 Red opened a 4,000 sq. ft. club in this building.
In 1968 Red’s added a health food store run by Boyer Coe.
In 1973 two racquetball courts, 3 indoor tennis courts and a pro shop were added.
Thus we became “Red Lerille’s Health & Racquet Club”.
Racquet sports were very big in the 70’s. By 1978 we had 10 outdoor tennis courts, 8 racquetball courts and 3 indoor tennis courts. The front entrance was moved along side the outdoor tennis courts. A permanent pool and lounge were also constructed.
A junior olympic pool, basketball court, indoor and outdoor jogging tracks,
6 additional outdoor tennis courts, 4 additional racquetball courts, aerobic room
nursery, children’s pool and lots of work-out area were added.
The front entrance was moved to its current location and our 1st “card check desk” emerged.
The late 1980s brought lots of conversions. Racquetball courts were converted to co-ed and women’s work-out areas, a cardio-equipment area and expanded aerobic room.
The 1990s brought the equipment age: treadmills, computerized cardio-equipment, step aerobic, spinning bikes, lots of gym equipment and tons of free weights.
The club takes on a new look with new colors and graphics.
Lots of refurbishing: the pool deck, outdoor track, parking lot, landscaping, pool cabana, nursery, office and the bar.
Early 2000 the construction is finally over. The new group exercise rooms, spinning room, new men’s & women’s locker rooms, additional exercise area, and new lounge are ready.
It’s 2004 and we’re under construction again.
The kid’s pool has been replaced with a mini children’s waterpark including a zero entry pool, lazy river & water slide.
The “Big Slide” is a “Big Hit”
Dodgeball is a huge success and keeps lots of youngsters happy while waiting for the slide this summer.
4th quarter 2004 brings a new pool-side snack bar and a new party room. The Ladies’ locker room gets a complete facelift.
Ground is broken for our next addition & 2005 is filled with lots of construction.
Plans are underway for 2 indoor pools. . . . .
. . . . new group fitness rooms and lots more.
Lots of much needed parking spaces are added.
The Cold Plunge is a huge hit for the runners and others looking for some therapeutic benefit.
Summer of 2006, we are swimming in the indoor pools.
By the end of 2006, we finally started to see an end to the construction. We have lots of new group fitness rooms. Studio A can accomodate our larger classes.
Studio B is perfect for our smaller classes: basic toning, pilates, abs, etc.
The Cycling Studio has 60 bikes and has a beautiful view overlooking the pool.
Studio D’s view, bamboo floors and glass blocks provide a perfect environment for yoga classes.
Kinesis and Pilates equipment rooms are added as an addition to our personal training
A new co-ed gym is added upstairs in 2007.
The family gym is expanded to include cardio equipment.
The stretching area is a nice addition.
A full size boxing ring is added. Former world champion, Chad Broussard is available for personal training.
The lounge is converted to a coffee bar during the day.
The Splash Park is ready in April 2009 and is perfect for the younger kids.
The Front Entrance is expanded in 2010.
The new MIT (maximum intensity training) facility is opened in 2011.
In 2014 we replaced the cycling class bikes with 50 new “Coach by Color” Matrix IC7 bikes.
In 2015 a “Design Your Own” salad bar is added to the Snack Bar.
Due to the overwhelming usage, we have added a very large cold plunge to our indoor pool facility in early 2016. The old cold plunge is converted to a hot plunge.
Thanks to all our members for their patience, cooperation & support.