Measuring in at a massive 450,000 square feet, The St. James, opening on Sept. 15, has it all. Sports programming for all ages, a spa and rejuvenation center, an indoor water park, a full-service restaurant and a comprehensive health care center, The St. James offers anything and everything a sports aficionado can even think of wanting or needing—all under one roof.
Co-founders Kendrick Ashton and Craig Dixon, D.C. area natives, wanted to use their expertise in sports and fitness to bring something special to the region. With years of extensive demographic research, The St. James was born.
The complex’s name is a testament to its self-proclaimed excellence and authority in the sporting and fitness industry.
“The St. James is a reference to the court of St. James, which was the center of the British monarchy for many centuries and during a time when England was kind of the epicenter of the world; so the St. James literally was the center of the universe,” says Ken Tyler, director of athletics. “The co-founders believe that The St. James is timeless, classic [and has a] certain level of luxury and dignity associated with it, and it can be transferable and applicable in lots of different ways.”
While many may presume The St. James to be just another high-end fitness complex, the center is looked at and marketed as the “center of the universe” in every community that it resides in, offering best-in-class facilities, programming and instruction to anyone that walks through its doors.
The St. James offers camps and clinics that cater to all skill levels in addition to private coaching sessions, developmental programs and competitive or recreational leagues, all of which are available for nearly 30 different sports.
On top of a massive selection of sports, The St. James has already welcomed an array of professional athletes to lead programming.
“On our staff already, we have Olympic gold medalists, World Cup participants, NCAA champions, as well as some of the leaders in the club sport area in this region,” says Tyler.
Staff members are trained and certified to meet certain criteria on top of being trained in what Tyler calls the “St. James Way,” a combination of personalized training and premium hospitality.
For Tyler and other employees, it’s more than just a dedication to fitness that separates The St. James from other high-end fitness complexes—it’s the belief that community activism can be accomplished through sports and fitness.
“I will also say that Kendrick and Craig, myself and our general manager, Rob Kram, we are committed to community engagement and providing opportunities through sports and fun and active entertainment to lift people up and bring them together,” says Tyler.
In fact, just weeks ago, Ashton, a graduate of Archbishop Carroll High School in D.C., gave each graduating senior a free membership to The St. James.
Actions like these set The St. James apart from other sporting complexes, proving that The St. James intends to shape much more than just the physical well-being of its members—it intends to shape the community as a whole.
“I really believe all the employees of The St. James believe in this transformative project, and what I tell people is that it’s much more than a building, it’s much more than a complex; it is a concept and it is a way of life. And I believe in a very short period of time, it’s going to transform this entire region, and we are so excited to be in on the ground floor of it,” says Tyler. // thestjames.co