Battle Mountain graduates open new gym in Eagle

Daniel Ortiz and Abakar Soulemane, founders of Legacy Athletic Club.
Carolyn Paletta/Vail Daily

A new gym founded by two Battle Mountain High School graduates opened in Eagle on Dec. 26, featuring three workout spaces, a diverse range of equipment and soon to offer 24-hour services and personal trainers.

Legacy Athletic Club was founded by Daniel Ortiz and Abakar Soulemane, both of whom graduated from Battle Mountain in 2014. The two returned to the valley after graduating from college and reconnected at local recreation centers, where they became regular workout partners.

Ortiz said that he felt there was a need in the community for a gym that catered to people on working schedules and offered equipment that he couldn’t find at existing facilities. Working out has been a central part of Ortiz’s life for the past six years, but he said that the limited schedules of the recreation centers made it difficult for he and Soulemane to fit in exercises around their jobs.

“We work full-time, so the problem with the Gypsum Rec Center or the Avon Rec Center is that they close at nine, so it doesn’t really work for working-class people,” Ortiz said.

Some of the more uncommon equipment that they invested in includes a tricep pushdown machine, a rotating lateral pulldown, a hip thrust machine and a T-bar row machine.
Carolyn Paletta/Vail Daily

Ortiz approached Soulemane with the idea for a gym that offered greater schedule flexibility, a less crowded workout experience and diverse equipment options — he described it as “giving our community the gym we’ve always wanted to train in.” The two became business partners, financing the venture through private loans and personal investments, and Legacy Athletic Club went from idea to opening in just six months.

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The current opening is a soft-launch period in which the gym is open from 4 a.m. to midnight. It will become a 24-hour establishment starting in February and begin offering personal trainers in the spring, but Ortiz said that the excitement around the gym motivated them to open months earlier than planned.

“Our original plan was to have all the equipment here by March and open in March or April, but everybody wanted something different, something new, so we decided to open up early,” Ortiz said.

The gym is located on the same strip as The Back Bowl and Casa Mexico, taking over a space that Ortiz said has been left vacant for years by a former karate studio. They transformed the interior by painting the walls black, padding the floors and adding televisions above the mirrored walls. Large windows facing the mountains on the west side of the gym light the space during the day.

The gym has already gained a deadlift station based on requests.
Carolyn Paletta/Vail Daily

Some of the more uncommon equipment that they invested in includes a tricep pushdown machine, a rotating lateral pulldown, a hip thrust machine and a T-bar row machine. Soulemane said that they are listening to customers about what kinds of equipment they want to see in the space, and have already added a deadlift station based on requests.

“People have seen all the equipment around the valley, so we decided to get something different,” Soulemane said.

In addition to the primary equipment room, Legacy Athletic Club has a separate weight room and bench press area with two sets of dumbbells for each weight, going up to 150 pounds. Since the focus of the gym is on accessibility, Soulemane said that they are offering two of the most used items — such as treadmills, cable machines, bench presses and dumbbells — to help prevent overlap in use.

“That was a big deal,” Ortiz said. “If I go to use the 25s, somebody else can’t use it, so it would just take more time at the other gyms. We are doubling to keep things available.”

A separate weight room includes two sets of dumbbells for each weight, going up to 150 pounds.
Carolyn Paletta/Vail Daily

A third room houses yoga mats, medicine balls and bungees for stretching, abdominal workouts and other small-space exercises.

The gym opened on Dec. 26, and Ortiz and Soulemane said that it has been so well-received that they are already looking toward expanding into a larger space if the opportunity presents itself.

“Our goal now is to eventually move into a warehouse,” Ortiz said. “Memberships keep coming in every day and at some point we’re not going to be able to keep up.”

Monthly memberships are available at $80 a month, with longer-term “Club Memberships” available in the form of $225 three-month, $420 six-month and $720 annual passes. Since Ortiz and Soulemane formed their bond as workout buddies, they are also offering workout buddy discounts that reduce the rate when you sign up with one or more friends, as well as 15% reduced “Local Heroes” memberships for veterans, teachers and first responders.

For more information about Legacy Athletic Gym, visit or contact [email protected].