Local Spirits: Va’lyndi Ferris and Kaylie Hurd of Center City Gym

Center City Gym

Welcome to the new venue of Local Spirits, a stage for local folk and downtown life on a local page.

Next up, we have professional trainer Va’lyndi Ferris and her sister, Kaylie Hurd, an employee of Center City Gym. We’re sitting at one of the front tables of the gym looking out over the Downtown scene of Mitchell Street and Pennsylvania Park. Inside the gym, there are people from all walks of life on most every type of exercise machine. Mark Dee’s business has become a downtown hotspot.

What’s special about being in Downtown Petoskey?

V:            I’ve traveled all over the place, and nothing is like here. It’s a home feeling. I moved to Vegas, and…I missed the hometown. I MOVED BACK!

K:            Small town, like, everyone knows everyone’s family. Something comforting about that.

V:            Even the air is different. I miss that air when I’m not here.

Favorite things to do downtown?

V:            I come to the gym every day and train.

K:            We take advantage of the outside and waterfront to do our cardio.

Any favorite haunts?

V:            The gym! And I love North Perk Coffee.

K:            For the nighttime party, we like City Park. And at the end of the night, Mitchell Street Pub.

V:            Everything is within walking distance. I can even walk in heels!


V:            Usually Gliks. They have my stuff.

Center City Gym in Petoskey Mi

K:            ACE Hardware.

ACE? Really?

K:            I know it sounds funny, but they have everything I need. Home stuff. Keys – I lose a lot of keys! Oh, and the popcorn is a plus.

V:            I do like Cutler’s.

 Why Cutler’s?

V:            I was a private chef for ten years.

A private chef!?

V:            Yup. And I love that place. They have all the oddball stuff I need.

Any other Downtown places?

K:            I really like Talulu’s. They’re the only ones I trust with my eyebrows.


K:            I love the lights in the winter. I love the colors of the fall.

V:            I love the sunset shinning up Mitchell Street.


V:            This town feels like a town you’d want to visit from your favorite book.

Kaylie, can you match that quote?

K:            I’m Dorothy! I feel like there’s no place like home!

V:            We had the luxury of growing up here. We could go to the beach. We could walk to the Downtown festivities and Open House. We could walk to the Winter Park.

 As I converse with the sisters, I can glance up at the wall and see Va’lyndi’s pictorial from the 2017 and 2018 bodybuilding championships. And she shares that, “Kaylie will be up there soon!” I turn my glance to Mark behind his desk talking to a new member, and I realize how Downtown we are. Like a beehive in the winter, we all look forward to the spring and summer, but in the middle of winter, why not a nest in the gym?

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