To Stephen and Carolotta Park, it makes sense to launch their own Burn Boot Camp fitness center in Rio Rancho in the near future.

It takes them full circle, back to where they met, and allows them to resume their passion for fitness.

The couple met in graduate school at the University of New Mexico, and Carolotta’s software training for a job led them to Atlanta and the Burn Boot Camp branch there. Then came serious discussions about returning to the Land of Enchantment and opening their own branch.

“It’s great. For me, we’ve spent the last eight years away,” said Stephen, who grew up in the Northeast Heights section of Albuquerque. “Obviously, we’ve had a good time, and we got to experience some larger markets, which I liked. But at the end of the day, we really wanted to come back home, myself especially since I grew up in the area. It’s a special space, and I loved growing up in Albuquerque.”

Carolotta said the goal is to open the Rio Rancho location in January 2022. The couple has signed a franchise agreement.

“My goodness, I’m just ecstatic to be bringing this company into New Mexico,” she said. “Rio Rancho is growing so much. We wanted to come back home to New Mexico, but we also wanted it to be a new experience for us… We wanted to give it a try, try living there and being part of the community. We really felt like Burn could benefit a lot of the people living out in Rio Rancho.”

Stephen and Carolotta Park, who met in graduate school at University of New Mexico, will soon be opening a Burn Boot Camp fitness center location in Rio Rancho.
Courtesy of Carolotta Park.

Carolotta said Burn Boot Camp started as a gym that catered to women, including busy moms, because it included child care.

Although it’s open to men and women, she said she wants to make Burn Boot Camp a better experience for busy moms in the Rio Rancho area.

The target clientele base will include not only Rio Rancho, but also the northwest quadrant of Albuquerque.

“From a geographic and demographic standpoint, that’s really kind of the epicenter where all the growth is happening,” Stephen said.

Carolotta said Rio Rancho clients will be able to work out at the planned Albuquerque and Santa Fe locations if they’re there for a weekend, as well as any of the other U.S. locations.

She said Burn Boot Camp features cardio, strength training and conditioning workouts conducted on a gymnastics-type floor, which will be easier on bones and joints. She also said basic workouts like running laps in the parking lot will help further break that exercise plateau.

Carolotta said she hopes those who may not be fitness junkies join in, are challenged by and grow from the workouts.

“It’s a gym that sells empowerment,” she said. “You’ll see yourself modifying up, challenging your body and being able to do something that you were never able to do before. So, that’s absolutely the goal.”

The couple’s exploring opening the facility along Coors Bypass, Unser Boulevard or in the Taylor Ranch neighborhood.

“From what I’ve seen, there’s a lot of things coming to Albuquerque and in Rio Rancho, Rio Rancho especially,” Stephen said. “When you look at the growth metrics, you look at the number of families, you look at the school system, Rio Rancho is really where there is a lot of growth. That’s why we chose that market.”

Matt Hollinshead | Staff writer