Sanford Sports & Wellness Center

Coming Soon A Centrally located facility for all ages and walks of life. 

Sanford Health Logo

Sanford Health

Here For All Here For Good

The Sanford Wellness Campus will be part of the Bemidji Rail Corridor Redevelopment Project. It will feature an aquatic area, ice rink, recreational sports facilities, fitness center, drop-in childcare, and more.

Sanford wellness Campus
Power Basketball Academy

Creating a Stronger Future

We want to create a healthy lifestyle that is attainable for everyone. This won’t be a country club or an exclusive gym. This will be a place where all ages and walks of life can come together.

Our community currently offers numerous activities but with limited availability. Many programs and classes fill up in minutes, making access to wellness a challenge. This new center will increase availability to quality programs and help create additional healthy opportunities in Bemidji for all. 

By providing a wellness opportunity for all, we will help lower the risk of chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Affordability will not be a barrier with our sliding admission scale and the offering of free and low-cost community programs. Together we will create a safe place for all and positively influence our next generation. 

Regional Impact of Rail Corridor Redevelopment Project

Reality Check

Our region will experience a once-in-a-lifetime economic boost, unprecedented for a community our size.

$85M+ For entire mixed-use development project

$4M Yearly economic impact

$1.5M Expected annual revenue

+10,000 Hotel room nights per year

Bemidji is already a destination drawing guests and new residents to our beautiful sanctuary among the pines. This facility has the potential to create even more opportunities to enjoy our community and generate new revenue for our city and businesses.

Sports Tourism

From recreational sports and lessons to leagues and tournaments, the multipurpose sports facility with two ice sheets will create a center for sports tourism. The additional revenue from these activities will create a sustainable business model and ensure the health and wellness center remains affordable and available to all Northern Minnesotans.

Recruiting Talent

This state-of-the-art facility will be a shining start of the north, attracting not just visitors but new residents. When families look to relocate to our community, year-round health and wellness opportunities are at the top of their checklists. This new facility will help our businesses recruit and retain the best talent.

“A facility like this is critical in allowing Bemidji to stand out in a very competitive marketplace and help attract and retain great employees.”

- Gary Johnson, CEO Paul Bunyan Communications

Sanford Wellness Campus

Listening to Our Community

Hearing from members of the Bemidji community is essential to developing a wellness and fitness center that meets our needs. To date, we have met with several community agencies and gathered their feedback on the project. Some of the proposed features include the following:

Year-round and affordable access to health and fitness activities with potential features such as:

  • Indoor track
  • Walking and running 365 days a year
  • Exercise studios 
  • Yoga, cycling and other group fitness classes
  • Weight room
  • Adjustable weight machines and free weights
  • Classrooms
  • Teaching kitchen and community programs
  • Concessions 
  • Coffee and snack shop for guests
  • Party rooms
  • Affordable rental space for birthdays and events

Multipurpose space for recreational sports, leagues, lessons and tournaments.

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Pickleball
  • Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • & more!

Imagine the excitement for our community!

Two sheets of ice to fill a need in the community. Together, the aquatics and ice work symbiotically for energy efficiency.

A group of kids are attending a swimming class. They are practicing kicking at the side of the pool.
Community Members discussed the project and share their thoughts and ideas on the proposed wellness center. Above is what they believe is important for this center (1)

50 Cups of Coffee

In collaboration with the Bemidji Area Resiliency Team, we held 50 one-on-one conversations throughout the summer with community members representing a variety of ages, genders and races.

Ages Gender Race
11-15 years old (15.4%)Females (61.5%)White (48.7%)
15-19 year olds (10.3%)Males (38.5%)Multiracial (15.4%)
20-30 year olds (5.1%)Native American (28.2%)
31-40 year olds (17.9%)Black (7.7%)
41-50 year olds (17.9%)
51-65 year olds (15.4%)
NA (2.6%)