Despite recently advocating to eliminate property taxes for gyms, Genesis Health Clubs owner Rodney Steven intends on paying his Riley County taxes, a spokesman told The Mercury on Friday.

Riley County records indicate Steven is late on paying the first half of 2020 property taxes for the new fitness club, which has not opened yet on Allison Avenue.

The tax payment was due in December. County records indicate the amount owed is $183,440.67.

The second half is not due until May 2021.

A representative for Genesis said Riley County will send a bill to the company for the amount owed after the county updates the monetary amount. The representative said the first half of taxes actually amounts to $125,158.50, but Genesis is waiting on an official confirmation from Riley County on the amount owed.

Once Genesis knows the amount owed, Steven plans to pay it immediately, the representative said.

Steven owed a total of at least $549,000 for other health clubs in Kansas counties like Shawnee, Johnson and Douglas, the Kansas Reflector reported earlier this month, but the representative clarified Steven paid that full amount since then. 

That amount involves 2019 property taxes; Genesis paid its Riley County taxes through 2019.

According to the Kansas Reflector, Steven is urging the Kansas Legislature to eliminate property taxes for health clubs despite himself owing property taxes to Kansas counties.

The 70,000-square-foot gym in Manhattan will include a running track, basketball court, three tennis courts, exercise studios, steam room, a sauna and therapy pools, in addition to gym equipment and machines.

Genesis officials wouldn’t say when the gym will open, but they said they hope to release a grand opening date early next week.

This project has been a long time coming with plans for this new gym dating back six years when Genesis purchased Max Fitness from local businessman Dave Dreiling in February 2015.

The company indicated the gym would open in 2016 when it first announced the Max Fitness purchase. Genesis later pushed the date back to March 2020, but it did not open that month. In December 2020, Jake McCabe, vice president of marketing at Genesis, said the club would make an exciting announcement soon.