Y of Central Maryland to buy Big Vanilla in Pasadena

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When it opened in 2007, the Big Vanilla in Pasadena became the largest gym in the county.

The Y in Central Maryland will purchase the Big Vanilla Athletic Club in Pasadena next month, creating a second location in Anne Arundel County.

The Y, which bought the Big Vanilla's location in Arnold in 2013, said it will take over the 80,000-square-foot club and convert it to the Y in Pasadena. The agreement calls for a 30-day transition period, with the Y taking full ownership and management effective May 23.


John Hoey, president and CEO of the Y in Central Maryland, said most membership fees will be reduced and additonal programs will be added over time. There are no plans to change the staff.

Terms of the sale were not released, but Hoey said the Y is buying the club. Ray and his partners will retain ownership of the building at 26 Magothy Beach Road.


"The Y and Big Vanilla share many of the same values. This was a great opportunity to once again join forces with an organization that is community-centric and will continue to support families in the area," said Larry Ray, majority owner and managing member of the Big Vanilla.

Hoey, president and CEO of the Y in Central Maryland, said in announcing the purchase that it would crate a hub for family and community gatherings; a place to relax and reconnect with family and friends; "as well as a place to be active and healthy in spirit, mind and body."

"We look forward to working collaboratively with members, program participants, volunteers, associates and others across the community to deliver our charitable mission to as many people and families in the Pasadena and surrounding areas as possible," he said in a prepared statement.

Big Vanilla Athletic Clubs opened in 1977 in Arnold as a tennis and racquetball club.