New owners of Heavy Metal Gym envision revitalizing North Shore

By Chad Klassen
February 6, 2018 - 2:39pm Updated: February 6, 2018 - 5:23pm

KAMLOOPS — The Heavy Metal Gym has been a black eye on the North Shore for the last few years, the focus of the Kamloops RCMP as officers monitored criminal activity.

But five months after the death of Red Scorpions co-founder Konaam Shirzad, who formerly owned the gym, it's now in new hands. North Shore residents Joe Doyle and Angus Glasgow bought the gym in December and want to turn it around. 

"My partner Angus and I, we have huge belief in the North Shore here," said Doyle. "We both grew up here. I was in foster care, he was in trailer parks here, and we've built ourselves up and we want to give back to the North Shore. When this came up for sale, what a perfect opportunity to pick something up that had a stain on it. When something is at the ground level and has hit rock bottom, you can only go up."

Doyle and Glasgow have been working to spruce up the place with new lighting and bright new windows to make the gym more welcoming. The two have also been out in the community promoting the changes.

"I think the only way to turn around negative news is education," said Glasgow. "Showing people things like how long the gym's been going for. The previous owner only owned it for 4 or 5 years, but the gym's been going since the early '80s. That's a lot of history and a lot of time, and when you have some negative news over a small period of the entire history, I don't think it should ruin the whole history of the gym." 

They've decided to keep the name Heavy Metal Gym for that reason. The gym's gained 42 members during the past two months. 

"A lot more than we thought it was going to be," noted Doyle, who used to own and operate Pebbles Ice Cream on Tranquille Rd. "We figured it was going to take a long road to get back, but Angus and I, we've knocked on doors all through the North Shore and talked to local business owners here. Let them know what we're doing."

The two have also sent a letter to the Kamloops RCMP, hoping to reaffirm it's a totally new gym with no remnants of the old regime. Doyle and Glasgow will be monitoring who comes through their doors, but they say it's so far so good. 

"Since we've taken over, Angus and I have had nobody that would strike us as being, 'Oh, that's a different individual,'" he said. "At any given moment when you walk through these doors, you'll see just the average person coming and wanting to work out."

City of Kamloops given power to say no to pot shops