Thirty years to the day from when Mountainside Fitness first opened its doors in 1991, founder Tom Hatten is handing over the reins to the company’s current president, Craig Cote, who will serve as the new CEO.
Mr. Hatten will serve as the chairman of the board for Mountainside Fitness, where he will still be the majority owner but now focused on other duties including running Mountainside’s charitable endeavors, according to a press release.
To date, Mr. Hatten has been the company’s only CEO since he started the company in 1991. Back then, Mr. Hatten was a college student. He had just $2,000 to his name, the press release stated.
Mr. Hatten started his first location of Mountainside Fitness in Ahwatukee with hard work and help from family and friends. Over the last 30 years, Mr. Hatten has grown the business to 18 locations, with several more on the way and has grown into the state’s largest locally owned fitness centers.
“Wow — this has been an incredible journey these last 30 years and I am so thrilled that we continue to expand and do amazing things in our community all while changing lives for the better,” said Mr. Hatten in a prepared statement.
“Craig has been an incredible leader for our company since he joined Mountainside Fitness six years ago. He has always been a top leader in our company and there is no one else whom I would want to be leading this company. I’m excited to embark on some new opportunities as the chairman of the board for Mountainside Fitness.”
Mr. Hatten says Mr. Cote was originally going to transition into his new role in early 2020 but when the pandemic hit and all fitness centers were ordered to close their doors, everything was put on hold.
Mr. Cote, raised in Yuma and a Northern Arizona University business graduate, has been serving as the president of Mountainside Fitness since 2015. He formally became the new Mountainside Fitness CEO on March 1, the press release stated.
With a diversified background in banking, commercial finance and real estate development, prior to Mountainside Fitness, Mr. Cote spent two decades serving as a chief financial officer, leading acquisitions, negotiating property sales and lease contracts, overseeing inventory disposition and managing real estate portfolios topping $500 million in assets.
“This is a huge opportunity and exciting time to not only be within the fitness industry in Arizona, but to be leading the state’s largest and only locally owned fitness center. Tom and the entire team at Mountainside Fitness have accomplished so many significant milestones over the last 30 years and I am thrilled to now be leading this company into our next 30 years,” Mr. Cote said.
Mr. Cote’s promotion also means Mario Arce, the company’s chief operations officer will be moving into an expanded position.