CrossFit Excursion

J.P. and Kara Skelley talk with visitors Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony of their new CrossFit Excursion location at 60 Walnut St., downtown Johnstown.

A view of downtown Johnstown and the Conemaugh River is visible from the open bay doors of CrossFit Excursion’s new location at 60 Walnut St.

The gym, filled with natural light, also has high ceilings and all the equipment typical of CrossFit, which is a form of exercise combining weightlifting, gymnastics and cardiovascular movement.

Gym owners J.P. and Kara Skelley officially marked the opening of their new location Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony coordinated by Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI).

The gym is aptly named CrossFit “Excursion” because the Skelleys like to take their classes on exercise excursions throughout the parks and trails downtown.

“Johnstown has a lot of natural resources that people don’t realize,” Kara Skelley said. 

“Instead of feeling like you have to stay in a gym to be fit, you can enjoy the things out in your own backyard with people you enjoy being around.”  

Kara and J.P. are both 2006 Westmont Hilltop graduates.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by about 30 people. Representatives of the Johnstown and Cambria County governments highlighted the Skelleys’ commitment to the revitalization of Johnstown. 

“Thank you for trusting and building in our city,” Johnstown Mayor Frank Janakovic said. 

“You are to be commended for sticking with this and choosing Johnstown.”

CrossFit Excursion was slated to open its new location in March, but that plan was disrupted by the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thank you for bringing people together and being part of the revitalization of downtown Johnstown,” said Cambria County Commissioner Tom Chernisky. 

The Skelleys relocated the gym from 518 Washington St., which opened in 2018. The gym’s membership outgrew that space, J.P. Skelley said. 

The new gym on Walnut Street was built on an empty lot formerly owned by Duke LifePoint, he said.

CrossFit Excursion typically sees five to 20 people per class, and membership increased by 15 people in the past month, he said.

Opening during a pandemic presented hurdles, but the Skelleys said they were humbled by the support they received from their gym members as well as the business community including JARI and 1st Summit Bank.

“We can’t thank everybody enough for their support,” J.P. Skelley said. 

Russ O'Reilly is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @RussellOReilly.


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