Gym for Nevadans with special needs opens in Las Vegas

Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 2:47 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Nevadans with special needs are “hitting the gym” at a first-of-its-kind fitness center in Nevada, The Ability Center aims to improve quality of life through fitness.

“After working with a young girl with down syndrome, many other parents started contacting me for health and fitness for their children. Right then we knew we had something,” said Chris Salas, founder of The Ability Center.

The gym, located off Durango near Russell, is designed with the hopes of advancing the physical health and overall well-being of those with special needs.

“Exercise has not been easily accessible to the special needs community,” said Salas.

That is why The Ability Center focuses on just that: abilities.

“We’re gonna take whatever physical ability you have. We’re gonna highlight it, exploit it, to give you a better quality of life through fitness,” said Salas.

It is the first sensory gym in the state of Nevada.

“We provide a different setting for those individuals to thrive,” said Salas.

The gym aims to develop gymgoers’ communication, motor skills and mobility through physical fitness.

“We’re able to control lights, sounds, images,” said Salas. “Let’s say your son or daughter is not used to hearing noise or seeing flashing lights, and they want to go to a Vegas Golden Knights game. We’re able to give them an appearance on flashing lights. I can hit a button on my phone and pump sound into the room that sounds like a crowd roaring. So we’re just able to prepare them for certain sensory overloads.”