July 25, 2005 – Doug Menzies came to St. Croix in 1983 for the same reason many people have; he liked the weather. He planned to stay for five years, but 22 years later, he is involved with so much on the island that he may never get to leave.
While he was waiting to be licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic, he opened the Aerobic Institute in the United Shopping Plaza. Shortly thereafter he opened a small chiropractic office in the Beeston Hill Medical Center. Then came the big jump in 1989 when he founded a comprehensive health and fitness center in Beeston Hill above Christiansted. The center evolved into the 25,000-square-foot Caribbean Health & Fitness Complex, which houses four distinct entities: The Rehabilitation Center @ Beeston Hill, an outpatient orthopedic and cardiac rehab center; the V.I. Family Sports & Fitness Center; Energy Restaurant, and the Blue Marlin Swim Team. All four enterprises are located on the Web at vihealth.com.
He says the swim team takes care of itself. His daughter, Taraina DeCiantis, runs Energy Restaurant, which specializes in wraps, sandwiches, smoothies and salads, with Wednesday being sushi night and Thursday, Tex-Mex night.
He still plays a major role in running both the rehabilitation center and health club, but his new general manager, physical therapist Giliane Boykins, oversees the day-to-day operations of those two ventures. Menzies says he focuses mostly on the rehabilitation center, but sets policy for both.
The operations are big. Menzies employees 40 people and maintains about 900 members in the health club, while the rehabilitation center averages 60 patient visits each day.
He said in a recent interview, "That is about the number we want to see at the rehabilitation center and 900 members at the health club is about right. We could take up to a 1,000 members."
The fitness center includes free weights, body masters and cardio equipment, aerobics classes, sauna/steam room, a 25-meter heated pool, climbing wall, yoga, and basketball court.
The rehabilitation center offers physical therapy, chiropractic services and preventive care. The treatment is provided by doctors, cardiac nurses, physical therapists, exercise physiologists, certified athletic trainers, and licensed massage therapists.
When asked if he was looking at starting any other businesses, he laughed and then became thoughtful. He said there were options and alternatives that were under consideration, but he was not committed to anything as yet.
Menzies, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force, said he thinks St. Croix is on the verge of a "boom time." He said that he has seen more investors around the island with proposals in mind than he has ever seen before.
He joined other investors last year in making sure that the Carambola Golf Course stayed open. (See "Residents, Golfers Part-Owners of Carambola Golf Course ".)
He said that project is progressing well as investors are now seeing income matching expenditures.
He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and Energy Restaurant recently hosted one of its meetings. He has also served as president of the V.I. Chiropractic Society and the St. Croix Golf Association.
However, he said his "best gig" was having the privilege to serve as the team physician for the V.I. Olympic Team. He traveled to Seoul in 1988, to Barcelona in 1992, and to Atlanta in 1996.
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