HFAC is owned and operated by a local family business, DW Sivers Company, with more than 60 years of history in Portland area commercial real estate. We originally built and opened Hawthorn Farm in 2000. It was the “flagship club” in what became a large, multi-site organization called Oregon Athletic Clubs (OAC). For years HFAC and sister clubs RiverPlace and Bethany thrived. OAC was ready to grow even further. In September of 2012, the operations were sold to an outside entity with big promises of expansion. Unfortunately the new owners struggled; members and employees experienced several troubled years. By early 2015, all OAC locations closed.
When HFAC closed, DW Sivers Company still owned the building. Since its original grand opening, we saw clearly what made Hawthorn Farm special: an award-winning facility, an incredible location, and an amazing community that embraced the club. While many offers and options came in, we quickly decided to open a “New HFAC” ourselves, this time as an independent, single-location.
In an incredible act of community, our friends at Sunset Athletic Club helped quickly reopen the club by July of 2015. Over the first year a new Hawthorn Farm family was built. Nearly half a million dollars was invested into the building and equipment, including over 30 pieces of strength and cardio equipment, a new Yoga Barre studio, replacement of core plumbing, HVAC systems and more.
The second year focused building the management team, as well as bringing back original HFAC systems and events. Owner Heidi Sivers-Boyce came in as acting GM, and spearheaded several further investments including a new software system and cycle studio. These improvements were supported by a Club membership base that grew each month over the previous one. In year three, industry expert Dan Botnik has brought his passion to HFAC as General Manager, and the investment focus is turning back to the core fitness equipment at the heart of our healthy mission.
As a smaller independent business, our strategy for long-term health is this kind of solid, steady growth. While we’re pretty darn proud of where we are now, HFAC’s only going to continue to get better. Approaching every day as an opportunity to improve is a core part of who we are.