Brian came to Ann Arbor, as the men's tennis coach at the University of Michigan, in 1969. The second summer Brian was here, he worked as a tennis pro at the Racquet Club of Ann Arbor.
"That summer," he shared, "I got a real feel for the Ann Arbor tennis scene and realized there were no junior development programs for kids."
One year later, Brian, and fellow tennis pro Roger Boylan, started a junior program on the University of Michigan tennis courts. During the winter, they moved the program to the Greenhills School gymnasium. There, players were introduced to an innovative "wall program, where students moved from station-to-station practicing different strokes, while hitting against the wall. The following winter the program moved to Huron Valley Tennis Club, where courts were available in the evening, but not after school.
"Motivated to provide a tennis club to meet our teaching demands," Brian said, "we decided to build an indoor tennis facility on the other side of town from Huron Valley."
Liberty Racquet Club, featuring six indoor courts, opened its doors to enthusiastic tennis players in October, 1973.
The tennis facility grew to 10 indoor courts and 10 outdoor courts, by 1976, when tennis was booming; but as the mid-80's approached, people's interest in exercise and how they obtained it was changing.
"As the country moved toward fitness, Judy Eisner explained, the advent of health clubs emerged." The premier clubs were adding fitness and we, too, wanted to bring a wide variety of options to Ann Arbor.
As a result, in 1985, two indoor tennis courts were converted into a fitness area, an indoor track and a basketball court. The addition of an indoor pool, steam room and sauna came two years later.
"These additions," Judy shared, "allowed us to accommodate a lot more people with more fitness options than we were previously able to service."
An increase in fitness options brought an increase in services. Personal trainers and fitness instructors were soon added to Liberty's staff. Today, the fitness floor is expansive, supporting state of the art equipment and machines. The personal training staff has grown from four to 12, and the number of fitness class offerings has grown from a handful, to over 120 per week.
Notable additions and improvements quickly followed, with the opening of the outdoor swim facility, in 1990. The number one priority for opening this facility was to expand Liberty's offering to families. This philosophy continued with the addition of the indoor water park and activity center, in 2008.
In 2011, the four outdoor tennis courts were removed and replaced, and a year later the roof was upgraded and painted. In 2013, the children's Activity Center added a 3-story Obstacle Play Park, and the 'lower' men's locker room was remodeled.
Recent improvements include an aesthetically pleasing Mind/body Studio, a remodeled 'upper' men's locker room, and an expanded parking lot with improved lighting.
As a family owned business, Liberty has thrived because of the hands on, day-to-day, personal attention provided by Brian and Judy. This tradition of personal care, combined with 'state of the art' additions and expansions, will continue with the Eisner family for generations to come.