Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Y in Central Maryland to Purchase Big Vanilla in Pasadena

Apr 25, 2016 04:17PM ● By Cate Reynolds
For Immediate Release: April 25, 2016


Big Vanilla Athletic Club in Pasadena to become second Y in Anne Arundel County

(Pasadena, Md.) —The Y in Central Maryland and BVP, LLC, owner of Big Vanilla Athletic Clubs, announced an agreement today for the Y to purchase Big Vanilla’s 80,000 square foot club in Pasadena, Maryland and convert it to the Y in Pasadena. The agreement calls for a 30-day transition period, with the Y taking full ownership and management effective May 23rd. The acquisition further extends the Y’s longstanding commitment to Anne Arundel County, inclusive of the Greater Annapolis Y, four summer camps and nine before and after school enrichment sites.

This is the second purchase of a Big Vanilla for the Y in Central Maryland. The Y also bought the former Big Vanilla in Arnold in 2013 and transformed it into the Greater Annapolis Y.

The Y will continue to provide high-quality programs and membership experiences while maintaining a commitment to the community and dedication to promoting health and well-being, which Big Vanilla and the Y share as common values. The Y welcomes the Pasadena center into the existing family of Ys across the region and will provide several new benefits that reflect the Y’s core mission. These include special member discounts on youth development programs, scholarships for those who can otherwise not afford Y services, opportunities for volunteerism, free member access to the entire network of 13 Ys throughout Central Maryland and all Ys across the state, and many free programs, services, special events and activities.

“The Y and Big Vanilla share many of the same values. This was a great opportunity to once again join forces with an organization that is community-centric and will continue to support families in the area,” said Larry Ray, Majority Owner and Managing Member of Big Vanilla Athletic Club in Pasadena (and former owner of the Big Vanilla in Arnold). “The decision to sell to the Y in Arnold three years ago was an excellent decision. I am proud of what came out of that deal for the Arnold community and am excited today about what this will mean for the Pasadena and surrounding communities. As someone who has been in the health and wellness business for a very long time, I have a great deal of respect for the Y and I know that I am once again leaving the business I built in the hands of an organization that will do good for the community.”

John Hoey, President & CEO of the Y in Central Maryland, commented, “We’re excited that the addition of this center enables us to expand and deepen our already extensive cause-driven work in Anne Arundel County. The Y in Pasadena will be a hub for family and community gatherings; a place to relax and reconnect with family and friends; as well as a place to be active and healthy in spirit, mind and body. We look forward to working collaboratively with members, program participants, volunteers, associates and others across the community to deliver our charitable mission to as many people and families in the Pasadena and surrounding areas as possible. We are especially grateful to Larry Ray for his continued faith in the Y to build on the foundation he worked so hard to create. We are also grateful to the volunteer members of our Anne Arundel County Community Leadership Board who are such good stewards of our mission.”

As part of the transition process, the vast majority of associates employed by the Big Vanilla will be offered the opportunity to become Y associates.

David Fries, Chair of the Y’s volunteer Anne Arundel County Community Leadership Board, said, “The agreement marks another huge milestone for the many volunteers and community members in our county who have long been committed to the Y’s cause. We know what a strong Y means to the community, and we’re delighted by this development.”

More information can be found at