Franklin Covey Co. is getting out of the fitness business.

The Salt Lake company announced Thursday that it has completed the divestiture of the Franklin Covey Institute of Fitness, a resort in the mouth of Snow Canyon State Park, near St. George.Franklin Covey, which purchased the institute from found-ers Marc and Vicki Sor-en-son in July 1994, has passed ownership to the Pivotal Group, a Phoenix-based real estate investment and development company.

Jahm Najafi, a partner in the Pivotal Group, said he could not discuss financial details of the transaction. But he said it is the company's first venture in Utah.

Najafi also said the only Utahn who is part of the new ownership group is Mark Stromberg, who was named acting president of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Com-merce last week when Stan Parrish resigned the post.

Stromberg could not be reached for comment Friday.

Najafi said Pivotal has been working on a deal to purchase the institute for quite some time.

"We think that it's a great opportunity to expand upon an existing property that is performing well and be able to take it to the next level," he said.

Jon H. Rowberry, Franklin Covey president and chief executive, said the institute no longer fit in with that company's goals.

"We're trying to focus our efforts on what we consider to be the core of our business, which is our training curriculum, the services we offer corporations and our consumer products channels," Rowberry said Friday.

"At the time (of the 1994 purchase), the company was looking to perhaps integrate the concept of physical health and well-being with the whole concept of planning and taking control of your life. Although that was a good conceptual fit, it just isn't a very practical fit, given the way we run our business."

After buying the resort, Frank-lin Covey improved its land-sca-ping and added buildings. Najafi said the resort currently has 108 rooms and ac-com-mo-dates about 220 people, who attend to learn about fitness, exercise and nutrition.

"Our purpose is to expand the property and turn it into a fully operating spa, with a strong emphasis on fitness," he said.

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Najafi said the new owners do not plan to make any staff changes, and they will begin expansion as soon as possible.

Rowberry said Franklin Covey, which is known for its organizers, planners and training seminars, has a nondisclosure agreement regarding the transaction .

"(The institute) was a good financial investment," Rowberry said. "It just ended up not being as strategically closely knit as we would have liked."

A Franklin Covey press release said the sale is not expected to have "a material effect" on the company's finances. Franklin Covey stock closed up about 63 cents at $20 per share Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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