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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 06-06-2008, 01:25 PM   #1
Dan Hollingsworth
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New Box Timeline

I realize that this is a pretty broad question and many affiliates have had a very broad range of experiences, but I'm just trying to get a general idea here. How long did it take you to find an appropriate space, get your permit and prepare your space for opening day?

I just spoke with a real estate developer and he told me about 4-4 1/2 months, which included about 1 month of searching time. Does that match your experience?

I am looking at getting my place up and running around Oct of 2009. When do I need to start things in earnest to meet that goal?
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:53 PM   #2
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: New Box Timeline

We started looking about Feb 20, 07, got the keys on Feb 26th and had a Grand Opening on March 31st.

It was lightning fast for us.
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:22 PM   #3
Dan Hollingsworth
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Re: New Box Timeline

Did you have any TI's (tenant improvements)? I feel so cool, I'm learning all the new lingo. The developer estimated 2 months for improvements and a couple of weeks for architectural stuff. I may not go that far with things. Would be nice to have bathrooms and a shower would be a real bonus.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:24 PM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Re: New Box Timeline

Could be short (Leonid I'm exceedingly jealous) to several months, to a couple of years depending on your location, current market, space needs, etc. Plan for it to take 6 months. It won't likely be longer than that (though it could be) and then if it's less, you'll be stoked.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:45 PM   #5
Ron Haskins
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Re: New Box Timeline

Our experience:

Garage gym for 9 months just got the cajones last week to look for box, possible signing lease tomorrow. Will have to build pull up structure and move equip. from the garage to the box, maybe a week. Improvements will happen as they are needed as well as purchasing more equip.

Probably the best part has been the learning experience of staying small, cheap and focused on learning virtuosity, although I expect that road to be never ending.

A big goes to all of you who have gone before.

Ron

http://crossfitcarsonvalley.com check out the blog.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
Rolando Ezequiel Martinez
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Re: New Box Timeline

Started looking Jan/Feb - Construction Upfit took a couple months. Grand Opening May 1st.

4 months for us. We are so glad we are open now though.
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:19 AM   #7
John C. Brown
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Re: New Box Timeline

As an affiliate that has moved twice in a year (and would move again if it wasn't for our lease) I can say that our experience was more like Leonid's then what the others have said. Both moves took about a month, mostly due to making improvements (i.e. building our pull-up frame in the old space, and framing and plumbing a bathroom and shower in our current space). I am by no means a welder, carpenter, or plumber. Fortunately most of the plumbing was already done, we just had to add fixtures (toilet, sink, shower stall). As for the framing, I did that myself, but have the fortunate presence of having contractors as clients. So any questions I had, they were able to answer. The bathroom isn't perfect, in fact it looks like it was built by an abstract artist I blame Home Depot for not having the ability to sell wood that isn't warped like a cork screw, but some of it was me too. Utilize local resources and clients, and try to start with a space that has some needs already met. As far as permits go, we leased an existing space and have cool landlords, we didn't need to go the permit route, however the next place we move into we probably will. I think I am going to get involved with the Chamber of Commerce in the hopes that I can network a little and make some of that easier. Then again, knowing my innate ability to step on toes in situations that may require delicacy, I may be shooting myself in the foot with that idea.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:32 PM   #8
Chris Cunningham
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Re: New Box Timeline

Dan,
What may be important to consider when looking for a facility is the zoning on the site you are considering leasing. If it was an industrial space before you, it may need to be approved for different zoning, which you may be due to public assembly and fire codes. You may also have to look into parking, which may not bother die hard crossfitters, but may bother the local building dept. if you don't have adequate spaces. These issues, if they happen to be an issue in your township, county, whatever, may really sway your timeline and opening dates if they need certain attention. You may need to navigate through alot of red tape beore you can get permits to build or open, legally anyway.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:55 AM   #9
Dan Hollingsworth
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Re: New Box Timeline

Thanks all.

Chris: zoning is definitely something that I will take into consideration. I have seen that come up time and again on this forum. How much of the zoning issue has to do with the way you describe your business? I have read some threads that say if you call yourself a gym that could cause problems in an industrial setting. So, I'm struggling with trying to come up with an appropriate description that won't set off any zoning alarm bells. A bit off the topic of my original question.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:50 PM   #10
Ron Holland
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Re: New Box Timeline

We are considered an "educational facility." We just signed the lease, and are putting in a bathroom and shower (all ADA compliant, which has been the biggest issue) and we expect an 8-week buildout. I'd like to think it could be done faster, but.... we'll just be happy to have it done and move in.

We began looking in March. Were lucky to find a warehouse with A/C (Tucson is HOT 9 months of the year!). We didn't get any TI. Most places told us that they didn't want to put a lot of money into any tenant improvement, since the next guy using the place will likely just use it to "store his widgets." Word for word what we were told. So we negotiated to get 4 months of abated rent instead and will handle the buildout ourselves. We did have to get an architect to draw up plans and submit for permits. You don't want to get in, do some work that you think is pretty harmless, and then have the County or City reps show up and shut you down. In an old space we had, we simply put in a drop-in shower and after it was all done we had to rip it out and start over to comply with the ADA and other restrictions. Very expensive and time consuming mistake.
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