CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > Community > Running a CrossFit Facility
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-13-2014, 03:08 PM   #1
Joey Scafidi
Affiliate Joey Scafidi is offline
 
Joey Scafidi's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Prague  Czech Republic
Posts: 149
Nervous about our big move

Here's my situation.

I'm currently getting out of my lease in order to move into a huge new spot that's perfect for CrossFit. It's more than we need but I see growing into it quickly. At the moment we're in a 1300sq ft building with about 1000sq ft of that as workout space. We'll be moving into a 10,000sq ft. building with about 5300sq ft of workout space.

We're bursting at the seams with about 140 members in 1300 sq ft. The neighbors hate us, we get complaints from the city, and the police have came numerous times, as well. My philosophy has always been "kill them with kindness." I think that's the only reason we've lasted over 2 years in this location.

So, it's definitely time to move. I live in a very densely populated city where almost no one drives. The public transportation is amazing. Finding someplace where we can drop weights and that's close enough to public transport without being on the outskirts of the city is next to impossible. We've been looking for nearly 7 months now.

I have to jump on this place and I am. I'll never find this perfect of a building again. We'll be one of the largest in Central Europe and I've nearly got the clientele, already, to cover expenses.

My biggest fear, though, is losing the awesome community that we've built. Being in such close quarters with small class sizes has made all of us really close. I fear moving into a huge place and losing all of that. I understand growing pains but the community that we've got is key for many of my members.

I'm writing to see if anyone else has made such a big jump with an already tight community and what the result was.

I'd be very thankful for your stories.

Thanks,
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2014, 03:52 PM   #2
David Osorio
Affiliate David Osorio is offline
 
David Osorio's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Brooklyn  New york
Posts: 229
Re: Nervous about our big move

Joey,

If the numbers make sense (meaning you can pay the bills) then I don't see what the hesitation will be. This will be a huge accomplishment for your affiliate and your members will be so proud and excited for the move.

The space doesnt make the community, you, your coaches and members do.

Based on your post, I'd say jump on in. You'll be adding tremendous value to your member's experiences and greatly increase what you're able to offer at your affiliate. (Yoga, strength programs, oly programs, active recovery classes etc)

Good luck! sounds like you're killing it
__________________
CrossFit South Brooklyn
Inside The Affiliate: Helping CrossFit affiliates create professional, inclusive, and effective training experiences for their members.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2014, 06:52 PM   #3
Tommy Alfinito
Affiliate Tommy Alfinito is offline
 
Tommy Alfinito's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Mount Laurel  NJ
Posts: 275
Re: Nervous about our big move

Good luck man!

I am going to go the opposite way. We were busting out of 5,000 square feet and moved to 12,000. When I moved from 1,000 to 5,000 nothing seemed to change. The move from 5,000 to 12k definitely had some subtle changes.

My gym was known for being super inviting. If you walked in the door and weren't a regular, people would come up to you non stop, say hi, and make sure you didn't need to see a coach.

Now with a huge place and office space in the front, people can hide in all kinds of places and never have any interaction from the members. We just had to ask people to be more on watch, and its working better but still a process. We also try to keep someone in the front area, but it is hard to do all the time.

I also felt like we lost some of the excitement that happens when you are in such close quarters. At night in 5k you could have 35 people working out and another 30 people hanging out waiting for the next class. This meant there were people everywhere! Cheering on the class that was working out before them, stretching before their class talking about their day, etc. Now everyone can be more spaced out, leading to less interaction and less overall energy in class. To fix this I added a bunch of things that force interaction, things such as a PR board, goals board, a stretching location for pre-workout, and as we grow into this space now, some days we are filling the place up and forcing people to interact again in that way.

We also have started to get even more active with events, challenges, and other activities outside regular classes.

Moving to a new, shiny, big place has a ton of positives, but these may be some things to look out for. I think it is only natural that when you put people close to each other it forces more interaction. Also, the good part with these "problems" is that none of them are huge, we didn't lose any members because of it, I just noticed some slight changes and I have been trying to counteract them the best way possible.
__________________
CrossFit Mount Laurel www.crossfitmtl.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 04:43 AM   #4
Joey Scafidi
Affiliate Joey Scafidi is offline
 
Joey Scafidi's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Prague  Czech Republic
Posts: 149
Re: Nervous about our big move

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Osorio View Post
Joey,

If the numbers make sense (meaning you can pay the bills) then I don't see what the hesitation will be. This will be a huge accomplishment for your affiliate and your members will be so proud and excited for the move.

The space doesnt make the community, you, your coaches and members do.

Based on your post, I'd say jump on in. You'll be adding tremendous value to your member's experiences and greatly increase what you're able to offer at your affiliate. (Yoga, strength programs, oly programs, active recovery classes etc)

Good luck! sounds like you're killing it
Thanks David!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 04:45 AM   #5
Joey Scafidi
Affiliate Joey Scafidi is offline
 
Joey Scafidi's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Prague  Czech Republic
Posts: 149
Re: Nervous about our big move

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Alfinito View Post
Good luck man!

I am going to go the opposite way. We were busting out of 5,000 square feet and moved to 12,000. When I moved from 1,000 to 5,000 nothing seemed to change. The move from 5,000 to 12k definitely had some subtle changes.

My gym was known for being super inviting. If you walked in the door and weren't a regular, people would come up to you non stop, say hi, and make sure you didn't need to see a coach.

Now with a huge place and office space in the front, people can hide in all kinds of places and never have any interaction from the members. We just had to ask people to be more on watch, and its working better but still a process. We also try to keep someone in the front area, but it is hard to do all the time.

I also felt like we lost some of the excitement that happens when you are in such close quarters. At night in 5k you could have 35 people working out and another 30 people hanging out waiting for the next class. This meant there were people everywhere! Cheering on the class that was working out before them, stretching before their class talking about their day, etc. Now everyone can be more spaced out, leading to less interaction and less overall energy in class. To fix this I added a bunch of things that force interaction, things such as a PR board, goals board, a stretching location for pre-workout, and as we grow into this space now, some days we are filling the place up and forcing people to interact again in that way.

We also have started to get even more active with events, challenges, and other activities outside regular classes.

Moving to a new, shiny, big place has a ton of positives, but these may be some things to look out for. I think it is only natural that when you put people close to each other it forces more interaction. Also, the good part with these "problems" is that none of them are huge, we didn't lose any members because of it, I just noticed some slight changes and I have been trying to counteract them the best way possible.
This is what I was looking for. Thanks!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 06:35 AM   #6
Miles Roberts
Member Miles Roberts is offline
 
Miles Roberts's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Clinton  OH
Posts: 299
Re: Nervous about our big move

A couple things Joey

1) I'm sure if your athletes are friends and like working with each other, that won't change with more space.

2) if the lack of space has become inconvenient, I'm sure a lot of them will appreciate more room.

3) nothing at all to do with your situation, but a couple months ago, I was in Europe on business and drove right by your box. I was shocked to see it. Unfortunately, we were only in country for a few days, and I never had a chance to stop in. There may be return visits, and if there are, I will hopefully be able to find your new location.

Best of luck!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 08:56 AM   #7
Tighe Crovetti
Member Tighe Crovetti is offline
 
Tighe Crovetti's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Collegeville  PA
Posts: 359
Re: Nervous about our big move

I feel like my opinion could help. I just started three months ago, small box. Not sure of the total member count, but the space is probably just 2500 sq ft or so. Just a metal building, one big area, after a xmas equipment order, there's quite a bit of equipment lining every wall. I've been in a class as large as maybe 25 on a holiday/weekend, but my morning class tends to be 5-8 people. Couple that with the owner being a Games athlete, and it's an amazing environment. Lots of personal attention, everyone knows each other, I already feel part of the family.

The owner obviously has a desire to expand at some point, and I've thought, I'm a little sad at the thought of losing that intimacy, potentially. However, what it comes down to is, I have great coaches and great friends there, and unless a new location in the future is just downright unfeasible for me, it's those two factors that I'm going to follow. I think if you've got the community, they'll stick with you and figure out how to work with a new environment.
__________________
"Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated."
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #8
David Osorio
Affiliate David Osorio is offline
 
David Osorio's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Brooklyn  New york
Posts: 229
Re: Nervous about our big move

Tommy,

So interesting! We're currently in a 4,700 sq ft space and it's exactly as you described. Lots of movement, lots of people, especially during transition times between classes. Sometimes it feels like a big party, but sometimes I feel like more space could make things more comfortable and productive for my members.

I'd be really interested in hearing more about making a move that over doubled your footprint and how that affected things.

Can you post or link to a picture of your gym? Mine is below
__________________
CrossFit South Brooklyn
Inside The Affiliate: Helping CrossFit affiliates create professional, inclusive, and effective training experiences for their members.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2014, 09:19 AM   #9
Tommy Alfinito
Affiliate Tommy Alfinito is offline
 
Tommy Alfinito's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Mount Laurel  NJ
Posts: 275
Re: Nervous about our big move

Hey David,

One thing I would suggest is to start looking for your next building ASAP. I was in my first location 6 months and got kicked out due to noise and space because we were using outside a lot. Then I moved into the 5K spot and it was way bigger than I needed at the time. At the end of my first year (about 3 months out) there we filled it up and I didn't want to stay there another year so I started looking and negotiated on a spot that fell through, so I signed for another year which was probably the best thing that could have happened. For the whole next year I continually was looking for a space and actually spent 7 months negotiating with the township to buy a building only for it to fall through at the last second. Then I luckily found this latest spot which was perfect. Long story short, start looking now - it can be a long process.

Picture of 5K spot WFS
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

As far as the footprint goes, I honestly would have had trouble adding more people. I feel that once you get past 20 people in class, it turns into herding people around and less coaching regardless of how many coaches you have running around. My 9 AM was 20+ and the 5:30 and 6:30 PM classes were getting to be 40+, to the point where people would take their equipment outside for certain workouts, so I felt like it was affecting the quality of classes.

Here is a quick video of the new gym layout. It is setup to run 3 classes pretty easily. I left out the bathrooms, showers, and offices but they are there too. It is about 1500 square feet office and 10,500 workout area.


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=3&theater

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Osorio View Post
Tommy,

So interesting! We're currently in a 4,700 sq ft space and it's exactly as you described. Lots of movement, lots of people, especially during transition times between classes. Sometimes it feels like a big party, but sometimes I feel like more space could make things more comfortable and productive for my members.

I'd be really interested in hearing more about making a move that over doubled your footprint and how that affected things.

Can you post or link to a picture of your gym? Mine is below
__________________
CrossFit Mount Laurel www.crossfitmtl.com
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
nervous as hell!!!! Steve Higgins Starting 43 09-24-2012 11:17 AM
Starting Strength: Big Reset, or Move on? Hunter Molzen Fitness 52 12-04-2010 04:33 AM
Starting out... really nervous Carl Leaf Starting 12 05-22-2010 06:40 PM
New, Nervous, Recovering and Need Help! John Atkinson Starting 14 03-12-2008 08:26 PM
Nervous newbie! Camille Lore Starting 6 02-02-2008 07:30 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.