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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 03-14-2007, 08:16 PM   #1
Howard Wilcox
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Hello folks,

I'm curious to know if the dynamics are different for a crossfit in a large college town (say a population of 50,000 where about half are students).

Some things I'm curious about:

a. Are students more or less willing to pay for crossfit service (they probably have less income but also less responsibility like bills/kids/etc)?
b. Do they have more time (I would think so) and are they willing to use it on fitness?
c. Do summers cause a big slow-down?
d. I would think young people would be very open-minded to new fitness ideas, does this pan out?
e. Does the college atmosphere add to the esprit-de-corp?

Any other unique insights into the college environment are appreciated.

Just thinking towards the future...

Thanks,

howard
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:56 AM   #2
Samuel Redwine
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I wouldn't plan on the students. Most schools give free gym access to students and faculty. If you want to attract people who may otherwise not be willing to come to you rather than a free gym might need some incentive. Offer a free workout as a trial. Nothing speaks louder than results.

As for me, I'm a student, my father is a prof and I go to a private gym, but it is three blocks from my place and campus is over 2 miles away, the school gym even further. The good thing you have going for you is that word will spread quickly.

Young people, I hate to say, are used to being told what to do. They will look at your new program and decide if it is right for them. Your odds of esprit-de-corp depend on what group people choose to identify themselves as a part of.
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:10 PM   #3
Ryan Ford
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I agree. I am a student at CU Boulder and we have access to the campus rec center which definitely gets the job done for me. I don't think students would be willing to pay for a Crossfit service when they already have good facilities and resources at their convenience.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:04 AM   #4
Eric Cimrhanzel
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College towns are GENERALLY a bad idea. The only success story I know of is the local one: CrossFit Texas A&M.

The only reason Dutch Lowy had such startup success, though, is that he had an array of clients who loved training with him when he was still doing "Dutch's Training", and he grew up in this town. Now that he's grown based on the success of his clients who love the CrossFit model, he can attract a few students, but most are not going to pay for a program when they can get a trainer at the local Rec center for very cheap ($12-15/session) or join the Corps here where they get military fitness shoved down their throats for a few years. Members of the Corps here are quickly catching onto CrossFit, kettlebell, and Gym Jones style workouts--thanks to the movie 300, the Marine Corps current stance on "Functional Fitness", and my continual experimentation and successes with the people I train (in that order! That movie is amazing marketing once people realize that it's CrossFit style training they're doing).

He didn't need students as startup clients when he had housewives, hairdressers, family friends, etc, in town already willing to pay for his services as a trainer before switching to CrossFit.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:54 AM   #5
Howard Wilcox
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Hmmm...that's worrisome.

Out of curiosity, how large is College Station?

howard
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:11 AM   #6
Skip Chase
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I would focus on the local supporting economy. Those who live in the community and those who work on campus.

You will gain students, also. Howard, I lived in Ellensburg, WA when my son went to CWU. There are 2 small gyms in Ellensburg, and students were about 50% of the membership.

www.mtbakercrossfit.blogspot.com
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:30 PM   #7
Adam Noble
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Just keep in mind that a large number of college students are perpetually broke (at least I was). Fitness and health being way down on the list of priorities; not that it isn't a priority, but when funds are scarce...
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:46 PM   #8
Howard Wilcox
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True, but surely out there's a hundred or two that have parental help, right??

:biggrin:

howard
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:40 PM   #9
Adam Noble
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Yeah, but those are the suckers you con into paying for the beer:evilsmile:
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Old 03-17-2007, 03:28 AM   #10
Samuel Redwine
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Not to mention that many of the students that really care about their fitness are already dealing with coaches from the athletic department.

In my gym I see girls all the time from my school. Unfortunately, they are really there for the tanning beds and not the workouts. I don't believe in tanning, but I think it makes the owner a decent amount of money.

People find money for what they believe is important. You are going to have to convince them your services are worth more than something else they could spend their money on. That's going to be a hard sell if you want to utilize that as a primary market. As an secondary or tertiary market it might not be bad to pull in a few customers.

Just where do you plan on opening this gym anyway? Near campus or off campus housing? Near residential areas?
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