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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 07-25-2007, 11:31 PM   #1
Jeff Chalfant
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I've been crossfitting for a year and a half now and for the last 6 months it has been my dream to have an open-format crossfit gym. For the past 4 months I've been in talks with a martial arts studio regarding partial use of their facility. I just got the word today that they will be moving, so the prospect of growing into a lease for a perfect space in a perfect location is fading. They only wanted $1500/mo tops. The lease itself is $3000/mo--pretty much about as cheap as it gets in the Seattle metro area. I have literally NO capital, some equipment, and lots of passion. I can explain and teach crossfit well, but the personal training thing just leaves out so many people who can't afford it! I have no idea what to do now but lesson learned: Don't put all your hopes into one location.

Any tips on finding a good location?
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:03 AM   #2
Steve Liberati
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There is a reason Jeff. Probably just was not meant to be. I fell into the trap myself of putting all hopes and dreams into one space and it fell through. happens...thats life! Keep looking...its out there. I found my spot, you'll find yours. Just be patient man.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:19 AM   #3
Ben Kaminski
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You can partner with almost anyone doing any kind of activity-based service. Gymnastics gyms, MA gyms, climbing/skating gyms, PT clinics... The possibilities are endless!

Setbacks are always disappointing, but getting back up after falling down lets you resume your quest with more wisdom than you had before.

EDIT: Oh right, here are some tips:

Make a list of all of the activity-based businesses in the area you are willing to work out of.

Scout their websites, hours, size, locations, equipment, parking, etc. to make sure they can be compatible with what you want (do you know exactly what you want ideally? Do you know what you would settle for? Figure it out if not).

Prepare material on CrossFit, on yourself (background, resume, goal with partnership) to give to prospective lessors.

Prepare a brief plan in writing with the terms you would like in your lease (how much space? What hours of operation? How much would you like to pay? Sharing equipment? Exit plan (maybe)? all the details - it's "What's in it for the person I will be partnering with".

That's all I can think of right now. Being prepared for the "interview" is the best thing you can do to arrive at an agreement.

Always consider the other person's point of view as well - to them you are a solicitor - you might need to be the most professional, friendly, and easy to work with solicitor in the world.

Hope this helps! Keep us posted.

(Message edited by ssf on July 26, 2007)
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:02 AM   #4
Joshua Marcum
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Chin up brother. When I first started the idea of a CF gym I had the perfect spot picked out and thought I had the deal squared away and the fella I was leasing under up and left town on me. The next location I had picked out was great and it too fell out from under me. All this time I was paying this kid 10 bucks a week to pass out flyers in my community for a CF class I was going to start doing. Well time came around for the class and I still had no formal facillity and the time frame for my loan was gone. I had given up, but I held the class anyway. 112 peopld showed up for the class. I had to find 3 trainers to help me take care of these folks, and now I've bought the land and am building the facillity I dreamed of when I first stared CrossFit. So thank God for unanswered prayers and keep moving. Good luck
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:07 PM   #5
Jeff Chalfant
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Thanks guys. I know in the end that my passion for doing this thing must overcome any obstacle. This place just seemed so perfect. High ceilings with huge beams, already zoned/permitted, sick location (45,000 cars per day drive by the place).
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:43 AM   #6
Laurie Bowler
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Jeff, no words of help in your situation, although it took us a while to find a place too, keep looking. In the meantime, come down and share some torture with us, we can come up with something to make you *temporarily* forget! It was great to meet you, our offer is always open.

Laurie at Rainier CF
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:56 PM   #7
Derek Maffett
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There is a gymnastics gym in longview. Probably out of the question, of course, but it's an idea.

And yes, I do live in Castle Rock and so have a motive for getting someone to start a Crossfit nearby. :happy:
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:53 AM   #8
Frank DiMeo
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Jeff, try some physical therapy clinics.
That's worked very well for me.
If they need a reference from a therapist about this, let me know.
The people I share the building think CF is great!
Several of the staff members train with me.

(Message edited by Gulf_Coast on July 31, 2007)
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:54 AM   #9
Jerry Hill
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If you love the space then assume the lease...sub-lease the MMA space to someone else...

There has to be a lot of folks in the same situation as you.

Do you have a client base?

In Strength,
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:46 PM   #10
Jeff Chalfant
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I DID have a client base when I left the gym I was training at... I just put them on hold for too long.

Assuming the lease would be out of the question without getting a $50,000-100,000 loan to cushion the first year.
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