In the past 48 hours I've heard it all. How can ClassPass raise their rates almost 100 percent in a year? Will you quit? Will you instead just join your favorite studio full time? Will you give up entirely on the NYC fitness scene and as the weather gets nicer go back to the basis and run, bike and walk?
There has been a lot of finger pointing. But what I have found missing from the conversation is the reality: the cost of doing business in NYC.
Reality check: a non-ground floor retail space in a popular area (i.e Midtown, Flatiron) is at least five figures to start. To start. That does not include insurance, real estate tax, electric bills, water bills, gas not to mention paying staff, equipment and the random repairs. If you are a boutique studio owner and not a big corporation how do you make a profit much less break even?
I opened The Fit Co in January; we are a small space and we share a floor with two chiropractors. This was the decision I made: to offer smart, effective fitness classes including cardio, strength, toning and in addition we have yoga and pilates. We have classes where moms could bring babies and still get a good workout. We have a variety but we started small. Which of course means smaller classes and numbers. Less rent but less bodies in the door during prime time hours.
When I was a fitness enthusiast I definitely balked at the hefty prices. It was a definite continuous struggle between watching my budget yet wanting to make sure I was going to the fitness classes I thought were most effective. I didn't understand why the prices were so expensive. Now I do.
Even though now- as a studio owner- I understand it doesn't mean I have an answer. Our clientele live in the same city as we offer our services. They have to pay rent, purchase food and find ways to live in one of the most cost prohibitive cities in the world. We ask you to pay north of $30 a class. But you are trying to figure out how to work your finances in a way that works best for you.
Bottom line: we all make choices. We have to choose where we want to spend, where we can, where we have to save. We have to prioritize. You want us to provide the fitness; we need you to stay in business. At The Fit Co we do our best to work with our clients to find a mutually beneficial pricing structure. It isn't a perfect solution: but by working together we can find a solution that is better for both of us.