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Thread summary:

Personal training studio, newer-construction, family friendly area, skiing, outdoor activities

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Old 04-09-2007, 08:54 PM
12 posts, read 43,026 times
Reputation: 12


Looking at moving to the Colorado Springs area to open a personal training studio within the area. Would love any information you can provide both on the business side as well as personal side. We are looking from the Tri-Lakes area down to the Briargate area. We are a young couple, looking to spend between 300-350,000 for a home, newer-construction preferred, in a family-oriented/young professional area. We are also looking at Birmingham, AL and Austin, TX. We are both from Florida (GATOR GRADS), and lived here all of our lives, but are into skiiing, and love outdoor and recreational activities. I personally am concerned about the winter and driving in the snow. As far as opening a business, we are looking at opening in an established market but still growing. Are people in Colorado Springs already so fitness and outdoor oriented, that they wouldn't be interested in a personal training studio, which would offer private and group training classes, as well as fitness boot camps and such? How are organized sports for kids in the area? Are they big into team sports (Pop-Warner, Little League,etc) or more individual sports (gymnastics, skiing, etc)? While we are young and currently have no children, where we open a business is where we plan to start and raise a family, so family issues, such as sports, schools, etc are very important. Any input you can provide, would be much appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:07 PM
28 posts, read 109,143 times
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Default We chose the Springs

Sounds like you have a lot of the same questions my wife and I did before our move to the Springs. We just opened our business here. We reached a point where we had narrowed it down between Austin and here. I think this area is much nicer than Austin. In your price range anyway. I lived in Austin for a little while and the neighborhoods that I would like to live in started above 350. And the nicer areas are well above that. 350 here would easily buy you double the home. There a lot of very dirty parts of Austin. The areas that are considered slummy here are not really not that bad. I don't think winters are what people think here. It's not like South Park where there is snow on the ground every day. This is one of the Sunniest places in the county. So the snow does not hang around very often. March is the snowiest month of the year. There wasn't one day this march that snow stayed on the ground more than a day. A sunny 50 degree day can feel like 70 in other places. An average day in january would be, Some clouds and a lot of sunshine 43. But there will a couple rough snow storms through the winter of course. Austin is nice on the west Side. Lake areas NW and the Hills in the South West. New homes in those areas are over a half mill on average. Best of luck to you guys. I think your business would have opportunity in any of those cities.
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:40 AM
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,191,883 times
Reputation: 865
From what I can tell, the type of business you are wanting to open seems to be the current trend for the northern end. Those of us on the south end have to drive all the way up north which is blah! As a result, the best thing we can do is just use the new beautiful YMCA on the south side of Colorado Springs which is in an area of town that is less desireable. (Seriously, it is a beautiful facility but in a uneducated part of town.) There is a Bally's on the southern end too, but not too many like it because it isn't that family friendly. We also have a Curves on the southside, but again, not family friendly. As far as sports goes for kids, usually the southern end uses Springs activities, school activities, or Security Community Center offers a wide variety of sports for youth and adults. In fact, this year's soccer program has just grown like you wouldn't believe. We have 15 teams this year for 3-4th graders alone!

You know what we don't have a lot of here, which you might consider? Personal training but where you do the traveling. Seriously. If you would be willing to travel to the fitness center of the client's choice, that would be great! I have talked to numerous women who wish they could find a trainer that help them tailor a program to them, on their schedule. This could mean meeting them at their gym/trail of their choice. Whatever you choose to do, provide a website/forum/bulletin board that allows members to search for partners to workout with. This is really highly desireable for mothers with young children. Being able to work out with another mother or two is highly beneficial because it keeps one another motivated (money in your own pocket), helps with childcare issues, etc..

My opinion, rent for at least a year or so and get a good idea of the Pikes Peak region so you can get your own feeling about it. IF you do decide to come and open up something similar to what I described, please let me know. I have quite a few women in the southern end who would be interested. Driving north with kids just isn't something we like to do on a daily basis. Not to mention, the businesses seem to cater to the higher income families but then wonder why they go out of business after 6 months/1 yr. I think location will be your key to success and if you can get into a building that looks new). People flock to new businesses in a new building.
Good luck!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:45 PM
12 posts, read 43,026 times
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Smile Just a little more info...

What we are looking at doing is leasing some commercial property at around the 4000 sq ft size, not operating the business out of out homes, as well as investing quite a bit of money in equipment and such. It offers all the same equipment (actually better) of a regular gym with the ability to not workout in large scale and packed facility and the attention of your own personal trainer. The facility would maintain an upscale, private training studio feel with seperate areas for group classes and personal training.

We are looking at having a lot of differnt options available, allowing us to draw from the upper middle class on up, such as one-on-one training and semi-private (the most expensive) to small and large group classes as well as "boot camp" style classes (which seems to have really caught on big up in Denver...is this coming into the springs yet?) and some "mommy-and-me" type classes. Another area is athlete training camps for middle and high school athletes (not overnight, just training). Our typical members are going to mostly be made up middle-age women and men, with weekend warriors and young athletes (and hopefully elite athletes down the road) mixed in.

We are obviously looking to hire additionaly trainers to be able to do all this as well, and probably within the first year we could concievably have 8-10 trainers on staff.

Does this change your responses at all, and if yes, how so? Thank you all so much for your input.
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Old 04-14-2007, 09:15 AM
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,191,883 times
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I think its definitely doable. Location- I am not sure. As tempting it will be on the northern end- your building rent/price will be high. I wondering, and maybe Mike from back east will have more input, but putting it along Powers somewhere around (north of) Barnes. Maybe even by Woodmen by Wolf Ranch? You will be excluding southern part of town, but I think should cater to the northern clientel. Oh, what about the old Halloween store by Chapel Hills Mall?? It's right by a Barnes and Noble and Whole Foods. Be sure to advertise at the schools with the teachers!! I think it is a great idea and would love to be one of your clients. Since I am in the education system and still visit the UCCS campus frequently- I could spread the word. When you planning on starting? I am game.

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Old 04-14-2007, 12:44 PM
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
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Default Personal Trainers (PTs)

Agree, you'd need your own facility. Most clubs, like Bally Fitness, don't allow outside PTs to bring clients into their gyms, even if that client is a member of Bally Fitness. Bally is happy to sell us the services of THEIR staff of PTs at about $50 an hour, on a contact basis, for 8 or 16 or 24 or more PT sessions. My wife and I are not PT's and have no relationship to the PT biz, except as users of PT services at Bally Fitness.

Just about all of the PTs we've had at Bally also have private clients, but those clients don't come into Bally. These PT's with private clients deal with them in their basement or public parks. This begs a question: Does your business plan allow for other PT's to bring their clients into YOUR facility for some sort of fee split? Might work out, dont' know, just an idea. Some people love their PT and don't want to change. Many HOA's here do not permit some sorts of businesses to be run out of a home, due to traffic, noise and parking issues.

- Name of business. How about something like PT City. Short, to the point, easy to remember, probably copyrightable.

- Byline: The Personal Trainer Club. (Why club? Gyms reek. So do many guys at the gym. Club imply classy & exclusive.)

- Value Proposition: The only gym featuring all personal trainers, all the time, every visit. Use our Personal Trainer or bring you own, by appointment. Not open to the general public. Never crowded. Not like any gym you've known. Never wait for equipment again. Never pay for equipment and amenities you don't need (like that murky hot tub in the corner). Avoid squeaky gear, grunting gorillas and surly characters leaving puddles of sweat all over (we provide towels, others don't). Every client gets our full personal attention and a professional program tailored to each client's specific needs, right down to nutritional planning. Our PTs maximize every dollar you spend. You get the right workout for you, safely, at the days and times you choose.

- Other: I'm not in the biz, not sure where in town the target clientele would be found, but my hunch is its the 'disposable income' crowd, and other than the Broadmoor area, I'm thinking mostly the north side of town. The active duty military here generally use facilities on military bases. There are plenty of fitness stores and gyms along the main commercial strip, Academy Blvd. The new emerging business strip is the Powers corrridor, and building is going great guns in that area. One fitness club announced a site at Woodmen and Powers, and rumors are that Bally will put a club on Powers too, near Barnes. Woodmen is the main drag east out of town a major path to affordable homes out in Falcon and Peyton. Bally is having its troubles financially, looking for a saviour with deep pockets, not sure if they will build anything new here for some time. If Bally is anything like the old Holiday Spa that I joined in 1972, they will talk it up for years, sell memberships for years to get free capital, and build something.... eventually....when their finances allow. With so many fitness places around here, not sure how you can/should differentiate yourself...as I go back and read your posting, your concept sounds a bit like Bally, who also feature group classes, PTs on-staff, and child care in the AM hours. Haven't seen any classes for Mommy and Me yet. Don't rule out Daddy and Me classes. As far as student-age clients, school district 20, here on the north side, is one of the larger and better districts, which appear to be better funded than most and thus may be more open-minded to new ideas if they have financial resources to try something without having to hire more employees on their payroll. I'm wondering if they'd contract with fitness experts to come into their phys ed classes to teach a topic? Hmmmm....

FYI: Joined Holiday Spa in 1972 in Catonsville, MD. They merged into Bally at some point. Even if it seemed expensive, we bought the best membership available, an all-club, unlimited use, transferable (sellable), lifetime membership, with fixed annual dues. We now use any Bally we want, any time, as often as we want. Since buying that membeship in 1972, it costs the whopping sum of $12.00 per year. When I'm old and gray (er, umm, lets make that older and grayer) we can sell our memberships to someone, and they will get to pay $12 per year, forever....

s/Mike from back east
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:25 PM
Location: Key West, FL
2 posts, read 3,834 times
Reputation: 11
Default We have been looking too...

My husband and I are also new to the springs. We have a wellness business specializing in bodywork and postural corrective exercises. I have many clients in the southwest (near to the broadmoor) who complain of the lack of good facilities in that part of town. We had actually looked at getting a wellness center started in that area with pilates, fitness, nutrition, massage and Bowenwork(my speciality). I think there is quite a demand there if you can find a good space. Wherever you end up, considering incorporating massage, bowenwork, nutrition and other specialized modalities could fit in very well with the clientele you are attempting to reach. We are currently considering spaces available for our business, but would really prefer to be located within a larger complex such as what you are proposing to start and haven't found this type of situation (Bally's, the YMCA, etc just aren't at that level)
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:14 PM
Location: Canon City, Colorado
1,331 posts, read 4,414,851 times
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Broadmoor area!!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:43 PM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,765,097 times
Reputation: 17411
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Since buying that membeship in 1972, it costs the whopping sum of $12.00 per year.
Of all the good and interesting things that Mike has written on CD, this is the one I remember the most, or am least likely to forget.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:02 AM
Location: Green Mountain Falls, CO
15 posts, read 23,029 times
Reputation: 13
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Of all the good and interesting things that Mike has written on CD, this is the one I remember the most, or am least likely to forget.
Wow, no kidding.
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