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gyms sold by original founders - examples please
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tobin_kelly


Jul 29, 2010, 4:01 AM
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gyms sold by original founders - examples please
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I am doing some research for someone trying to finance a gym project.

Does anyone know of any instances of the original founder(s) of a gym selling on to someone else? In particular: doing so profitably ... ie for more than their set-up costs.


troutboy


Jul 29, 2010, 6:03 AM
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tobin_kelly wrote:
I am doing some research for someone trying to finance a gym project.

Does anyone know of any instances of the original founder(s) of a gym selling on to someone else? In particular: doing so profitably ... ie for more than their set-up costs.

Philly Rock Gym. Owners Matt Blanca (might be wrong on the last name) and Greg Williams sold to Dave Rowland. Founded in 1993. I can't remember when they sold out (early 2000s ?).



TS


rschap


Jul 29, 2010, 4:58 PM
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We are the fifth owners of the gym we just bought and it’s always sold for less than it was bought for. Of course aside from the original owners it’s never been run very well. We’re also in the middle of nowhere. Don’t know if that helps.


vegastradguy


Jul 29, 2010, 6:47 PM
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both gyms in las vegas have been sold more than once- the east side gym has had at least 4 owners, i think, and the west side gym has had 3.

to my knowledge, the only one to turn a profit was the original owner of the west side gym.


mheyman


Jul 30, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Vertical Reality Maple Shade NJ has been sold twice. It is now named Elite Climbing.

http://www.eliteclimbing.com/

Less recently Vertical Extreme in Downingtown PA was sold.

http://www.verticalextreme.com/


(This post was edited by mheyman on Jul 30, 2010, 11:53 AM)


tobin_kelly


Jul 31, 2010, 5:43 AM
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Thanks to everyone who's commented.

Infering from this and other sketchy anecdotal data I have acquired it seems like profitable sales of gyms are pretty rare. Of course it is still a immature business area (I'd guess the average age of most commercial gyms is not much more than ten years? Anyone contest that?) ... with time people will probably get better at estimating profitability at the outset and make sure they don't over-invest in new projects.

Any other thoughts on this topic, however tangential are very welcome.


acorneau


Jul 31, 2010, 6:16 AM
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tobin_kelly wrote:
(I'd guess the average age of most commercial gyms is not much more than ten years? Anyone contest that?)

Just one datum: Texas Rock Gym was opened in late 1995, so it's going on 15 years.

I'm sure there are others out there that have been around for 20 years or more, but have no idea what the average age might be.


ConverseClimber


Jul 31, 2010, 6:50 AM
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Vertical extreme was bought by the new owner in 2002 and is running profitably


Gmburns2000


Jul 31, 2010, 7:01 AM
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If you do it right then the gym can be profitable. Metrorock in Boston is one such example: a very good and very well-run gym that I anticipate will be around for a long time, particularly since they've been looking to expand (and have actually expanded once, but are looking for other opportunities to do so).


ax


Jul 31, 2010, 7:56 AM
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gyms here have been open about 15... and 8 years.

I think that the ones making a profit aren't for sale!

Wink


scottydo


Jul 31, 2010, 8:38 AM
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Solid Rock Gym in San Diego (old town) was opened in 1993 and sold a few years later I believe. It still seems to be doing well.


rschap


Jul 31, 2010, 2:05 PM
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tobin_kelly wrote:
(I'd guess the average age of most commercial gyms is not much more than ten years? Anyone contest that?)


“Good” “business men” don't tend to open climbing gyms which is both the reason why they get opened in the first place and the reason why some fail. I do agree with Ax that the ones that do well don’t get sold. One other thing I want to point out is a climbing gym is one of the few businesses where people line up to buy a when its failing. Statistics are BS and it is completely up to the person or people running the business. 80% of all restaurants fail in the first 5 years but yet many keep trying. The ones that make it are the people that do it best regardless of what business you are in. If you want to make this into a statistic you have to take into account the people that didn’t know what the hell they were doing business wise.


tobin_kelly


Aug 2, 2010, 3:36 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
One other thing I want to point out is a climbing gym is one of the few businesses where people line up to buy a when its failing.

Arguably that's not very surprising as 1. by the time the gym fails everyone should have a pretty good idea of whether there are a viable number of users for the gym or not, plus 2. fixed costs in the gym business are substantially the initial start-up costs which the new buyers are probably going to acquire for a discount from the failed sellers (unless they are dumb and pay too much) ... plus 3. - I assume - owning a gym is an attractive lifestyle choice for lots of people.

A follow-on from this: does anyone have any experience of trying to raise finance for gym from third-party investors (ie not just a founder's equity plus a bank loan) they can share ... if so what was the pitch in terms of RoI and time scales for cashing out their investment?


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