On purpose built parkour gyms

Craig: The average person who wants to build a gym, which right away, that’s a very small group of people. Especially in America, it might be hundreds of people who would have visions of building a gym. And they’re going to come at this with different … Some people are going to build the Taj Mahal, right? And some people, they’re just going to have infinite money to throw at it and for them it’s just, “Where are the t’s”, and “I cross [00:10:30] them all” and we make it look cool. And then there are other people that are like a one man shop and they’re trying to just squeak by on old fire house. So, can you kind of pick apart the types, like the scales that you’ve seen and where does it really work and where is like the tipping point for success.

Andy: Yeah, I’ve seen that anything … Like you’ve got this mansion gym, 16,000 square feet, it’s freaking huge, you go into it with-

Craig: Ten times the size of my house.

Andy: Yeah, right. And you got 250,000 dollars to blow, [00:11:00] you got two high bounce gymnastics trampolines and you’ve got custom built sculptures all over the gym. And it’s … You’ve got this crazy-

Craig: Where is this place, I want to go, right?

Andy: Right? Yeah. And you see this … There are a couple of these gyms that are out there and like Tempest was this, the top tier most amazing thing until people were like, “I’m going to do that, but bigger”. Because Tempest is 7,200 square feet, the Tempest that, the Mario won the first one.

Craig: Okay.

Andy: [00:11:30] And, it’s a great gym. We’re not talking about that, we’re talking about how there’s this giant mansion one and what we end up finding … What I see, I’ve seen in it, is that the large gyms that are over 10,000 square feet have to diversify, because it’s not something that they can really sustain completely on parkour. That they have break dancing groups or they have yoga groups, they have aerial silks, they have ninja, something like that and [00:12:00] whenever they split and diversify then they’re … Everyone is learning from each other it’s a really healthy place, whatever. Maybe it’s not, who knows. Depends on how you run it, but that is a giant master thing.

Craig: Opportunity, right.

Andy: And a lot of people go in thinking that they’re going to do that gym, but they don’t have the breakdancer that’s going to teach all the classes, right?

Craig: Right.

Andy: They don’t have the yoga person that’s going to teach the classes. So, when they go into this giant crazy thing, it ends up … [00:12:30] Eating itself. Because the hardest part of business is finding your team.

Craig: Yeah, the other people, that’s the hardest part.

Andy: That is by far the hardest part and people go into it thinking, they’ve got all this money and they’ve got this space and they’ve got this passion and that, that’s going to be good enough. Mine’s up there close, mine’s 11,000 square feet, so I think that mine is just a little bit of a luxury. But I got it for such a sweet price that it’s … We’re not really killing ourselves too much. [00:13:00] But between 10 and 6,000 square feet is … That’s kind of the money maker mark, right?

Craig: Like the sweet spot.

Andy: Yeah and you’ve got to find the right price.

Craig: Is it’s 6-10,000 square feet.

Andy: Yeah and this is all my opinion. But 6-10,000 square feet, you get people in there, they love it and you can sustain a business entirely on parkour in that. And it’s hard, right, depending on what the prices that you get and whatever. But the gym doesn’t [00:13:30] feel empty whenever you’re in it, whenever you’ve got a couple people in there training. It just … You can make it really baller and it’s not too small either. Because if you have this little small space and you go in and it feels like it’s packed all the time, but there’s only 10 people in it, then you can’t end up doing much there, you don’t get to grow really, as an athlete-

Craig: Yeah, you’re right. You’re not running NAPC there.

Andy: Yeah. So, then the smaller gyms would be another scale. So, you’ve got the [00:14:00] 5,000/4,000 square feet and they’re someone who’s like, “We’re trying to grow bigger, we want to, we just … It’s hard to get over that little hunch … That little hump”, whatever. But then you’ve got the 2,000 square feet gyms and those are the guys that are like, “Man, I need to fix this, I need to change it”. And I’ve been talking entirely in square feet, that’s not the entire marker. A lot of it is the money that you’re putting into your build and the quality in the type of build that you’re doing, because you might do it in sections, and [00:14:30] you might build it out of pallets or you might build it out of like-

Craig: It’s so neat, for people who haven’t gone to different gyms, I really encourage you. Because every one of them has, not just a different vibe, which comes from the people who are there, but the spaces are so different. You walk into one and it’s effectively a pole building, sheet metal garage with a concrete floor and it’s like bar-ville. And everything’s just scaff everywhere and then you walk into another one … You walk into Andy’s gym and it’s … I don’t know how to describe it, I feel like I walked into a video game. Just everything is … It’s [00:15:00] hard, but there’s video game characters and you know-I’m like, “The guy who runs this has blue hair and the kids love it here”, you know?

Andy: Yeah and it’s different building a gym where you think about, “What do I want to play on?” As opposed to-

Craig: Versus, “What does everybody else need?”

Andy: “What is my clientele that’s going to be paying the bills that keeps my business open going to be playing on?”

Craig: Right.

Andy: Right? And then, “How do I get those guys to turn into people that I can train with every day?” As opposed to teach. [00:15:30] And making that is really hard and overwhelming and then trying to tie that back into what we were talking about, about trying to build it with the right … Like, do I use 2 x 4’s or 2 x 6’s? Do I use this type of plywood … Knowing all of this incredibly intense knowledge about building, which, I’m an electrician and have been for 12 years, so I’ve been around construction for … like half my life.

[00:16:00] So, it’s hard to get that knowledge and then to take that and look at your now 6,000 square feet and it’s just an empty box and you’ve got to sit there and make that beautiful. It’s really overwhelming to cross all your t’s. So, I can sympathize with the people that are trying to open a gym and that do it wrong, because they don’t know what to do, they don’t have enough guidance, someone hasn’t stepped in and said, “This is …It’s not public knowledge how to build a gym right and how to run gym business”.

Craig: [00:16:30] Right. How many purpose built parkour spaces do we really think there are in America at the moment? We probably could name 20 if we just sat down with a pencil for a minute. But could we get to 40? Could we get to 50 before we were talking about CrossFit boxes that have a parkour person in house?

Andy: Yeah.

Craig: That’s not a parkour gym. I mean, I think those micro spaces, might be a way to call those. I think micro spaces are good. It could be really good for an outdoor community to have a spot where they can go when it’s snowing sideways. And a place to keep … [00:17:00] Some places to work on muscle up power and things. But above the size of those micro spaces, we can’t be at 100, we’re lucky if we’re at 50, I think.

Meet the team

I love the Movers Mindset project because it gives me the opportunity to connect with movers from all over the globe, and interact with people I would never have gotten a chance to meet otherwise. I think the project is very unique in that way; it uses the resources each of us has and gives us a platform to connect on a deeper level.

~ Kristen – Project manager

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