The Force is Strong with This One
Force Fitness Club, located in Ridgewood, New York, knows how to go with the flow. When Mike Romer opened Force in 2008, he had a goal to open his own personal training studio, but it turned into a 12,000-square-foot fitness facility instead.
The club has one aim: to make sure every one of its members is equipped with the ability to get the results they seek. “To do that, we offer a variety of ways for them to train,” said Romer. “Our memberships are a la cart. They can upgrade and downgrade between plans offering Group X, CrossFit, FitCamp and regular access. This gives them the ability to customize their fitness to their needs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all membership.”
In 2014, Ridgewood CrossFit was added to the club after struggling to figure out what to do with a particular studio space. The space originally started out as a Mixed Martial Arts studio, however, it turned out not to be a good fit for the club’s demographic. The space was then turned into a Group X studio where they offered more high intensity interval training-based classes.
“At that time, I noticed many CrossFitters using Force Fitness Club because our club had the necessary equipment and platforms,” said Romer. “They all had CrossFit memberships, and a membership to Force. It just made sense to bring CrossFit to Force, and it was a natural fit.”
Romer said a traditional box — the CrossFit term for “gym” — has a hard time bringing past clients back once they lose them. At a higher price point, retention gets harder. “At Force, if someone stops CrossFit, they usually just downgrade to one of our regular memberships,” he said. “They don’t leave. This way, we continue to serve that client and they are more likely to get back into CrossFit after some time.”
Force Fitness Club stands out from other gyms in the community by offering meal-preps, weekly motivational texts, and being the last single-owner-operated club in the community. But that doesn’t prevent it from facing challenges.
“The challenge you face in a facility like this is most want to start with a regular membership, and it takes some work to show and convince them the higher price point program is worth it,” said Romer. “So, we have people coming here for CrossFit, and the rest we try to upgrade to CrossFit. It’s a challenge, but also the beauty of it is I view all of our members as prospects for CrossFit, and they are already in our community.”
Additionally, Romer said they have been successful over the years by constantly being willing to change and listen to their members to offer what they want. “We’ve changed strategies, marketing — we’re now in our 11th year and we are ready to rock another 20 years,” he said.