ClassPass started out in a couple of major cities with a handful of participating gyms, and has now expanded to suburbs and fitness studios of all kinds. However, whether it is a good choice for your own boutique gym or not is still in question.
What is ClassPass?
Class Pass charges a flat monthly rate (currently somewhere between $80 and $120 per month) for a pass that includes unlimited classes per month at any or all of the participating fitness studios and boutique gyms. Card holders are permitted 3 classes per month at any single studio, must book via the app or online on a first come, first served basis, and must pay a $30 cancellation fee if they don’t cancel 12-24 hours in advance.
Gyms that participate agree to hold a certain number of spots in agreed upon classes open for ClassPass users. ClassPass reimburses each gym or studio at an agreed upon rate (usually much lower than drop-in rates) for each successful booking.
Pros of ClassPass
ClassPass has a definite number of upsides. For users, the freedom to try different disciplines, trainers, settings and class times allows for experimentation before committing to any single studio, and the cost is comparable to just a few classes per month – with an average drop-in rate in NYC or Los Angeles running $34 or more.
For boutique gym owners or personal trainers, ClassPass brings in new clientele to studios struggling to fill classes, paving the way for a new member to choose a permanent fitness home. With sharp competition for prime time work-out sessions and the ability to book late when a cancellation arises, classes can be kept well filled and the volume will make up for the discounted pricing.
Cons of ClassPass
Many ClassPass holders have been delighted with the ability to work out in cross discipline or different same discipline studios on an almost unlimited schedule – without paying high session package rates, membership fees, or even higher drop-in rates. However, long term users of many studios find it annoying when in demand classes fill up quickly with “outsiders” and miss the sense of community and dedication that comes with a smaller but regular group core.
For the boutique gyms themselves, it becomes a matter of service and exclusivity. Concerns about regular members feeling resentment over “interlopers” swinging in and claiming classes for half price or less goes hand in hand with worries over a dropping of standards as the ClassPass users swarm established classes and slow individual progress.
Whether or not to jump on the ClassPass train is a decision that must be left in the hands of the individual trainer or gym owner. An additional; potential risk of ClassPass is larger numbers of people who are relatively new to a fitness workout and their increased susceptibility to injury – so before deciding to open up classes to ClassPass users, ensure your fitness trainer liability coverage is up to date!