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You Can Thank ClassPass for Some of NYC's Latest Fitness Studio Openings

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Have you checked out Pop Physique yet? It opened its doors earlier this month in Nomad. Or how about Row House? Capitalizing on the popularity of the workout, its third studio arrived in Chelsea in the fall. Or, rather, ClassPass is capitalizing: Well + Good reports that these are the fruits of its partnership program that founders Payal Kadakia and Mary Biggins created earlier this year.

"Our mission is to utilize our internal help studio owners," Michael Wolf the global head of operations and partnerships at ClassPass, told the website about what they call the Studio Empowerment Program. "We're trying to support the entire ecosystem." They're doing that by providing a de facto loan to studios to set up new locations in exchange for the monetary equivalent to a certain number of class spots to be reserved for ClassPass users. Other local partners mentioned include Y7 Studios and New York Pilates.

"It was very appealing to us because it provided a bit more support," Pop Physique founder Jennifer Williams told Well + Good, adding that "we had a deal signed within 45 minutes" when Kadakia and Biggins met with her about the cross-country potential. "We thought ‘this is a way we could absolutely do New York right now.'"

"From our perspective, that was kind of a no-brainer," added Row House co-founder Debra Strougo Frohlich. When you open new studios, it's just a cash flow scenario that we have to solve."

But not everyone's taking the bait. "We built a product that costs $32, so committing to something that could ultimately cost us a full-paying, long-term client seemed really scary to us," said CityRow founder Helaine Knapp, who was approached by ClassPass and ultimately went on to establish her studio's Upper East Side location (opening in January) without them.

One wonders what Drill Fitness, the Tribeca studio that shut down after one year in business because of "the business model for a boutique gym has been shaken up by a rapidly growing web based membership program," would think about this program.