Jon Cerf has lifted himself to the top of the fitness game in Denver.
The owner of personal training gym brand Core Progression is doubling the number of his gyms in the next six months, and he hopes to find franchisees to take the brand across the country.
Core Progression will open its third location this weekend at 5790 Yukon St. in Arvada.
Cerf, an Arvada native, bought the 5,300-square-foot building in April from Revesco Properties for $1.2 million, according to property records.
“With the light rail coming in and all these new small businesses, it’s kind of the crown jewel of Arvada,” he said. “It’s a stand-alone building with 30 parking spaces.”
Cerf, 34, started his fitness business in 2008, and since has opened gyms in West Arvada and Northglenn, also in buildings that he owns. Cerf said that although the upfront capital costs were high, owning has made him immune to rent increases.
“Not only does it allow me to control my own destiny from a rent standpoint, it also allows me to build equity (and) commercial assets as well,” he said.
Core Progression will open locations at 1620 Welton St. in downtown Denver and 2525 S. Arapahoe Road in Boulder in the first quarter of 2019, Cerf said. Both locations are franchises and in the final stages of 10-year lease negotiations.
Cerf said he chose to start franchising because he wanted to scale quickly without giving away parts of his company to investors.
“For me, it’s to be able to grow and still be able to control,” he said. “It allows us to grow the brand not only in Colorado but nationally.”
Franchise fees cost $45,000 for one territory with a three-mile radius, and $99,000 and $150,000 for three or five territories, respectively. Franchisees also pay 5 percent of weekly gross sales, Cerf said.
In seven to 10 years, he wants to open between six and eight corporate locations in Colorado, as well as 500 franchises across the country. So far, he has signed agreements only with the franchisees for downtown Denver and Boulder, but he said he has received interest from owners in Texas, California and Maryland.
Core Progression’s average monthly membership costs $350, and Cerf said members get access to not only personal and group fitness training, but also massage therapy, chiropractic services and physical therapy.
“We cap our classes at eight people,” Cerf said. “You have a very focused trainer who’s making sure you’re doing everything properly.”
Cerf said he hires between five and seven personal trainers for each of his locations and has no more than 200 members at each.