Vélo-City & Turnstyle Merge to Bring Indoor Group Cycle to Boston’s Masses
Vélo-City, a popular low-cost, no-frills group cycle studio in Boston’s Back Bay has agreed to merge with Cambridge-based Turnstyle Cycle & Bootcamp, another boutique fitness studio that offers both group cycle & TRX (suspension training) bootcamp classes.
This transaction is the first of its kind in Boston, in what has become an ultra-competitive local boutique fitness market. Since the first cycle studio opened on Tremont Street in 2011, more than a dozen new cycle-focused companies have thrown their hats into the ring. No alliances had been formed between these players, until now.
The two companies are joining forces just weeks before the launch of Turnstyle’s flagship cycle & bootcamp studio at the new Ink Block development in Boston’s South End. Turnstyle’s new location will be located directly next door to the large new Whole Foods and the Capital One Cafe (Peet’s Coffee & Tea) on Harrison Street.
With two established studios, plus the launch of a third location at Ink Block, the combined company will sport the largest team of cycle instructors of any boutique fitness studio in the Greater Boston area – nearly 30 instructors, total – including the five founders themselves. They will also sport the most bikes – 130 stationary bikes between the three studios.
“We all love instructing fitness classes, but we’re often overburdened by all of the managerial tasks required of small business operators. We’re excited to have additional hands on deck, helping to keep all three studios in ship shape, with a bit more time available to enjoy the ride and look toward the future.” says Mick Davis, a Turnstyle co-founder, in addition to being the company’s in-house DJ since they launched in July 2014.
The Vélo-City founders are glad to have the excess capacity provided by Turnstyle’s coming flagship cycle and bootcamp studio at Ink Block, because they’re selling out nearly all of their classes, every day of the week.
“This deal is primarily about setting both companies up for long-term growth, and the timing is just really convenient. We’ve been working for three years at our Back Bay studio, and we’re doing well – bursting at the seams, actually. Turnstyle has gone through a similar process of learning-and-building, and now both companies are ready to take it to the next level, together.” Says Vélo co-founder Tom Resor.
“Tom Resor, Nick Resor, and Matt Juszczak – Vélo-City’s co-owners – have done an incredible job of building a strong community of loyal riders at their Boylston Street studio, by focusing on the four things that we all agree matter most – music, instructors, price, and vibe. They’re talented operators, and we’re excited to be working together.” says Rich Downing, one of Turnstyle’s founders and lead instructors, who will be shifting his time toward instructing more cycle and bootcamp classes, instructor training and development, in addition to strategic business development efforts.
Over the last several months, Turnstyle has been slowly adopting many key elements of Vélo’s business model in anticipation of a deal with Velo, including a dramatic drop in prices, an increase in music-themed classes, and a switch to standard stationary bikes (in December Turnstyle replaced all of their RealRyder bikes, which moved side-to-side). Both studios now offer the most affordable high-end cycle classes. Applying a promotional code consistent with the company’s mission to bring great indoor cycling classes to the masses – CYCLETOTHEPEOPLE – gets customers 30% off all class packs (but not memberships, which are already a reasonable $99/month for unlimited cycle classes). Vélo-City will adopt the “Turnstyle” name and brand gradually, over several months, to show their customer community that everything great about the business will remain intact.
Vélo-City co-owner Matt Juszczak, who is also a technology developer and tech entrepreneur, says the founders are most focused on maintaining what’s special about their companies – the comfy vibe. “Our top priority is to maintain the casual, judgement-free environment that we believe distinguishes both Turnstyle & Velo from other boutique fitness studios,” says Matt.
“Now people will be able to enjoy high-quality fitness classes at a price they can afford, from a variety of talented instructors, at whichever studio happens to be most convenient for them.” says Vélo-City co-owner Nick Resor. “In terms of our ability to best-serve our customers, it’s a no-brainer.”
Co-hosted with the Pan Mass Challenge, Turnstyle will be having a launch party in the swanky main lobby of “1 INK” at the new Ink Block luxury development in Boston, on March 30 (Weds) from 7:30-10:30pm, with an open bar provided by Mighty Squirrel (beer), Cider Creek Hard Cider, Martinetti’s “PMC-brand” wine, light bites provided by Whole Foods, and “sneak peek” tours of their newly built flagship cycle and bootcamp studio. Tickets for the party are available to purchase for $15 through the Vélo-City website, where customers will soon be able to purchase special $10 launch class credits. Turnstyle will begin offering cycle and TRX bootcamp classes to the public on Saturday, April 2nd, with special $10 launch classes offered that entire week (ending April 8th).
All ticket sales, and 50% of launch class proceeds will be donated to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute via The Pan Mass Challenge.