Sandy One Year Later: A Story of Small-Business Regeneration
At the time, they were also negotiating for a second CrossFit location in Brooklyn, N.Y., which they have since been able to complete by partnering with the Aviator Sports and Events Center, however they have not re-opened the Long Beach location.
They've opted to open a gym in the neighboring town of Island Park, N.Y. but are unsure if they will return to Long Beach because many homeowners are still not home yet and many renters in the seaside community were forced to find housing elsewhere. Pastuch says the team doesn't know enough about the new demographics in Long Beach to determine if it will support two CrossFit's so close. Additionally, its original location - in a strip of stores - was not suited for the gym's needs, he says in retrospect.
"It's difficult to find the right type of building for the right price. Long Beach was not a home-run hit for us financially," says Pastuch, who also operates his clinic out of Island Park. Still, they're keeping their options open.
In the meantime, Pastuch and his partner have been successful in the new locations and he talks of lessons learned from the storm.A major lesson for the gym - besides purchasing flood insurance - was to improve upon its email and social media outreach to members and learn how to cultivate new customers at a more aggressive pace than previously. "Because of the storm we probably lost $120,000 to $130,000 if not more," Pastuch says. "We lost 60% of membership when we re-opened and then it was about getting those old members to come back and finding new people to join our community, which by the way, the people we have in our gym are incredibly resourceful and incredibly dependable. Our membership base was basically what got us through everything." Business now is good and getting better, he says. "It can always improve. We like to continue to build on it, but business has definitely improved. We have more members than before the storm. We were a little more aggressive about getting people back into the gym," he adds.
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