Building a Dynamic Gym Out of a Life of Service 

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  • Building a Dynamic Gym Out of a Life of Service 

Company Profile: Raegan Reed, The Cardio Club

Welcome to our monthly customer profile series! This May, we feature Raegan Reed, owner of the Cardio Club and Delhi Dance Studio in New York state. Read on to discover how she built a successful, multi-faceted fitness center in a small town along the Catskill mountains.

Raegan Reed’s living her destiny.

There is a saying, “You are the sum total of all your decisions.” Nowhere is this wise adage truer than when considering the life of Raegan Reed. With a servant’s heart and a dancer’s energy, she’s taken an established aerobic studio in a rural town and turned it into a community hub of fitness and creative inspiration. 

Through incorporating traditional fitness choices into classes and dance programs for individuals of all ages, she’s designed a buzzing center that provides a little something challenging for everyone. 

How a diverse business base built The Cardio Club.

In 2009, Reed purchased the existing The Cardio Club (founded in the 1990s) and quickly outgrew the space. By 2014, she sought out and purchased a local church’s community center, transitioning the facility into a 6,000-square-foot multi-faceted business hub. Today, it offers a full-service 24/7 gym, 21 fitness/yoga and 18 dance classes, small group training, an annual Catskill Mountain Yoga Festival, and rents additional space to a chiropractor, nail tech, and eyelash/waxing specialist. 

Additional annual programs include dance recitals, summer workshops for children, and international yoga retreats. 

“I have a lot of things going on. It is a multi-focused, multi-faceted business, or I would not have survived,” she explains. 

Reed commits to making “happy” happen. 

It’s not easy to build a friendly, open environment among members in the traditionally competitive world of gyms. 

For the Cardio Club, this sense of family emerged from a “Biggest Loser” style competition held in 2014. “That’s when everyone became a community. Kind of like (the TV show) ‘Cheers,’ where everyone knows your name.” Simple as it might seem, happy members are critical to a gym’s retention strategy, because once people like going somewhere, she says, they don’t stop going.The energy did not stop there. During the pandemic, to keep customers engaged and paying, Reed recorded more than 200 videos, which are still in circulation three years later. Her commitment grew again when, unable to host a dance recital because of indoor gathering restrictions, she engaged her contractor husband to build an outdoor stage that holds up to 30 people. That stage is now regularly used to host outdoor summer classes.

When did Reed get involved with fitness?

Reed is passionate about her craft. Throughout her adult life, she’s taught dance classes in private studios, or rented space to host her own classes. Reed grew up a dancer, practicing ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. She attended college as a dance major and received her bachelor of fine arts in dance. As a child, she watched her mother take aerobics and line dancing classes at the original Cardio Club. 

While living in New York City, she taught aerobics at Crunch Gym, parlaying that into a spot on a morning talk show, demonstrating exercise moves and poses. Eventually, her gigs included teaching fitness classes at international resorts across the world. All the while, she gave back to the Delhi community, becoming involved with local activities and events, building a name for herself in her hometown. 

How did Reed become a gym owner?

The original Cardio Club owner offered to sell her the gym in 2009 after Reed expressed a need for more space for her classes. In 2013, in search of more legroom for her growing company, she approached a local church about an underused community center. She had handed out Christmas presents in community center for years as chairperson for the Delhi Children’s Christmas Fund. The board voted unanimously to sell it to her. “ It was nice to know the person they were selling the business to,” she explained.

Reed shares six critical steps to The Cardio Club’s continual growth.

  1. Know members’ first names, say good morning, and be flexible with client requests. 
  2. Maintain multiple businesses under one roof. Don’t be a one-trick pony. 
  3. Ask for help. Keep subs available for classes and even office work. Invest in yourself mentally, physically, socially.
  4. Be prepared to pivot and adapt to industry changes.
  5. Network, collaborate and barter services to keep costs down and move business forward.
  6. Partner with local economic development organizations to expand services to financially strapped families. 

Where is the Cardio Club going?

Life is a teacher, and Reed has richly absorbed her lessons. Founding the Catskill Mountain Yoga Festival, and a lifetime of fundraising and event planning in her Delhi community, have given her the skills she needs to take her business international. The popular yoga festival has blossomed into a series of yoga retreats in both Troncones, Mexico, and Costa Rica. 

At home her dance recitals draw 600 guests, while bartering, grants, and sharing her own funds provide dance and camp scholarships to needy children. The gym itself is split into two parts — 24/7 gym membership and unlimited classes. Depending on what they want, members can just work out, or exercise and take classes. Their choice. 

“Karma is real. What goes around, comes around,” she says. 

Gym Insight

Thank you for reading about our amazing client The Cardio Club. Raegan Reed is among our many Gym Insight software users who are heading and growing vibrant businesses. Although we can’t take credit for her success, we do know our comprehensive, easy-to-use gym management software takes the weight off her shoulders. The Cardio Club runs smoother and more autonomously because of tools such as Sales Guru, Digital Keytags, member management and affordable payment processing services. From managing employee commissions to eliminating delinquent accounts to online class scheduling, there’s little we can’t do to make your fitness center run like a well-oiled machine. Give us a call at 888-FOR-GYMS or go to our website and ask for our super sales team, Anthony or Natalia. Need more customer feedback? Visit our Gym Owner’s Podcast on YouTube and check out our customer testimonials and interviews.