Missoula’s New Year’s resolution is going to be to help other people work out more. Employment ads for a Missoula location of the fitness company ClassPass, which sells flat-rate monthly memberships that can be used for classes at a variety of gyms and studios, began surfacing online just before Christmas. Confirmation that the startup was moving to town followed last Tuesday in a press release from the Missoula Economic Partnership.
This will be the company’s third office in the U.S., after New York and San Francisco. While Missoula’s cred as a fitness- and tech-friendly town with an educated population is cited by the MEP as supporting the company’s decision to land here, CEO Fritz Lanman was already familiar with the area, having gotten married in Hamilton. He’s even wearing a Grizzly Hackle ballcap in his Twitter avatar photo.
ClassPass will move into space in downtown’s Millenium Building.
The company snagged second place in Deloitte’s 2017 Fast 500 rankings, showing a revenue growth of 46,556 percent through 2016. It recently closed a $70 million Series C round of funding and has been valued at more than $400 million, all with a staff of just 215 employees. The Missoula office plans to hire 50 more.
The MEP press release says workers at the Missoula office will be paid salaries starting at around $30,000 and going up to $150,000. ClassPass plans to staff the new office with new hires, sending extant employees here temporarily for training purposes, says ClassPass spokesperson Ashley Hennings. “We wanted to get people in the door as soon as possible. We’re excited to start hiring,” Hennings says. “It’ll be a mix of customer service, account managers and engineering.”
Meanwhile, ClassPass isn’t yet available to Missoula consumers. “We obviously don’t have a presence there right now, but our executive team recently visited there and sees there’s a good density of studios,” says Hennings, who didn’t speculate as to when Missoulians might expect access to the service. ClassPass currently offers tiered packages for three, five or 10 classes per month, with pricing tailored to the city (New Yorkers pay $135 for 10 classes; Portlanders pay $79). There are limits to how many times a user can visit the same studio.
Greg Hoover of Missoula’s Hot House Yoga says he hasn’t used any third-party class sales in the past. Most of his business comes from organic web searches or word of mouth. He says he might be more open to using the services of a company with a local office. “It depends on how it operates and what their number would be,” Hoover says. His main impression of the company so far is more focused on its prsence than on the service. “Anybody that wants to bring in jobs is good in my book.”
-- update --
With the assistance of the Missoula Economic Partnership, ClassPass is requesting a Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund job creation grant in the amount of $345,000. The request will go to the county commissioners at Thursday's meeting.