Telluride CrossFit will have a new location next year right up the hill where athletes can sweat and workout. Telluride CrossFit Owner and Coach Robin Jones purchased land in Lawson Hill and plans to build a new building with a 2,000-square-foot gym space this fall. Ideally, Jones explained she would like to see the project completed by the time their lease ends June 20, 2023, at the current location at 137 Society Drive.
"We'd love to break ground in the fall. We're still working on builders. We've got engineering going on and all of that. With the state of the construction industry, a few years back, it would have been realistic that we would be out in the timeframe we need," Jones said.
Jones hopes they will be able to extend their lease in the current building, if needed, but the building was purchased by San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) last year. The space includes the Telluride Gymnastics and Telluride CrossFit gyms; however, the two businesses are separate as Jones purchased the CrossFit gym in June 2020. Jones is unsure of the plans for Telluride Gymnastics.
The new CrossFit location in Lawson will be to the left of Society Drive hill, across from Telluride Mountain School, right before the sharp turn, Jones explained. Right now, the area has a connecting hiking and biking trail and is not developed. Jones said they purchased the land for $600,000.
Per county requirements, the building will include affordable housing.
"The requirement in the county is that 40 percent of the total square footage of the building needs to be affordable housing," Jones said.
Instead of a single 1,600-square-foot housing unit, they decided to split the footprint into two 800-square-foot apartments. This way, Jones said they could help combat the significant affordable housing crisis in the area by housing more people.
Membership capacity will remain relatively the same at the new location. Currently, the cap is 12 athletes per class at the gym. Even though the new site will have 800 more square feet of usable gym space, according to Jones, class sizes won't change.
"The hard thing about increasing a class size when it is a coached activity, as soon as you go to above 12, you tend to lose people because they don't feel like they're getting the coaching with just one coach," Jones said.
With the new space, CrossFit members will be able to spread out more and have designated areas for equipment. Instead of spending time and energy moving stationary bikes and rowing machines, athletes can focus on workouts, which Jones called a "luxury."
CrossFit member David Allen joined the gym when it opened over a decade ago. Allen is excited for Jones and the future of Telluride CrossFit.
"It's kind of like the now-famous local bumper sticker, 'Came to ski, stayed for the library,'" Allen said.
Allen is thankful for the gym and said if there was no CrossFit gym in town, there would be a massive void in his life and the greater Telluride community.
"I initially joined the CrossFit gym to support all of the core sports we each indulge in, but it is the community that has kept me there for over a decade. Robin and the coaches go above and beyond to create a safe, inclusive and familial space. … She needs to create a new sticker, 'Came to get stronger, stayed for the community,'" Allen said.
A location in Ilium Valley was a potential option for relocation, but Jones is glad the gym gets to stay in Lawson Hill.
Because the new location is so close to the current gym, Jones plans to incorporate moving a lot of the smaller equipment up the hill into workouts when the time comes.
"We're really happy we are still in Lawson. We're going to have that amazing access to the bike trail behind us, and that will take us down to the Gorge Loop," Jones said. "We can still utilize all that Lawson offers."
Jones has been working with the county and the Lawson Hill homeowners association to get this project rolling sooner rather than later so the gym doesn’t have any lag time between the end of the lease and the move-in date.
“Everyone's been helpful trying to move it along as quickly as possible,” Jones added.