Core Progression fitness training chain expands with new gym in Central Park


Core Progression offers individual individual training, partnership training and semi-private lessons with up to five people with a coach. (Photos courtesy of Core Progression)

The fitness industry has been hit hard during the pandemic, but Jon Cerf says he had his best year in company history last year.

Cerf, the founder of Core Progression, said his personal training business generated $3.6 million in revenue in 2021 and expects to make $4.5 million this year.

And on the heels of that success, it’s opening a seventh location in the Central Park Denver area at 2373 Central Park Blvd. in June. Cerf bought the 2,015 square foot space, which previously housed Plum Consignment, for $765,000 on April 18, property records show.

“The stores I own are doing so well. So it makes sense and I can keep playing in real estate,” Cerf said. “I searched in this market for a long time. I feel like the Park Hill, Central Park area has grown exponentially in recent years. It is difficult to find real estate in some of these areas, but everything was in place to make this happen.

Jon Cerf, founder of Core Progression

Jon Cerf is the founder of Core Progression.

Cerf founded Core Progression in 2008. The company has locations in Arvada, South Broadway, Northglenn, RiNo, Boulder, and Lakewood, as well as Austin, Texas. Cerf owns the Arvada, South Broadway and Northglenn locations; the others are franchises.

Core Progression members have access to personal and group fitness training, massage therapy, chiropractic and physiotherapy services. Cerf said members typically spend $350 per month. Most locations limit their membership to 200 customers, although the Central Park location does so at around 150 due to its size, he said.

“We’re approaching full capacity at every location, which is part of why our growth has been so necessary,” Cerf said. “We want to make sure we don’t overcrowd the spaces and give everyone the same experience as regularly as possible.”

Cerf attributes his recent success during the pandemic to Core Progression’s personal training model. He was not limited by capacity restrictions during the pandemic and said 30% of customers paused their subscriptions but no one left permanently.

Basic progression

Core Progression plans to open its new location in Central Park in June.

“What sets us apart is that our relationship with customers is based on determining their needs and goals, and providing that level of service,” Cerf said. “We get to know our customers and help them ride that 14er or get their personal best race time.”

Cerf’s wife, Samantha, who is a broker at Cerf & Associates, represented him in the sale of the building. He plans to invest around $100,000 in renovating the space, which will mostly be cosmetic finishes.

“From what I’ve seen, there are approximately 47,000 households within one mile of the gym and 150,000 households within three miles,” Cerf said. “The population is there, the income is over six figures, and if you look at our other locations, that was the next logical location to get that East Denver coverage.”

Cerf has also proposed a new location in Dallas and is considering other suburban markets locally, such as Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock.

“I think if you look broadly, downtown Denver has been decimated,” Cerf said. “With this hybrid work model, suburbanites want to be able to have the same amenities they once commuted to downtown.”

Editor’s note: The revenue figures for this story have been updated.

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