How Sasquatch Strength Ended Up with 35 Percent Revenue Growth in 2020

Sasquatch Strength, Redmond, Washington, likely is not well-known to many people in the fitness industry. With just three corporate-owned locations and one franchised location at the end of 2020, you would be forgiven for scratching your head if someone mentioned the brand. But the company did something in 2020 that might make you scratch your head even further.

During a year when all other companies on Club Industry’s Top 100 Clubs list  reported a revenue decrease of anywhere from 3 percent to 75 percent, Sasquatch Strength grew its revenue by 35 percent to $1.4 million.

So how did this increase happen during such a dire year for almost all other clubs? It was a combination of three things, according to Isaac Vaisberg, owner of Sasquatch Strength. The company had a club in presale prior to the two COVID-19 club closures mandated in Washington state and opened it in August 2020 with members who had been paying dues for digital memberships prior to the physical opening of the club. Vaisberg convinced 98 percent of members to continue paying dues during the closures by offering digital fitness and appealing to their loyalty. The company also experienced a spike in membership after each reopening. At the end of 2019, the small group training company, which charged about $189-$215 per month for individual memberships in 2020, had about 400 members, but by the end of 2020, its members numbered 900.

Vaisberg made promises to staff and members when the first shutdown happened. He promised to keep all staff employed at 100 percent of their salaries. He promised to offer 100 digital classes per week, delivered by the company’s coaches. He promised to keep members engaged with each other beyond the classes, which he did by offering fitness challenges, Zoom happy hours and other location-specific engagement efforts.

He promised that his company could do all of that and be there to deliver health and wellness resources for them during and after the pandemic if members continued to pay their dues. Ninety-eight percent of members kept paying their dues, he said.

After reopening, 80 percent of members returned to in-person workouts while the others preferred to continue with digital workouts.

When the state allowed clubs to reopen, it placed capacity limitations on businesses, including clubs. Although the requirements might have hindered other fitness facilities, Sasquatch Strength, with clubs ranging from 2,800 square feet to 3,500 square feet, operated prior to the pandemic with class caps of 12 to 15 people. The county’s capacity limits allowed three of the four clubs to operate at 100 percent capacity while the smallest club operated at 80 percent.