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How Clay Godfrey Turned a Gym Around During the Worldwide Pandemic

Aug 27, 2020 by

When Clay Godfrey took over CrossFit Remnant in Roswell, GA in January, he knew he was in for a challenge.

The 27-year-old, who was a complete stranger to the existing community at the time, showed up and rebranded the affiliate overnight, turning it into One Fellowship Fitness.

  • “I took over from the previous owner and I didn’t know any of the members, so I was basically a complete outsider coming in, and you know how important close knit relationships are,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey also knew that in order for the community to trust this new owner and stick around the gym, he had to elevate both the facility and the service they would receive under his care.

  • “I took over on January 1st, and the first thing I did was close for the weekend so I could clean the gym. We really revamped the place and made all kinds of upgrades to the (facility). I needed to show them the love and care I was going to give this place,” he said.

One big thing: The proof is in the numbers.

  • When Godfrey took over, the gym had 85 members. He lost “less than five,” he said, all of whom were “members who were already kind of on the way out.” And within just one month, his membership number had jumped to 90. Not only did he increase his membership base quickly, he also successfully increased rates to $190 in February without losing any members.

The key to his success: Godfrey’s focus since Day 1 has been on providing more value to community.

  • On top of cleaning and making facility upgrades, he also expanded the gyms’ hours, including adding open gym times, started offering classes seven days a week, introduced chiropractic and nutrition services, and implemented quarterly goal check-ins with all clients. “Overall, the level of care has gone up a lot,” said Godfrey, who made sure to get to know every single member’s name as quickly as he could.
  • “I pride myself on making sure I get to know everyone’s names right away and then never forget them,” he said.

Katy Galli, one of the coaches at One Fellowship Fitness said that Godfrey’s passion has also played a role in his quick success.

  • “There is no question where his heart is and that he wants to change the world we live in for good through fitness. In seeing him lead the herd so well, athletes and coaches alike easily align with this pure and honest mission,” Galli said.

Enter COVID-19: After building momentum for two months and getting the gym to a healthier place, Godfrey admitted the worldwide pandemic that hit in March made his already challenging job much more difficult.

  • “I mean, there are the normal challenges of being a new gym owner in a community of people who don’t know you, and then there’s doing that in a pandemic. In all honesty, it has been a pretty tough deal. I was scared everyone would drop their memberships, as I didn’t have a ton of time to build close relationships with them yet,” he said.

While he did lose some members when he closed his doors — “At one point we got down to 70 members,” he said — since reopening, he has immediately been on a quick rise again.

  • One Fellowship Fitness has 80 members again — the same number Godfrey had when he acquired the gym — who are happily paying a higher rate than they did before he took over as owner.
  • He has also hired two new coaches, bringing his coaching team to five.

Though he admits his gym is still recovering  from the COVID shutdown, the feedback members are giving has been nothing but positive.

  • “They all see how hard myself and the rest of our team is working right now to keep the gym clean and keep everyone safe, so people have just been really really thankful. They’re just thankful we’re open, so they can get their one hour of me time and come hang out and sweat. They’re paying a premium rate, and now they’re getting a premium service to match the rate,” he said.


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