Skip Chase opened the 57th CrossFit affiliate—Mt. Baker CrossFit—in 2005. While many affiliates have chosen the closed-class model for various reasons, Chase decided to go with an “open-gym” system that minimized his start-up costs and didn’t exclude people who couldn’t commit to a specific class time.
Chase recalls that some affiliate owners were skeptical of his choice when it was discussed on the Message Board in 2006, but years later he’s still doing the same thing with success. A common criticism is that the open-class model doesn’t create the same group cohesion you see when members always work out together at the same time, but Chase believes his system ensures greater mixing of athletes who might come one day at 9 a.m. and another at 6 p.m.
Besides, having many small groups of athletes starting WODs at different times puts less stress on the locker room and the parking lot.
Video by CrossFit Films by Jordan Gravatt.
Additional reading: Sign on the Dotted Line: Affiliate Membership Contracts by Andy Petranek, published Dec. 1, 2007.