A Letter from our CEO

Dear Alchemists,

The days have grown short, the temps are dropping, and another year is drawing to an end. For this remarkable community, what a year it’s been. The last twelve months brought unique challenges as well as opportunities for growth and evolution.

We opened the year by launching our newest studio, Alchemy South Broadway. We enjoyed watching two of our team members ship off on month-long sabbaticals, a new employee benefit we’ve worked into our operation. We ran Summer Hustles and challenged you to complete our new Legend workouts designed around and named after some of our most legendary athletes. You joined us for offsite and pop-up events in locations ranging from mountainside breweries to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, from the middle of a frozen Wirth Lake, to the sun washed grass of Sloan’s Lake, from the Red Rocks amphitheater, to the MN Vikings training center, and about a hundred other spots in between.

But best of all, you joined us for over 225,000 individual workouts inside of our studios (that’s a whole lot of burpees).

Let me tell you why this number means so much to us.

Ask any of our employees why Alchemy exists and they’ll tell you it’s to help people feel more alive. While a great workout, in and of itself, might not fully complete this mission, we’re certain that a great workout with great people can start the process.

I often remind our staff that when they show up to the studio each day, even at 4:50 in the morning after a big snowfall, even when it’s dark out, even when the class is quieter than normal, or the workout has a lot of movements, even when they had to sub a shift at the last minute, that they possess the power to deliver a small, but potent dose of “feeling alive” to any athlete who walks through the door.

The feeling that we all get after doing a hard thing we didn’t think we could do is equal parts medicine for the soul, and fuel for the spirit. In a post-pandemic world of virtual relationships and screen time, a moment of rapport with a coach at the front desk, or an authentic conversation with a fellow athlete – no matter how brief – can remind us that we’re not alone in our journey.

This is why 225,000 workouts means so much to us. It means that we dished out 225,000 doses – each of which made somebody’s day a little better, reduced a little stress, or helped somebody sleep a little more soundly at night. In my experience these positive impacts don’t exist in a vacuum. In fact, they often start a chain reaction. People who feel better from a good workout earlier in the day go on to treat others better too, they show up more thoroughly for family and friends, they stay calm in stressful moments, and they experience the world with slightly more optimism and positivity.

Though a bit grandiose, this logic would suggest that your 225,000 workouts led to an exponentially greater impact than we could ever hope to measure, and it’s a true honor to have played a small role in that process.

But now, it’s time to turn our attention to 2024. And in doing so, I’d like to share some of our biggest priorities and most exciting initiatives. 

Thematically, our focus is on optimization of our existing studios as well as the consistency, quality, and scope of your studio experience. While these are always important, they commonly sit alongside our ambition to grow and add studios. In some ways, the two are at odds with one another. There’s no question that the larger the studio count, the harder it is to manage quality and consistency. So it’s relevant to mention that adding a studio is not a part of our 2024 plan, making quality and consistency improvements the uncontested priority for the year.

What does that look like, and how will it affect your experience with Alchemy?

Well for one, we’ve begun adding new employees and adjusting roles in an effort to simplify and concentrate our staff on the work they love to do and are best at. Where in the past our GM’s had to split their time across many different responsibilities, they’ll now enjoy a more narrow job scope, with new free time available for redeployment into the studio experience.

Extra time means you can expect more coach’s development, class auditing, and programming reviews. You will see more community events and offsite classes on the schedule. You’ll have even more touch points with your favorite staff members and in sum, we’ll drive Alchemy’s “feel alive factor” higher than ever before. To ensure we’re on the right track, we’ll be rolling out a new survey process to help us consistently measure customer delight. If we’re doing something well that our athletes enjoy, we want to know. But more importantly, we want to know if we’re falling short on any of our promises.

In addition to these operational changes, we’ve been testing new services that we’re eager to share with you. In January, we’ll be officially rolling out small group training – 6-week sessions with 4-6 athletes, one coach, and specialized strength and performance programming. Exposure to progressive programming, new equipment variety, and a much lower athlete to coach ratio means stepping things up to a new level with hard training and new friends.

Additionally, we’re excited to offer open gym at more studios. We had the opportunity to test open gym at our LOHI location over the last few months and the response has been tremendous. By the end of January, we’ll have more studios in both Minnesota and Colorado ready for open gym, giving athletes the chance to train on their own whenever class isn’t a good option. In the medium term, the goal is to be providing these types of services at every studio where space allows.

Lastly, the team is very excited to begin work on Alchemy 365 wellness retreats – a series of all-day health and wellness courses. These sessions will include movement therapy, workouts, mobility and recovery tools, mindset and mindfulness practice, breathwork, heat therapy and cold plunging, future self visualization, habit stacking, and a whole slew of other tools which participants will be able to use for the rest of their lives. Guest speakers and leaders will be curated and brought in to round out the experience. And at the center of it all will be a goal of bringing great people together for real life interactions and meaningful growth.

Each of these initiatives is about expanding your relationship with the Alchemy brand, transforming our studios into a place that’s bigger than exercise. 

Despite our ambition for this upcoming year, the overarching mission stays the same. Alchemy is in the business of helping people feel alive. We do that by providing innovative fitness experiences that really work for our athletes. We differentiate ourselves simply, with workouts that will kick your butt and make you fitter, with authentic people who do their best to create genuine interactions day in and day out, and by ensuring that you always walk out of the studio feeling better than when you walked in.

225,000 is the score to beat. 2024 is about to begin. Let’s get to work.

Thank you for everything, Athletes. Happy holidays, happy new year, and PYL.


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