As the temperature rises and vacations are planned, boutique fitness studios often experience a dip in attendance and revenue during the summer months. This phenomenon, commonly known as the “summer slump,” can be a challenge for studio owners who rely on consistent attendance to keep their businesses thriving.

We asked boutique studio owners how the summer slump impacts their studios and found out that 82% of owners see a decrease in revenue during the summer, with the majority seeing a decrease between 10 and 15%.

However, with some creative thinking and strategic planning, boutique fitness studios can overcome the seasonality in fitness and keep their clients engaged and motivated throughout the summer.  

To help you get ahead of summer seasonality, we’ve compiled a list of effective tactics used by fellow boutique fitness studio owners. Check them out below: 

The Garage Chicago: Free Events & Local Collaborations

The Garage Chicago offers personal training, physical therapy, and various strength, conditioning, and mobility classes that focus on high-quality programming and adaptability for any athlete, regardless of fitness level.

When it comes to collaborations, The Garage actively works with local run clubs and businesses to foster partnerships and build a strong community. Their approach involves a combination of free events to engage new athletes and paid events in collaboration with clothing brands.

Currently, they organize a weekly free run club and are in the process of partnering with a new company to expand their running community. One of The Garage’s annual highlights is a fitness race where we dedicate time to reach out and collaborate with fellow gym owners. This event requires substantial effort but has consistently been a tremendous success.

In addition to their races, The Garage offers various community-centered activities. For instance, for Memorial Day weekend, they hosted a free class called MURPH. They also organize speaker series featuring notable speakers, a summer send-off class to conclude the season, and a Thanksgiving run. Their mission is to support the community, and we actively seek opportunities to involve others in our endeavors.

Pro Tip: Amplify your events using in-app ads with software like Xplor Mariana Tek!


The Bar Method Portland: Local Business Partnerships

The Bar Method Portland offers barre classes for students of all levels. The signature method uses your own body weight, the ballet barre and a few props to create a transformative workout that results in long, lean sculpted muscles.

Embracing local communities has been key to The Bar Method’s success in growing their business. The team at The Bar Method in Portland uses their local relationships in the summer to run special giveaways and promotions designed to increase their outreach and get new leads. By designing social media campaigns with local businesses with shared prizes, they not only bring in new clients but also increase their brand awareness in their community.

By partnering with businesses that share a similar target audience, studios can tap into a wider network of potential clients and build relationships with other local businesses. For example, a studio could collaborate with a local juice bar to offer a special promotion for clients who attend a certain number of classes or partner with a nearby boutique to offer a giveaway for new clients who sign up for a membership. These types of collaborations not only help to increase the visibility of the studio, but also create a sense of community and collaboration within the local business ecosystem.


JoyFit406: Surveys & Local Parks Partnership

JoyFit406 is a multi-modality studio located in Butte, Montana. They created the studio with the intention of bringing joy, fitness, and community back to people’s lives.

JoyFit406 takes a few different approaches to boost attendance in the summer. First, they run a survey to their clients to find out how many classes they will attend during the summer and what times of day they are most likely to attend.

Additionally, the team at JoyFit406 came up with a new approach and contacted their county’s Parks and Recreation department to see what their thoughts were on using the parks. Turns out, their parks department has an initiative (and funding) to try and get as many people to use the parks over the summer as possible. They would pay them to teach classes, and the classes would be free for all participants. Not only did this work out from a financial standpoint, but it also drove new members to the studio for fall.

Another creative idea to beat the summer slump at their fitness studio was a collaboration with other local businesses to incentivize coming to class, using social media to promote it. For example, they are doing a #sweatyselfie giveaway; each time someone posts their sweaty selfie and tags JoyFit406 they are entered for a prize. There will be a drawing at the end of each summer month, and they can win prizes like facials, massages and floral subscriptions (all donated by local businesses). The studio is also doing  an end of summer grand prize giveaways, so for every 5 classes clients attend their name is entered for a 3-month membership to a local hot spring.

For any studio owner out there looking for new ideas Quincy Lee, owner of JoyFit40, gave some great advice:

“I think a major part of being a business owner is having a willingness to try new things. Being able to put feelers out to your participants but also your instructors and realizing some of the best ideas come about when you ask questions. As humans we get set in our own thoughts and routines which can set us up for stagnancy. All ideas that come forth may not work or be implemented, but going into these conversations with an open mind can be a game changer.”


Grit Cycle: Flash Sales

Grit Cycle is a four-location indoor-cycling studio based in Southern California. Their goal is to deliver an intense cardio workout in a supportive and inclusive community focused on creating increased joy and determination.

Grit Cycle holds flash sales throughout the summer to create urgency to buy their class packs! Flash sales are a popular marketing tactic for boutique fitness studios because they create a sense of urgency and exclusivity among potential clients. By offering a limited-time discount or promotion, studios can incentivize clients to sign up for classes or memberships they may have otherwise hesitated to purchase.

Flash sales can also help studios fill classes during slower times or special events and generate buzz and excitement for the studio. Additionally, by offering flash sales exclusively to email subscribers or social media followers, studios can reward their most loyal clients and build a stronger sense of community. Overall, flash sales can be an effective way for boutique fitness studios to boost revenue, attract new clients, and keep their current clients engaged and motivated.

Pro Tip: With software like Mariana Tek’s Marketing Automation, you can send promotions like flash sales to specific segments of your clients – like those that have stopped attending in the summer.


YogaFreak: Student Pricing

YogaFreak is a yoga and HIIT studio located in New York. Their goal is to make clients feel freakin’ fabulous, fit and free from pain.

The team at YogaFreak suggests offering a special class pack that is usually not included in your regular pricing options. They specifically offer discounts targeting students returning home from college with their ‘Student 25 & Under’ drop-in pricing and monthly pricing.

As college students return home for summer break, many are looking for ways to stay active and maintain their fitness routines. By offering discounts or special promotions specifically targeted at these students, boutique fitness studios can tap into a demographic that is often overlooked during the summer months.

Not only does this strategy increase the likelihood of students trying out the studio, but it also creates an opportunity for them to become long-term clients and advocates for the studio. Additionally, by offering student discounts, boutique fitness studios can demonstrate their commitment to promoting health and wellness among young adults and establish themselves as a valuable resource within the local community.


Fit Social Club: Discounted Bring-A-Friend Days

Located in Texas, Fit Social Club is an indoor cycling and functional training facility. Their goal is to put clients in the best position to succeed in their fitness journey by providing A-List coaching, top-of-the line equipment, and an experience unlike any other in the industry.

Fit Social Club’s most popular summer-time promotion is ‘Summer Fridays’ where clients can bring a friend for $5 any Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Offering a discounted rate for clients to bring friends to a fitness class is a great way for fitness studios to generate more leads and improve attendance during the summer.  

By incentivizing current clients to bring their friends to class, studios can tap into a wider network of potential clients and generate buzz and excitement around the studio. Not only does this strategy increase the likelihood of new clients trying out the studio, but it also creates a fun and social atmosphere that can help keep clients motivated and engaged.  

Pro Tip: Make it easy for your clients to bring friends and track their conversions with Mariana Tek’s Bring-A-Guest feature. club

Are you ready to beat this year’s summer slump?

Check out our free how-to guide for an in-depth look at 4 Proven Tactics to Overcome Seasonal Slumps and see how you can start implementing them at your fitness studio this year!

Learn how Mariana Tek can help your studio find new sources of revenue and boost your summer promotions – Book a Demo Today!

Article by Xplor Mariana Tek

First published: June 14 2023

Last updated: December 12 2023