By Joel Hillan


Rising commercial rents in some growing Denver neighborhoods are forcing local businesses out.

QiFlow, a yoga studio, is the latest to be pushed out.

(credit: CBS)

“My last class is on the 30th, at 6 p.m., and then I move out on the 31st,” said owner Dawnelle Arthur.

For her, the closure seems inevitable in the current fitness climate.

“Think about yoga right now. Yoga is everywhere and most of it’s free.”

She says the combination of rising rents and lower revenues is ravaging small fitness studios.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s a hustle just to get one member these days. Then you can’t guarantee they are going to stay because there’s so many shiny objects out there.”

Competition is coming from everywhere, from big chains to new fancy recreation centers.

“I think the results still happen in smaller studios and smaller communities, and I think it’s worth the money to invest in the small businesses of fitness.”

Dawnelle is proud of the work she has done and looks forward to forging a new fitness future working with clients online, but she hopes the pendulum will swing back, away from big fitness chains.

“The one-on-one, the smaller experiences, the more defined individual experiences in fitness, I think that needs to come back. I just do. I hope it does.”

(credit: CBS)

It’s not just happening in the Cole neighborhood, it seems across the Denver metro area larger fitness franchises are luring athletes away from smaller studios or buying them out altogether.

Dawnelle says unless small studios band together and start pushing back against things like Group Fitness and Groupon, then this will continue to happen.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.