There’s a new studio in town where you can box and booze with your sweaty class-goers and trainers — and pay for the privilege in cryptocurrency.
GRIT BXNG, which launched its flagship studio this week, will be the first studio to accept bitcoin as payment. Along with offering a “third space” with cocktails and alcohol-free versions, it’s backed by celebrities that include rapper Pitbull, life coach Tony Robbins, and billionaire investor Tim Draper.
Co-founder Bill Zanker on Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM that GRIT BXNG is an alternative to other fitness centers that lets patrons mix and mingle.
“Right now if you go to SoulCycle... or any of those places, there’s no place to meet afterwards,” Zanker said. “At GRIT BXNG there’s a third space, I call it. A place to hang, to meet new friends, meet the trainers.”
The idea to accept bitcoins came from Zanker’s son Dylan, who’s a partner and Chief Fun Officer for GRIT. He attended Draper University at 22 years old, at a time when billionaire Draper started buying bitcoin.
“He watched and he said ‘well I’m going to take my money and I’m going to load up on bitcoin,” Draper told Yahoo Finance. “He then made a million dollars in bitcoin, and he became his dad’s partner in GRIT.”
Draper kept track of his students’ successes, and decided to back GRIT.
Taking their bitcoin passion, Dylan Zanker and Draper infused the digital currency into the studio cocktail.
“I am the first customer he’s had who paid in Bitcoin,” said Draper. “I was a little reticent to do it, because I know how much that stuff is worth.”
Very well-paid trainers
And there’s an added perk for trainers to booze with their students: GRIT pays them up to $1,000 an hour.
“I think the trainers are the new superstars - they’re changing people’s lives,” the founder said. If you have a great trainer there, they’re just making the class great.”
Over 300 trainers auditioned for nine trainer positions, and they came from all over the world, including Russia, Tel Aviv, and London.
“These are the nine best trainers on earth... If you pay the talent right, people will come back because they appreciate it,” he said.
That formula is enough to get people excited. “We’re kicking ass. Six out of the seven classes are sold out - this week is selling out like wild,” he said.
GRIT BXNG now opened in New York City. It’s planning a second location in San Francisco.
Grete Suarez is producer at Yahoo Finance for YFi PM and The Ticker. Follow her on Twitter: @GreteSuarez