The Dream of ClassPass Was Never Going to Last

Illustration for article titled The Dream of ClassPass Was Never Going to Last

ClassPass started as a reliable service for moderately well-off working class people living in devastatingly expensive cities. What it’s becoming now is unclear. Membership fees for the unlimited gym service are rising once again, and this time the cost is beyond many people’s comfort zones.

A ClassPass membership in several cities, including, most recently, New York, will now run you $190 per month. When it first launched, ClassPass offered a fairly reasonable fee of $99 per month for unlimited classes at a shitload of studios and gyms across select cities.

I signed up for ClassPass in March 2015. It seemed like a solid deal, even though I knew deep in my heart there was no way studios could keep up with the demand while also profiting enough to justify the cost. They raised the membership fee to $125 per month in July. I cancelled it in November and resigned myself to a life of eating Flaming Hot Cheetos.


Like other disgruntled members, I felt like the service wasn’t worth the money anymore. Well, ClassPass took my suggestion of a tiered subscription (“But why not just offer a tiered subscription?” I wrote; pay me), but instead of keeping the unlimited price at $125, they hiked it to $190 in NYC. (The fee varies in different cities.)

Here’s a breakdown of the new pricing tier, via a PR email sent to me this morning. Emphasis theirs:

The past few years have taught us that a one-size-fits-all membership is not diverse enough to serve all of our members’ needs, which is why we have decided to evolve our business model and adjust prices in order to create long-term sustainability with both our members and the market.

· Today we will be introducing 3 tiers and increasing the price on unlimited in New York; pricing will be as follows

o Base (5 classes): $75

o Core (10 classes): $125 existing members / $135 new members

o Unlimited: $190 existing members / $200

· Nationally our Base plan of 5 classes is available in all US markets; pricing varies by market ($40-$75)


All you can do now is spin until the sweat turns into tears.

These changes are presumably meant, in part, to help gyms and small studios make more money and recover from losing members. But people are pissed.


Their “evolved” business model will likely see a lot of canceled memberships.

Image screengrab via YouTube

Culture Editor, Jezebel

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That base one is 5 classes a month??? I get unlimited classes at the Y (and they have a fine selection) for my part of a 70 dollar family membership. Plus various sports classes for my kids. 5 classes?