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Business Opportunity: Climbing Gym for Sale

After seven great years, we’re looking to sell the Pinelands branch of HangTime Gym (view on Map). For HangTime, our focus as a business is now on our flagship branch in Bellville; and as an owner, my personal focus is now on my small portfolio of boutique hotels across Scotland and SA. 

Our Pinelands branch is where it all started. We built our ‘tester’ model for entering the climbing gym arena in the first half of 2014, and we started trading solidly almost immediately after opening on 1 June. It started with 20 top-rope anchors, going up to a height of roughly 7m (which it still has) but we’ve since invested and expanded over the years, so it also now has a roof section in the sport climbing area, and a good dedicated bouldering area (with top-out bouldering on 4m high boulders). There is then also a kiddies bouldering/party space on a mezzanine level, as well as two dedicated functional training spaces – one with machines and free weights, and another with a cardio focus (commercial treadmill, stationary bike and rower). 

The Hangtime Pinelands climbing gym business itself is turnkey, and comes with any and all equipment needed to run your own gym. So, apart from the existing walls and anchors, all grips; ropes; rental shoes and harnesses; foam mats; maintenance tools and cleaning equipment; cardio and gym equipment is included in the sale. It really is lock, stock and barrel, and you’d be able to re-open and trade from one day to the next. To give you an idea, we have over R200k in grips at this branch alone, not to mention R50k in almost brand-new weights and cardio equipment bought at the end of 2019. Put another way, you’re basically getting the walls and matting for free, which as anyone will tell you, is a massive layout in the building out of a new gym. 

What makes this particular business even more attractive is that we built a set of offices in our unit, which we are actively allowed to sub-let, and which bring in steady rental income. Our sub-tenants haven’t missed a single payment this past year, even during lockdown, and are all keen to stay on. This is currently in the region of R11k/month, which means you’re heavily subsidising your rental (which comes in at about R25k/month, including VAT and all utilities).There are then a further three empty, newly-built offices also available to rent out, which could bring in another R6-7k/month quite easily, if you didn’t want to use them for anything else (they’d make a neat yoga or therapy space, for instance).
The overall space is leased, and we have an excellent relationship with our landlords, who are very happy to issue a new lease to an incoming buyer. Very importantly, the entire gym space and offices are air-conditioned, with separate units in separate spaces, to heat or cool as efficiently as you need. The business park itself is very central, with great access by car or public transport, and has a very secure, 24-hour-patrolled public parking area.

We are looking for R375k for this branch – lock, stock and barrel, as mentioned earlier – and are prepared to assist a buyer by financing one-third of that over 12 months (meaning only R250k down, and the rest paid off over 12 months).

We believe this is incredibly well-priced, as building out and equipping a similar-sized operation now would close in on R1m quite quickly. We also don’t need to be greedy, as this gym made money for us for many years, and believe it’s now time for it to do that for someone else. We’re open about the fact we took a massive hit last year, but reiterate that this is more about reducing our gym portfolio – HangTime as a brand and business in Bellville is rock solid. As an owner, I am now based primarily outside of SA for 9-10 months of the year – and the proceeds of the sale here will go towards further investment into our Bellville branch, and paying down some short-term lending taken out as cover for the hotels business last year.

I have comprehensive videos of all parts of the space (both gym and offices) which are available to send via email or WhatsApp, so please feel free to ask for those – and my team in Cape Town can coordinate physical site visits as well. You’re welcome to contact me directly on +447478090900 by call, text or WhatsApp (that’s my primary number these days) – otherwise, please feel free to drop us an email at climb (at) hangtime (dot) co (dot) za, and my team will make sure I get it.

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