Entrepreneur pairs passions for fitness and business in Beach City CrossFit

Community Futures supports new initiative in Penticton

Jason Raynen was introduced to entrepreneurship at a young age. His father owned Penticton’s Minute Muffler and Brake location for 28 years before Jason and his brother-in-law purchased the business which they continue to operate. The ownership transition was smooth, the processes were set, and his father’s mentorship was priceless.

However, while Jason continued to become comfortable as the new co-owner of his first business, his long-time interest in fitness had led him from bodybuilding and triathlons to cardiovascular health and nutrition, eventually introducing him to CrossFit.

“It’s multifaceted,” Jason says. “It has bodybuilding, the unique movements of gymnastics and the powerlifting and Olympic lifting that’s like watching ballet with weights. When you put it all together, you have this great physique that’s as good as a body-builder’s but as functional as someone who runs a six-minute mile and then does multiple muscle-ups.”

Community support for new business

Anxious to grow the new CrossFit business, connecting with Community Futures Okanagan – Similkameen helped ease the financial strain from Jason’s first business and prepared him to launch Beach City CrossFit.

“They gave me some coaching, they provided funds, and they provided pieces to the puzzle that got me where I am today,” Jason says.

Additional support came from the tight-knit community he shares with other CrossFit business owners.

“CrossFit itself is part of an affiliate group, and sharing knowledge amongst affiliate owners has been a massive help as well,” he says. “If there’s a better business process, we work with each other to benefit the public because we make people healthy all around.”

Experience the unique Beach City CrossFit welcome

With a think-tank of CrossFit locations working together to create a better experience, newcomers to Beach City CrossFit, see these benefits in action, and experience a social and welcoming community with a unique onboarding process.

“The community aspect is probably what makes CrossFit so popular in the first place, which is why it’s the leading fitness training in the world right now. That’s what keeps you coming back,” Jason says. “It’s the high-fives, it’s the smiles, it’s the fun, it’s the laughs. Half the time for us coaches, it’s corralling you to stop conversation because everyone is so friendly and wants to know how you’re doing.”

To start, you’ll experience a Kickstarter Class to feel what CrossFit is about, including basic information on everything from how to warm up to form and mobility. Next comes an intensive eight-day foundations workout with your dedicated coach – an hour each day, one-on-one, to prepare you for the group. Your coach even joins you in your first group class, with the group’s coach, to provide support and answer questions.

“We just want the onboarding process to be as natural and friendly as possible,” Jason says.

Beach City CrossFit’s amazing community and beautiful location make referrals easy for other gym owners. Although a year-round operation, Beach City is busier in the summer season with many out-of-town cross-fitters from nearby major centres.

“We’re pretty well-known throughout Vancouver and Alberta. A lot of people love to travel here through the summer so visiting CrossFitters end up here and see we have a gym on the beach. They get to meet our coaches and feel our atmosphere, and they fall in love it with it – it becomes their spot for summer.”

An art-ful setting

Apart from the beach-front location, Beach City is also well-known for its graffiti art decorating the walls. Jason and some clients built the gym themselves and he sourced the graffiti art through his artist connections.

“Being an artist myself, doing airbrushing and some of the smaller things like cars, motorcycles and canvasses, I thought, ‘this is a big canvas,’” Jason says. “I contacted a friend and artist in Vancouver and he put together a group of eight guys – some of the best graffiti artists and muralists I’ve ever seen.”

Jason gave the group of artists ultimate freedom within the space and the result was some of the most unique paintings in the Okanagan. “Taking a group of dynamic artists and dropping them all in one space was probably one of the craziest things I’ve ever done because they’re all so different, but they all were working so cohesively so it was an incredible experience.”

With the support of his fiancée and her two boys, Jason’s goal is to create balance between managing both his Penticton businesses and enjoying family life in Kelowna. However, in both his personal and professional life, Jason maintains his active lifestyle and entrepreneurial spirit.

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Learn more about Beach City CrossFit at beachcitycrossfit.ca, drop by at 4145 Skaha Lake Rd., and stay up-to-date on Facebook and Instagram!

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