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Meet Chris Cannon of Papago Crossfit in South Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Cannon.

Chris, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2013, I was working for a dental company here in North Scottsdale and I thought at the time I wanted to quit my job and make a go at getting into dental school. During my first year getting back in school to take some pre-requisites for applying to dental school a lot of family things happened and I realized that perhaps dental school wasn’t the route for me. My wife and I decided that I would take 2 months to figure what I wanted to do. All the while I had been coaching at a functional fitness gym in north Scottsdale and I was approached by the owners who asked if I wanted to open a franchise. This all happened about 5 days after I had made the decision not to pursue school any longer.

I had not told anyone outside of my wife that I wasn’t going back to school so this proposal came as a shock. 2 Years prior our current gym location had been scouted by the owners of the gym I was coaching in and I was going to be a silent partner because I was coaching but also working a regular job. Things seem to fall into place after that with my wife and being able to secure some financing to start up the gym. We literally started with 0 clients and 3 years later we are still here with a great base of members who keep us going.

Going into our 4th year we are looking to grow our yoga membership as well as our CrossFit membership. My wife Megan has found that yoga is how she likes to stay fit and sane packaged together with meditation.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
From the beginning our road hasn’t necessarily been smooth. At the time when we began to explore if financing would be feasible I had saved money but it was going fast. Then once we started negotiating the space where our gym would be, another company came in and offered twice as much rent as we had budgeted and so we lost our space. The upside was, that there happened to be a smaller space on the same property with the rent being much less. The trouble with this space was that someone was using it at the time as base camp for their political campaign and if they had won their primary we would be out of somewhere for our gym. Lucky for us and unlucky for the candidate we got our space.

Building something from the ground up, with literally zero pre-existing clients has its struggles and it wasn’t until about 4-6 months that we could start actually stop losing money.

Please tell us about Papago CrossFit.
Papago CrossFit is a school of fitness that not only builds strength, increases capacity and endurance but also offers yoga to increase balance and flexibility. Our yoga space is dedicated to the practice exclusively which allows us to run CrossFit classes and yoga classes simultaneously.

Our gym is totally community based and serves people who want to increase their fitness in a safe non intimidating and even inviting environment. CrossFit it a great way to get fit and is made even better when the people you are sweating with become your friends.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have planned better. Our business happened because it supposed to happen not because we had this big elaborate plan to start a gym. At the time we started owning a business was the furthest from my mind.


  • 1 year Unlimited membership (yoga included) $135/ month
  • 6 month Membership (yoga included) $150/ month
  • Yoga only Unlimited membership $50/month
  • Sign up before the new year they recieve a %20 membership discount for duration of term

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