Tech-based fitness company opens Missoula office, begins search for employees

ClassPass, a tech-based fitness company, has opened its third North American office in Missoula and is in the process of hiring customer support staff, inside sales, managers and engineers. (ClassPass photo)

The head of talent acquisition for a national company opening its third North American office in Missoula said this week that a team of six is already in place, while dozens of other employees are expected to join the workforce this month.

As ClassPass gets established, the opportunity for additional growth is strong, Brian Mitchell said, and the search for qualified Missoula employees is underway.

“We’re going as fast as we can, and we’re looking to ramp up our customer support team,” Mitchell said Thursday night. “We have those team members in the New York and San Francisco offices, but we’re going to put a large team here in Missoula, too.”

Mitchell, attending the Hellgate Venture Network function in downtown Missoula, said six customer support specialists have already been hired. They’re working in the new office, located in the Millennium Building at 125 Bank St.

In the coming weeks, Mitchell said, that team will grow to 12 and could expand to as many as 20. At the same time, he said, the company is building its inside sales team – a blend of full-time and contract employees.

ClassPass is also looking for managers and engineers.

“We’re also going to ramp up our engineering team,” he said. “That’s going to start out to look like five or 10 people, but we will grow that depending on the level of interest that we get.”

Last month, ClassPass announced plans to open its third North American office in Missoula, adding Montana’s second largest city to existing offices in New York and San Francisco.

The company, listed by Forbes as a “Next Billion Dollar Startup,” employs technology that enables subscribers to determine when a fitness class is available at locations worldwide.

In doing so, it gives patrons more flexibility while helping studios and gyms sell their unused inventory. The company currently claims 270,000 fitness subscribers and provides access to more than 1 million classes at 8,500 studios in 49 cities.

As it hunts for qualified employees in Missoula, the company also looks to bring Montana’s ex-pats back home by offering a competitive salary and benefits package in a city reputed for its quality of life.

“We’ve already talked to some people locally, but we also feel we’ll have really good luck bringing people back who graduated from the University of Montana and went to cities like the Bay Area or Seattle, because the jobs they were looking for weren’t here,” said Mitchell. “We feel we can pull them back.”

While launching a sizable office from the ground up in a city looking to grow its air service options isn’t easy, Mitchell said Missoula’s business community has been helpful. ClassPass reviewed 900 cities in the U.S. before settling on Missoula.

Mitchell said they made the right choice.

“The reason why we chose to come to Missoula was the support that we got before we got here,” he said. “Even in the past week or so, that support has been absolutely phenomenal. It just underlined that we made the right decision to come to Missoula.”