I’m joined by Tom Hatten, founder of Mountainside Fitness, the number one health club in Arizona and number 14 in the entire country. The gym membership is the OG recurring payment program, so I ask Tom to share his wisdom on customer acquisition and retention. As a lifelong athlete, Tom unpacks how his competitive mentality has both helped and hindered Mountainside’s growth, and how he’s learned to move out of the way and trust his team.

When Governor Ducey forced gyms to shut down during the pandmeic, Tom sued him and the state of Arizona, and made national news for fighting back. He refused to step aside and just accept that gyms were ‘super-spreaders’ during the pandemic, despite adhering to the CDC guidelines and doing everything he could to be part of the solution. His resilience and dedication to his community gained him thousands of customers, including me! We round out this session with questions from the audience about team building, consistent branding, and scalability.


  • Tom’s strategies for standing out and setting trends in the fitness industry
  • How customer acquisition has changed since Mountainside opened its first location in the 90s
  • The importance of staying authentic to yourself and proudly showing your customers what you stand for
  • Getting comfortable in the unknown
  • Efficiently working with the customers that you already have
  • Why you need to get really clear about your KPIs and create a plan for scaling



Connect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/tom-hatten

Learn more about Mountainside Fitness: mountainsidefitness.com


Follow me: @candyvalentino

Join Founders Organization