by Steve Sisson
“Nothing endures but change. “ – Heraclitus
Not to get all philosophical on y’all, but as Rogue has been planning, preparing and now, finally, executing our move from our current Eastside location to a new West Austin address, I have continuously had to remind myself that as that rogue Greek philosopher stated in the 5th century BC, change is a fact of life. However, I also have been reflecting on the fact that change is significantly tougher if you don’t have any idea why it is occurring. My goal is to share with you the reasons for this change in hopes that it will make the transition easier. We hope that you’ll be as excited as we are about this move, but understand that there is also some trepidation and sadness, which we absolutely share. So I am writing to you, as a founder and owner of Rogue, to walk you through the thought process that led to our decision to move from east 5th to west 5th.
FRUSTRATIONS & CHALLENGES
As all of you know, the two-block area that Rogue has occupied since 2008 at the corner of 5th and San Marcos has recently been undergoing a huge construction project. In and of itself, this has just been a minor inconvenience. The trash, dust, disrupted parking, huge trucks and constant noise are not that big of a deal. It is temporary and while we’ve all been irritated at times, we’ve overcome. The new condos will brighten up the neighborhood, bring a different clientele and create more energy for the block. Spin it in a positive light, right?
The real problem is that this is just the first of two condo projects that are going up on this corner. The other will take over the dirt lot that we currently use for parking. The railroad tracks will be pushed over toward 4th Street and the entire lot will become another multi-year condo project. We already feel the logistical and financial strain of accommodating the current project, and stretching that over another 2-3 years is more than we felt we could handle.
More importantly, there will be no designated parking for our training groups. We were informed that in the finished plan for both spaces, we would be provided limited parking for our retail store but no additional consideration for the large groups that train from this location. One of the key reasons we moved to the Eastside in the first place was to be central to the Butler Trail system and yet still in central, downtown Austin. Finding suitable parking for the groups that we have was foundational to our move. With no parking and another few years of construction ahead, the appeal of remaining at this corner was gone.
On top of those frustrations, we’ve had the challenge of outgrowing the space we have in the training room. There is little stretching room either inside or out, the foot drill lane is like MoPac at rush hour and there is nowhere for all that hot, sweaty post-run air to go in the cramped room. Additionally, as I know many of you will agree, our bathroom and shower situation has gotten pretty distressing.
We’ve known about these issues for a few years and have been working diligently on locating another space. We’ve looked all over central Austin: east and west, north and south. We needed something close to the trail, with enough interior space, enough parking for the retail store during normal business hours and additional free, safe street parking for our training groups. Additionally, we needed to be able to afford it. As you can imagine, this presented a significant challenge. After well over a year of searching, we found a space that would work: an 11,000 square foot former car repair warehouse. We couldn’t afford this much space all by ourselves, so we partnered with Pure Austin Gym, a similarly well-respected local business, to split the space and create further evolution of our “athlete’s village” vision.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Another significant reason for our decision to move is that we want to have a headquarters for Rogue, a statement space that matches our style, sensibilities and vision. We want to showcase the Austin running lifestyle in a space that matches our commitment to cutting edge equipment, limits-shattering training and growing a happy, healthy and strong community. We wanted a space that we can all be proud to call home.
Ruth England, another founder and owner of Rogue, has challenged our coaching and retail staff to adopt her vision of “world domination.” When she shared that with us at a staff retreat, it shocked many of our employees. At first they thought she meant that her goal was to have Rogue training and retail centers across the globe in pursuit of the American financial dream. But she surprised them all with a much different interpretation, one that hits much closer to home. She explained that, to her, “world domination” means sharing running as a means to happiness, health and community. If Rogue can impact the lives of runners in Austin in these three areas, then that change will catch fire and change the world. Her goal for Rogue is to change the world, one mile at a time…world domination, indeed.
We hope that you, the Rogue Running community, will be excited for the move, even as you prepare for the challenges that settling into the new space will require. We ask for your patience early on to allow us to work through the issues that will inevitably present themselves. We believe that the new location addresses many of the challenges that we have had in our previous space, and are confident that the initial challenges will be overcome and you’ll come to see the new Rogue HQ as your running home.
Rogue Running’s eastside retail store will remain open until 5pm on Wednesday, February 5 and will reopen in the new location at noon on Thursday, February 6. The new address is 410 Pressler / Austin, Texas 78703.