CorePower Yoga founder leaves behind “legacy”
CorePower Yoga founder Trevor Tice, a pioneer in the industry who helped bring a less esoteric, more fitness-oriented vision of yoga to the masses, was found dead Monday in his San Diego home.
San Diego police say the 48year-old entrepreneur’s death is considered suspicious but have provided few details. An autopsy is expected to be completed within the next day.
The yoga community was left
reeling by the death of the man who took a single studio on Grant Street in Denver and turned it into a yoga empire that now stretches to more than 150 locations coast to coast.
“He was quoted years ago as saying he wanted CorePower Yoga to be the Starbucks of yoga. He did that,” said Gerry Wienholt, cofounder and owner of Yoga Pod, a Boulder-based yoga studio that began franchising in 2014. “Within the context of consistency and standardization of classes, every student and customer can expect pretty much the same thing at CorePower. That’s his legacy, for sure.”
Tice, a Telluride native, was found dead around 12:15 p.m. Monday by San Diego police officers, who were called to Tice’s expansive home by a friend who had gone to the house earlier to check on Tice because he wasn’t answering his phone. Police said the friend looked inside and found what they described as troubling circumstances.
Although cause and manner of death have not been released, Lt. Mike Holden, of the San Diego police homicide unit, told The Denver Post on Tuesday that “there are some potential circumstances here that make this a suspicious death.”
“This could be a straight death,” Holden said. “Or, potentially, he could have been murdered and this is a homicide investigation. We don’t know.”
CorePower, which remains based in Denver, confirmed Tice’s death Tuesday but declined to comment further.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that our CorePower Yoga founder, Trevor Tice, passed away on Monday,” CorePower spokeswoman Christine Turner said in a written statement. “No further details are available about the cause of death. Our CorePower Yoga community and executive team will not be providing media comment. Our community is grieving this tragic loss and honoring Trevor’s tremendous legacy.”
Tice got hooked on yoga, the story goes, after a climbing accident left him with six permanent screws in his ankle.
Before founding CorePower, Tice owned TechPartners International, a $60 million IT company he sold in 2001 to a United Kingdom firm.
“Traveling for his technology business, Trevor practiced a variety of yoga disciplines at yoga studios across the country and found an opportunity to make yoga dynamic, challenging and convenient,” a CorePower biography said.
In 2002, Tice opened the first CorePower on Grant Street, offering his own proprietary blend of “athletic” yoga in heated, modern studios. Six teachers, including Tice, taught four classes a day, endeavoring for months before those classes began to fill.
From there, CorePower kept growing, starting in Colorado and then expanding to Oregon, Minnesota, California, Illinois and beyond. Earlier this year, the company announced it will open its first New York City studio early next year.
Today, there are more than 150 CorePower locations in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-five are in Colorado. Tice told a national business publication that he envisioned the company eventually going public and operating more than 500 studios nationwide.
In June 2013, CorePower received an investment from private equity firm Catterton Partners that Tice described to Inc. as “well north of $100 million.”
To grow a yoga business to that kind of value is “amazing,” said Kristen Dollard, editorial brand director for Boulder-based Yoga Journal.
“What he started definitely changed the game and the business,” she said. “The accessibility and likability and breaking down some of the barriers to more classical yoga — people felt they could start there.”
Wienholt, who took his first yoga class at the CorePower on Grant Street in 2004, said the yoga company he founded in 2010 with his wife, Nicole, owes “a world of debt” to Tice’s vision.
“CorePower took out much of the Eastern philosophy and esoteric aspects of yoga and made it more digestible to the average person who wasn’t necessarily seeking enlightenment,” Wienholt said. “CorePower was such a gateway for so many people. They come in thinking it’s all about a physical workout and stretching and toning, and they find this tremendous mindfulness and peace that they didn’t expect.”
Tice, who gave up his role as CEO of the company in 2014, purchased the home where he was found dead in January for $3 million, according to Coldwell Banker. Investigators believe he was the only person living at the home, which appeared to be undergoing a remodel.
“Hopefully, that autopsy can give us some answers,” Holden said. “We’re still searching the house and in the process of looking for evidence.”
CorePower Yoga founder Trevor Tice got hooked on yoga after a climbing accident.