CorePower Yoga founder leaves be­hind “legacy”

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Em­i­lie Rusch and Jesse Paul

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.”

Pro­vided by CorePower Yoga

CorePower Yoga founder Trevor Tice got hooked on yoga af­ter a climb­ing ac­ci­dent.

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