Fitness Centers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 31,100 fitness centers in the US provide exercise equipment, classes, and services that allow members to improve their physical fitness. The main source of fitness center revenue is membership fees. Fitness centers also generate revenue by providing athletic instruction, admission fees for non-member usage, and food and beverage. The industry includes independently-owned centers, chains, and franchises.

Seasonality of Demand

Most fitness centers experience higher membership growth right after the winter holidays, when many people resolve to lose weight or exercise more.

Membership Attrition

Maintaining a strong membership base can be a challenge for fitness centers.

Industry size & Structure

A typical fitness center operates out of a single location, employs about 12 workers, and generates about $954,000 annually.

    • The fitness center industry consists of 31,100 companies that employ about 466,900 workers and generate $36 billion annually.
    • The industry includes independently-owned centers, chains, and franchises.
    • Large companies include 24 Hour Fitness, Gold's Gym (TRT Holdings), Life Time Fitness, and Town Sports International.
    • There were around 64.2 million members of health clubs in the US in 2019, according to the IHSRA.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Fitness Centers Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Nov 13, 2022 - Visit, Membership Growth Rebound Continue
                                • Monthly visits to gyms from March through August rose more than 18% from the same period in 2019, according to Placer.ai, which tracks retail foot traffic. New memberships also increased, with sales per square foot at gyms up 34% year over year in August and almost on a par with 2019, said Mark Sigal, chief executive of Datex Property Solutions, a software company that tracks retail properties.
                                • Well-capitalized chains are expanding, taking advantage of pandemic-depressed rents, according to the New York Times. Space that is newly occupied by fitness centers increased to more than 4.5 million square feet in the first three months of this year, from about 2 million at the end of 2021, outpacing other types of retailers, according to Brandon Isner, head of retail research for the Americas at CBRE, a real estate services firm.
                                • Pre- and postnatal workout classes are now common in the fitness industry, according to the Well+Good news site. A confluence of scientific and societal shifts that note the strength required for childbirth and parenting are cited as key causes. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) released guidance in 2002 that 30 minutes of exercise per day was safe for pregnant people. Subsequent research showed that not only is exercise safe, it is beneficial, says Salena Zanotti, MD, an OB/GYN with the Cleveland Clinic. ACOG went a step further in 2020 and issued updated guidance, recommending that people experiencing normal pregnancies get exercise.
                                • Public health officials and experts are advising more caution in indoor gyms due to the risk of COVID-19 infection. Many say that it is critical to mask up inside. Even with vaccination and masking requirements, different parts of gyms have varying degrees of risk. The least risky area is likely the weight room, given that users can spread out and stay distant from other people. The riskiest area would be indoor classes, where people are in close proximity to one another and are heavily breathing out respiratory particles, according to University of California, San Francisco infectious diseases expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. An area with moderate risk — somewhere between that of the weight room and indoor gym classes — would be around treadmills.
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