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Feature Article - June 2017

Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs


Revenues & Expenditures

The number of health club respondents who saw their revenues increase grew from 2015 to 2016, while at the same time, the number whose revenues decreased fell. From 2014 to 2015, 48.4 percent of health club respondents said their revenues had increased, while 24.2 percent reported lower revenues. From 2015 to 2016, 55.4 percent of health club respondents said revenues grew, while 12.2 percent reported a drop in revenues. (See Figure 53.)


Health club respondents always tend to be among the most optimistic when considering their future revenues, and this year is no exception, with 59.7 percent projecting their revenues will increase in 2017, and 63.8 percent expecting higher revenues in 2018. Around one-third expect revenues to remain the same in each of those years.

From 2015 to 2016, health club respondents' average operating costs grew at nearly double the rate for all respondents. While all respondents saw their average operating expenditure increase by 17.5 percent in that time period, health club respondents' average operating expense grew 34.3 percent, from $1,343,000 in 2015 to $1,804,000 in 2016. Looking forward, however, health club respondents are among the only respondents who are expecting their average operating costs to fall over the next two years. They expect a 7 percent decrease, to an average of $1,678,000 in 2018.

On average, health club respondents report that they recover 67.6 percent of their operating costs via revenue. This compares with 49.9 percent of operating costs recovered via revenue for all respondents. Given the largely for-profit nature of this audience, it should come as no surprise that health club respondents were more likely to report that they earned back 91 to 100 percent of their operating costs via revenues. While just 17.3 percent of non-health-club respondents earned at least 91 percent of their costs back, some 40.3 percent of health club respondents earned 91 percent or more of their operating costs back via revenue. Some 19.4 percent of health club respondents said they earn less than 30 percent of their costs back via revenues. Another 5.6 percent earn between 31 percent and 50 percent of their costs back. Some 8.3 percent earn between 51 percent and 70 percent of their operating costs back. And 55.6 percent of health club respondents said they cover at least 71 percent or more of their operating costs via revenue.

The percentage of health club respondents who said they had taken action to reduce operating expenditures at their facilities fell this year. While 87.1 percent of health club respondents had taken such action in 2016, this year, that number fell to 80.8 percent. The most common actions they had taken include: improving energy efficiency (54.8 percent), increasing fees (37 percent), reducing staff (27.4 percent), cutting programs or services (20.5 percent), and putting construction or renovation plans on hold (16.4 percent).

Health Club Facilities

A majority of health club respondents report that the number of people using their facilities has increased, and a majority expect further increases. While 51.6 percent of health club respondents said they saw membership increase from 2014 to 2015, 55.3 percent said memberships had grown from 2015 to 2016. At the same time, 19.4 percent of health club respondents reported a decline in memberships from 2014 to 2015, and 11.8 percent reported a decrease from 2015 to 2016. (See Figure 54.)


Looking forward, health club respondents continue to be optimistic about membership increases, as is typically the case with these respondents. Some 64.9 percent of health club respondents said they expect to see utilization of their facilities increase from 2016 to 2017, and 62.9 percent are expecting memberships to increase from 2017 to 2018.