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Feature Article - June 2017

Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs


The percentage of health club respondents who are planning construction over the next few years has been on a gradual increase since 2015. At that time, 54.1 percent of health club respondents said they had plans for construction. This year, 59.2 percent of health club respondents said they were planning construction. Some 43.4 percent of health club respondents said they will be renovating their existing facilities. Another 17.1 percent are planning additions, and 14.5 percent are planning to build new facilities. (See Figure 55.)


Health club respondents in 2017 are planning to spend an average of $963,000 on their construction plans, 77.6 percent less than the average for all respondents. What's more, health club respondents saw their budgets for construction fall substantially from 2016 to 2017, dropping 61.5 percent from an average of $2,500,000 last year.

The features most commonly included among health club respondents' facilities in 2017 include: fitness centers, exercise studio rooms, locker rooms, Wi-Fi services, indoor aquatic facilities, childcare centers, indoor sports courts for sports like basketball, classrooms and meeting rooms, indoor tracks, and outdoor aquatic facilities.

The percentage of health club respondents who said they had plans to add features at their facilities over the next three years grew slightly, from 15.6 percent in 2016 to 19.7 percent in 2017. This compares with 42.5 percent of non-health-club respondents who plan to add features in 2017. The most commonly planned additions among health club respondents include: fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment, synthetic turf sports fields, fitness centers, exercise studios, and classrooms and meeting rooms.

Programming

Offering engaging, innovative and effective programs is one of the keys to a successful health club business, as it gets new members in the door and keeps existing members coming back for more.

The top 10 programs currently offered among health club respondents' facilities include: fitness programs (provided by 90.7 percent of health club respondents), personal training (81.3 percent), mind-body balance programs such as yoga and tai chi (80 percent), nutrition and diet counseling (60 percent), aquatic exercise programs (58.7 percent), holidays and other special events (54.7 percent), programs for active older adults (53.3 percent), swimming programs (52 percent), day camps and summer camps (38.7 percent), and sport-specific training such as golf lessons or tennis instruction (36 percent).

Programming types that saw growth from 2016 to 2017 include: fitness programs (up from 89.1 percent), nutrition and diet counseling (up from 53.1 percent), aquatic exercise programs (up from 50 percent), holidays and other special events (up from 46.9 percent), and swimming programs (up from 45.3 percent).

The percentage of health club respondents who plan to add programming at their facilities grew from 28.1 percent in 2016 to 32.9 percent in 2017. This compares with 32.2 percent of non-health-club respondents who are planning to add new programs at their facilities.

The most commonly planned program additions among health club respondents include:

  1. Individual sports activities such as running or swim clubs (up from No. 2)
  2. Nutrition and diet counseling (up from No. 3)
  3. Fitness programs (up from No. 4)
  4. Teen programming (did not appear in 2016)
  5. Mind-body balance programs such as yoga and tai chi (up from No. 6)
  6. Programs for active older adults (up from No. 7)
  7. Educational programs (down from No. 1)
  8. Special needs programs (up from No. 9)
  9. Personal training (down from No. 8)
  10. Swimming programs (did not appear in 2016)
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