Feature Article - June 2019
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Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs


Revenues & Expenditures

After a rough year revenue-wise in 2017, health club respondents saw much more positive results in 2018. In 2017, 46.9 percent reported an increase in revenue, while 21.9 percent reported a decrease. In 2018, more than half (51.1 percent) said revenues had increased, while only 6.4 percent reported decreasing revenues. (See Figure 51.)

Health club respondents tend to be optimistic when considering future revenues, and they were more so in 2018 than in 2017. Looking forward, 53.2 percent of health club respondents expect revenues to increase in 2019, while 62.5 percent projected an increase for 2020.

From 2017 to 2018, health club respondents reported a 6.3 percent increase in operating costs, from an average of $1,580,000 to $1,680,000. Looking forward, they are expecting further increases, reaching $1,770,000 in 2019 and $2,040,000 in 2020.

On average, health club respondents report that they recover 69.4 percent of their operating costs via revenue, up from 65.1 percent in 2018. Health club respondents were far more likely to report that they recover at least 91 percent of their operating costs via revenues. Some 12.9 percent of non-health-club respondents said they earn back at least 91 percent of their operating costs, while 35.6 percent of health club respondents do so. Some 13.3 percent of health club respondents said they earn less than 30 percent of their operating costs back via revenues. Another 6.7 percent earn between 31 percent and 50 percent of revenues, and 8.9 percent earn back between 51 percent and 70 percent. Nearly half (48.9 percent) of health club respondents said they earn back at least 71 percent of their operating costs via revenues.

Health club respondents were somewhat less likely than their counterparts to report that they had taken action to reduce their operating expenses. Some 78.7 percent of health club respondents said they had taken such measures (down from 86.4 percent in 2018), compared with 80.4 percent of non-health-club respondents. The most common actions taken by health club respondents to reduce expenses include: increasing fees (40.4 percent); improving energy efficiency (38.3 percent); and reducing staff (34 percent). Another 17 percent said they had put construction plans on hold, reduced their hours of operation or cut programs and services.

Health Club Facilities

As with revenues, 2018 was a better year for health club respondents in terms of memberships, or the number of people using their facilities. After falling from 55.3 percent to 48.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, half (50 percent) of health club respondents said the number of people using their facilities had increased in 2018. And while 16.7 percent said usage had fallen in 2017, in 2018, 12.5 percent saw a decrease. (See Figure 52.)