Feature Article - June 2014
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A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

Revenues & Expenditures

Nearly half (49.2 percent) of health club respondents to the 2013 Industry Report survey said their revenues had increased from 2011 to 2012. In this year's survey, the number reporting higher revenues in 2013 vs. 2012 increased dramatically, with 64.8 percent reporting they had seen higher revenues. The number expecting revenue growth continues to increase for 2014, when 76.8 percent are projecting revenue increases, and for 2015, when 77.1 percent expect revenue to increase. (See Figure 51.)

Health club respondents bucked the trend in operating expenditures from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2013. While among all survey respondents, the average operating expenditure fell by 1.7 percent over that year, health club respondents reported a 12 percent increase from $1,162,000 in fiscal 2012 to $1,302,000 in fiscal 2013. Further, health club respondents are expecting more rapid growth from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2015 than other respondents. While health club respondents expect their revenues to grow by 16.4 percent from fiscal 2012, reaching $1,352,000 in fiscal 2015, among all respondents, a more modest growth rate of 4.1 percent is projected.

Health club respondents were much more likely than others to report that they had taken actions to reduce their operating expenditures in the past year. While 80.4 percent of non-health-club respondents said they had taken such action, 89.3 percent of health club respondents had done so. They were more likely than others to report that they had increased fees (48.2 percent). Other common measures employed included improving energy efficiency (50 percent), reducing staff (37.5 percent); putting construction or renovation plans on hold (21.1 percent); or cutting programs and services (17.9 percent).

Health Club Facilities

Respondents from health clubs tend to be very positive about expected growth in membership, and 2014 is no exception. The percentage of respondents reporting increasing usage year over year grew from 50.8 percent who saw an increase in 2012 to 58.2 percent reporting an increase in 2013. Looking ahead, more than two-thirds (67.9 percent) expect to see further growth in 2014, and 70 percent expect growth in 2015. (See Figure 52.)

Interestingly, while only 3.3 percent of 2013 respondents projected a decrease in usage from 2012 to 2013, this year, 14.5 percent reported that such a decrease had taken place.

Health club respondents were slightly more likely than others to report that they had plans for construction over the next three years. While 63.6 percent of non-health-club respondents are planning construction, 69 percent of health club respondents had such plans.

What's more, the number of health club respondents who plan to build has grown dramatically since 2012, when less than half said they had such plans. (See Figure 53.)

Half of health club respondents said they plan to make renovations at their existing facilities. Another 31 percent have plans for additions, up from 17.2 percent in 2013. And, 25.9 percent are planning to build new facilities, up from 15.6 percent in 2013.

Despite the fact that more are planning construction, health club respondents' budgets for construction fell significantly from 2013 to 2014. Average spending for construction fell by 25.2 percent from $2,154,000 in 2013 to $1,611,000 in 2014.

The features most commonly included in health club facilities changes little year over year. The top 10 most common features in 2014 include: fitness centers; exercise studios; locker rooms; childcare or daycare facilities; classrooms and meeting rooms; indoor aquatic facilities; indoor sports courts; concession areas; outdoor aquatic facilities; and indoor running tracks.

Far fewer health club respondents are planning to add features at their facilities over the next three years. While 38 percent of non-health-club respondents plan to add features, just 24.1 percent of health club respondents have such plans. That said, this is an increase from 2013, when just 14.1 percent of health club respondents had plans to add features.

The most commonly planned additions include: locker rooms; concession areas; exercise studio rooms; outdoor sports courts; climbing walls; outdoor running tracks; splash play areas; playgrounds; indoor sports courts; and challenge or ropes courses.