Feature Article - June 2020
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Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs


On average, health club respondents in 2020 reported that they recover 71.3% of their operating costs via revenues, up from 69.4% in 2019. Health club respondents were much more likely to report that they recover at least 91% of their operating costs via revenues. While just 18% of non-health-club respondents said they earn back at least 91% of their operating costs via revenues, some 43.2% of health club respondents do so. Some 13.5% of health club respondents said they recover 30% or less via revenues, while 10.8% recover 31 to 50%, and 2.7% recover 51 to 70%. More than half (51.4%) of health club respondents said they earn back at least 71% of their operating costs via revenues, up from 48.9% in 2019.

Health club respondents were just slightly less likely than their counterparts to report that they had taken action to reduce their operating expenditures. Some 81.1% of health club respondents said they had taken such measures (up from 78.7% in 2019), compared with 81.2% of non-health-club respondents. The most common actions taken by health club respondents to reduce expenses include: increasing fees (45.9% of health club respondents had done so); reducing staff (45.9%); improving energy efficiency (40.5%); putting construction and renovation plans on hold (27%); and cutting programs or services (21.6%).

Health Club Facilities

For the most part, health club respondents saw either an increase in memberships or held steady from 2018 to 2019. Some 48.6% said usage of their facilities had increased in that time, while 40.5% reported no change. Another 10.8% said the number of people using their facilities had fallen, but this is an improvement over the past two years. (See Figure 54.)

Looking forward, health club respondents grow more optimistic, with 44.1% projecting an increase in the number of people using their facilities in 2020, and nearly two-thirds (65.6%) anticipating an increase in 2021.

Health club respondents were less likely to be planning construction than other respondents in 2020. Some 59.5% of health club respondents said they had plans for construction, compared with 73.3% of non-health-club respondents. Nearly half (48.6%) of health club respondents said they would be renovating their existing facilities. Another 13.5% said they planned to build new facilities, and 13.5% were planning additions to their existing facilities. (See Figure 55.)

In 2020, health club respondents were planning to spend an average of $1,110,000 on their construction plans. That's 68% lower than the average amount planned by respondents in 2019, $3,470,000.

The features most commonly included among health club respondents' facilities in 2020 include: fitness centers; locker rooms; exercise studio rooms; Wi-Fi services; classrooms and meeting rooms; childcare centers; indoor tracks for running and walking; indoor aquatic facilities; indoor courts for sports like basketball and volleyball; and concession areas.

Health club respondents were far less likely to report that they had plans to add features at their facilities. While 44.2% of non-health-club respondents had such plans, just 13.5% of health club respondents said they were planning to add features, down from 20.8% in 2019.

Those with plans to make additions at their facilities said they would be adding fitness centers, splash play areas, park restroom structures, Wi-Fi services, and concession areas.