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IHRSA Profiles of Success Shows Health Club Performance Strengthen in 2010; Retention, Visits and Other Key Metrics Up

BOSTON - November 30, 2011- Today the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) released the 30th edition of its annual Industry Data Survey (IDS) results and the accompanying publication, the 2011 IHRSA Profiles of Success. The report provides a detailed analysis of the annual performance of leading health and fitness clubs, focusing on the North American industry.

“Performance was robust for many leading clubs,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s Executive Vice President of Global Products. “Club operators engaged current members and attracted new consumers, which was evident in strong member retention, club visits, and other indicators.”

Overall, clubs posted a median rate of member retention of 70 percent, consistent with historical results. Other key findings:

  • Independent clubs reported a retention rate of 74.1 percent.   
  • All clubs reported a median of 54 visits, up from the 2009 sample, which reported 50 visits.
  • Net membership growth for the overall sample was 2.9 percent; small clubs reported the greatest membership growth at 9.9 percent.     
  • All clubs reported a median of $765.40 in revenue per individual member, more than $1,000 was generated per individual member at large clubs (with 60,000 square feet or more).     
  • Clubs offer a variety of membership plans: two out of five members subscribed to a month-to-month type membership, while 38% subscribed to a twelve-month membership.

“As focused as operators were in serving members and consumers, club leadership also effectively managed operations,” said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s Research Manager. “Participating clubs reported solid metrics for expense and staff management.”

EBITDA totaled a median of 14.1 percent of total revenue for participating clubs as facilities part of a chain reported EBITDA as high as 18.1 percent. Revenue per full-time equivalent (FTE) increased for most club segments even though employee levels remained relatively steady for most facilities. Overall, responding clubs posted a median of $89.40 per FTE, up from $87.50 in 2009. Mid-sized clubs reported the greatest improvement: clubs between 20,000 and 34,999 square feet generated $102.60 per FTE in 2010, up from $89 in 2009; clubs between 35,000 and 59,000 square feet posted $124.80 per FTE in 2010, relative to $115.90 in 2009.

Profiles of Success is an important reference for club owners to better understand their club’s performance in comparison with mature, successful facilities,” said Ablondi. “Along with the IHRSA research portal, the report is a vital tool for measuring club operations and financial performance.” 

The 2011 Profiles of Success is based upon membership and financial data for 2010 provided voluntarily by leading IHRSA member clubs in the United States and Canada, representing 757 facilities. The report provides key performance indicators for several club types: fitness-only, multipurpose, independent, and multi-chain facilities. Performance is also presented and analyzed by club size. A snapshot of health club consumer participation and demographics is also included in the report. The report also contains a new profit center section that analyzes revenue streams from racquet sports, spas, pro shop/retail, food & beverage, and children’s/youth programs.

The report is also available in three parts:

  • Part 1: Executive Summary and Industry Outlook
  • Part 2: Membership Pricing, Payroll, and Facilities
  • Part 3: Income Statement & Balance Sheet Data

The 2011 IHRSA Profiles of Success may be purchased in full or in sections at the IHRSA online store, ihrsa.org/store. The entire PDF can be purchased for $399.95 (or only $199.95 for IHRSA members). The three separate parts are available for $139.95 (or $69.95 for IHRSA members) each.

Partnering with Industry Insights, the IHRSA Research Portal provides the club operator with authoritative data and benchmarks to compare their company's operational metrics against. The IHRSA Research Portal is home to club operations studies such as the annual industry data survey, quarterly index survey, and employee compensation and benefits survey. Visit the IHRSA Research Portal at ihrsa.org/research.

For more information or questions, contact IHRSA Research, research@ihrsa.org, or call + 1-617-951-0055.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and fitness promotion.