BOSTON, MA—September 21, 2023—IHRSA President & CEO Liz Clark issued the following statement regarding the announcement of the passing of Fitness International Co-founder Louis Welch:

“Louis Welch was an instrumental leader in the fitness industry since he co-founded LA Fitness in 1984 in California, growing it to more than 700 locations in the United States and Canada. As co-CEO and president of Fitness International, LLC, he also oversaw the expansion of Fitness International to include three additional brands: Esporta Fitness, City Sports Club, and Club Studio, which just launched in early 2023.

“Louis was a private person, but his record of success was well-known, and everyone watched what he and his leadership team did. His business mindset and entrepreneurial spirit will be missed.

“Our condolences to his family and to the Fitness International team, which, led by Executive Chairman Chinyol Yi, will undoubtedly continue to provide steady and innovative leadership for the company.”


IHRSA—the Health & Fitness Association, a global community of health and fitness industry leaders—is a not-for-profit trade association representing the global fitness industry of over 200,000 health and fitness facilities and their suppliers. Founded in 1981, IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical for peak health and to fight the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle diseases.

As the world's leading authority on the commercial health and fitness club industry, IHRSA’s mission is to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry, while providing its members with benefits and resources. IHRSA is the publisher of Club Business International, the leading monthly magazine for the global fitness industry. IHRSA's Convention & Trade Show will be hosted March 6-8, 2024, in Los Angeles.

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