Chanhassen, Mn — Snap Fitness, a franchisor of small 24-hour fitness clubs, is taking its members online with their own Web pages and some new offerings made possible by partnerships with three companies.

“The 24-hour fitness category is becoming more competitive and mature, and in the long run, it will be the innovative concepts that thrive,” says Peter Taunton, founder and CEO of Snap Fitness.

The partnerships with Bioceutica, Health Solutions Ltd. and HyperStrike give club members access to a package of customizable, Web-based health and wellness planning tools that supplement the traditional, in-club workout experience, Taunton says.

“Our facilities are staffed 20 to 30 hours a week, so we feel that it's important to give our franchisees tools that are readily available to them and help members meet their fitness and nutritional needs,” he says.

Last month, the company launched www.mysnapfitness.com on which members can activate their personal Web page. On this page, they can then access features that allow them to learn their true “health age,” build a personal wellness plan, and talk confidentially to health and wellness coaches by phone to prioritize and achieve their health goals. Another option allows members to create customized workouts that can be tracked daily and supported with video tutorials using 3D animation. Members also can track their monthly club attendance for employer or insurance-plan reimbursement. In addition, members can now take a nutritional assessment and tailor meal plans to fit their weight loss goals. This option also allows them to order supplements customized to their unique biochemistry.

The supplement package costs members $69.95 per month, but Snap corporate splits the cost of the other services with franchisees so members can use them for free. Taunton says that franchisees have not increased membership fees to pay for the new services. Instead, the franchisees see the personal Web pages and the partnerships as ways to serve members better, which should translate into higher retention.

Within three weeks of the Web portal and partnerships beginning on Jan. 1, 10,000 of Snap's 200,000 members had activated their pages, Taunton says.

“Strategically, these services provide a competitive advantage, create new revenue and member retention opportunities for our franchisees, and — most importantly — give our members more ways to set and reach their fitness goals,” he says.

In the next 12 months, Snap members will be able to scan their unique ID cards on each piece of equipment, log their workouts, and view their workout frequency, intensity and results on their own portals, he says. Each facility will also eventually include a kiosk on which members can access their Web page.

Taunton is seeking other partnerships with national vendors to offer discounts to his members.

“There's a lot of players who would be interested in providing discounts to health-minded people out there,” Taunton says. He's just waiting for the right opportunities, he says.