On the surface, Club Industry’s Top 100 Clubs list for 2011 looks a lot like the Top 100 Clubs list for 2010. The top four clubs this year were the same top four clubs last year.

24 Hour Fitness, San Ramon, CA, is once again at the top of the list with an estimated $1.352 billion in 2010 revenue. This marks the eighth consecutive year that 24 Hour has topped the Top 100 list. 24 Hour, a private company, did not provide a specific revenue number, instead stating that its revenue was more than $1 billion. However, based on the company’s number last year, we have estimated the $1.352 billion. Whereas 24 Hour listed more than 425 clubs in operation at the end of 2009, the company listed 420 clubs in operation at the end of 2010 after the relocation and closing of some clubs.

LA Fitness, Irvine, CA, is second for the second year in a row with an estimated $1 billion in 2010 revenue. LA Fitness reported 36 more clubs in 2010 than it had in operation in 2009. (LA Fitness also would not offer a specific figure for 2010 revenue.)

Earlier this year, LA Fitness was in discussions to acquire Urban Active, Lexington, KY, which is owned by parent company Global Fitness Holdings, but that deal fell through. Urban Active just missed making the top 10 on this year’s list, coming in at No. 11 with a reported $100.2 million, a 16 percent increase over its $86.7 million revenue in 2009. The proposed acquisition might have pushed LA Fitness into the No. 1 spot on next year’s Top 100 Clubs list.

Life Time Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, is No. 3 on the list with a reported $912.8 million in revenue, a 9 percent increase from its 2009 revenue of a reported $837 million. Despite the recession of the previous two years, Life Time has steadily increased its revenue the past three years. It experienced a 9 percent increase in revenue in 2009 from $769.6 million in 2008.

Club Corp., Dallas, holds steady at No. 4 with an estimated $812 million in 2010 revenue. Although the company did not provide specific numbers, a source confirmed that the $812 million estimate was in line with the same revenue the company reported in 2009.

The new club on this year’s list is not really a new name but perhaps the most intriguing. Bally Total Fitness, Chicago, which became a private company after two bankruptcies and did not report revenue figures a year ago, is No. 5 with a reported $550 million in 2010 revenue. That figure is a 48 percent decrease from its reported revenue of $1.059 billion in 2006. Bally’s decline includes a sharp drop from 2006 to 2007 revenue ($650 million) and a slight decrease from 2007 to 2008 revenue ($634 million).

Bally reported 276 clubs in operation in 2010. That’s also a sharp decline from the 400 clubs it had in operation in 2006. Bally closed a number of clubs after its second bankruptcy in 2009.

It remains to be seen whether Bally will appear on next year’s Top 100 Clubs list. As of the date this story was posted, there were indications of serious negotiations of a sale of Bally to Gold’s Gym International, Irving, TX, which would produce a seismic shift in the landscape of the industry. Gold’s, which is owned by private equity firm TRT Holdings, has not reported revenue figures for several years, although it did report 700 clubs in operation in 2010. A Bally sale has been rumored in the past, especially after its second bankruptcy. According to several sources, this time, a sale could be imminent.

Town Sports International, New York, comes in at No. 6 on this year’s list with a reported $462.4 million in revenue. That’s a 5 percent decrease from 2009 ($485.4 million) and a 9 percent decrease from 2008 ($506.7 million).

Planet Fitness, Newington, NH, continues its steady rise on the Top 100 Clubs list, ranking No. 7 with $157.1 million in 2010 revenue, a 21 percent increase from 2009 ($129.5 million). Planet Fitness, which was No. 8 last year and No. 10 two years ago, reported 390 clubs in operation compared to 310 in 2009. The 2010 revenue for Planet Fitness includes its 33.3 percent stake in PFNY LLC, Yonkers, NY, a Planet Fitness franchisee that operates 26 clubs in the New York City area. PFNY is No. 20 on this year’s Top 100 list with $56.3 million in 2010 revenue.

Capital Fitness Inc., Big Rock, IL, which operates Xsport Fitness, is No. 8 with $142 million in revenue. Rounding out the top 10 are No. 9 Western Athletic Clubs, San Francisco ($121 million, which was a 13 percent increase in revenue), and No. 10 Lifestyle Family Fitness, St. Petersburg, FL ($102.4 million).

After Urban Active at No. 11, the next four club companies on this year’s list also are familiar names in the industry: No. 12 Midtown Athletic Clubs, Chicago ($93 million); No. 13 Millennium Partners Sports Club Management, Boston ($92 million); No. 14 Sport and Health, McLean, VA ($90 million); and No. 15 Club One, San Francisco ($79.5 million). Of those four companies, Midtown Athletic Clubs experienced the greatest revenue growth—a 12 percent increase from its $83 million in revenue in 2009.

Equinox, New York, which was No. 6 on last year’s Top 100 Clubs list with an estimated $344 million in revenue, did not provide numbers for this year’s list, so it has been moved to the missing club company list.

For all companies on this year’s Top 100 Clubs list that did not provide specific revenue figures for 2010, their revenue was estimated flat.

After the July issue of Club Industry went to press, Spectrum Athletic Clubs, El Segundo, CA, reported it had $90 million in revenue in 2010, which would have placed the company in a tie for 14th on this year’s Top 100 Clubs list. However, because its 2009 revenue of $89.2 million was an estimate, the company does not appear on this year’s list.

Also, New York Health and Racquet Club (NYHRC), New York, responded with its financial information for 2010 after the July issue deadline. NYHRC reported $41 million in revenue for 2010, which would have placed the company 27th on this year’s list. However, it is listed at No. 21 on this year’s list with a flat estimate of $55.7 million from 2009.

One company that made a huge leap on the Top 100 Clubs list was American Leisure Corp., Nanuet, NY. American Leisure jumped from No. 83 on last year’s list (when it had an estimated $7.2 million) to No. 48 with a reported $20 million in 2010. Officials at the company credit the acquisition of a few big accounts—one of which is in Saudi Arabia—for the increase.

PH Fitness Inc., dba Fitness First, Frederick MD, also had a dramatic increase in revenue. PH Fitness reported $36.8 million in 2010, good for 31st place on this year’s list. Last year, PH Fitness was at No. 45 after reporting $25 million in 2009. Owner Peter Harvey credits implementing personal training in his clubs for the rise in revenue.

“Frankly, it’s getting more competitive than ever,” says Harvey, referring to the club industry landscape.

Making its debut on the Top 100 Clubs list is Mountainside Fitness, Tempe, AZ, which tied for 44th with Healthworks Fitness Centers, Boston, with $23 million in 2010 revenue. Eight of the nine Mountainside clubs are in Arizona, with the other club located in Colorado.

Anytime Fitness, Hastings, MN, and Snap Fitness, Chanhassen, MN—both 24-hour key-card club companies—climbed a few spots this year. Anytime Fitness reported $33.7 million in revenue in 2010, a 12 percent increase that moved it from 38th to 35th place on this year’s list. Snap Fitness reported $29 million in 2010 revenue, a 9 percent increase that moved it from 44th to 41st place.

Cooper Fitness Center, Dallas, saw a decrease in revenue, caused by the fact that it no longer owns the Craig Ranch location but does have a management contract to run the facility. Cooper Fitness Center reported $8.3 million in 2010 revenue after reporting $12.4 million in 2009 revenue, resulting in a fall from 62nd to 78th place on this year’s list.

Of the 100 companies on this year’s list, nearly half (47) reported increases in revenue from 2009 to 2010. Only 17 club companies reported decreases in revenue compared to 36 companies that had decreases on last year’s list.

In some cases, revenue increases or decreases were influenced by the number of employees that companies reported in 2010. Of the 100 companies on this list, 28 gained employees, and 28 had fewer employees than they had in 2009. Almost one-fourth of the companies (23) had no change in their number of employees.

The Top 100 Clubs list ranks club companies by revenue in the previous year. It is not intended to rank clubs based on quality or segment service.

Missing Clubs

The following clubs and franchisors are large enough to be included on the Top 100 Clubs list, but their owners did not complete a Top 100 Clubs form, and we were not able to find another way to estimate their revenue.

  • The Alaska Clubs, Anchorage, AK
  • Bailey’s Gym Inc., dba Powerhouse Gyms, Jacksonville, FL
  • Brick Bodies, Cockeysville, MD
  • California Family Fitness, Orangevale, CA
  • Champion Fitness Inc., dba Bally Total Fitness, Syracuse, NY
  • Chelsea Piers, New York, NY
  • Club Fit, Jefferson Valley, NY
  • Curves, Waco, TX
  • Equinox, New York, NY
  • Fitness USA, West Bloomfield, MI
  • Franco’s Athletic Clubs, Mandeville, LA
  • Gold’s Gym International, Irving, TX
  • Healthplex Sports Club, Springfield, PA
  • In-Shape Health Club Inc., Stockton, CA
  • Lady of America, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Lakeshore Athletic Clubs, Chicago
  • MVP Sportsclubs, Orlando, FL
  • PRO Sports Club, Bellevue, WA
  • SIM Investment Corp., dba The Right Stuff Health Club, San Jose, CA
  • Spectrum Athletic Clubs, El Segundo, CA
  • Titan Fitness Holdings, McLean, VA
  • Wheaton Sports Center, Wheaton, IL
  • Women’s Workout World, Chicago
  • WOW! Work Out World, Wall, NJ
  • WTS International, Rockville, MD

Special Thanks

Thank you to Rick Caro, president of Management Vision, New York, for reviewing the information provided by the club companies and helping with the analysis.