Bally Total Fitness enters the fifth largest market in California with acquisition.

FRESNO, Calif. - Bally Total Fitness has entered the Fresno, Calif., market with the acquisition of seven George Brown fitness centers, including one club operating in the San Francisco Bay area.

The six Fresno clubs will operate under the Bally Total Fitness name, while the Bay area club will be converted to Bally's upscale "Pinnacle Fitness" brand. Currently, Bally now operates 13 clubs in the Bay area, a market it entered a year ago.

Lee Hillman, Bally's president and CEO, believes that this acquisition will immediately contribute to the chain's earnings. He pointed out that Fresno is currently the fifth largest market in California, making it a prime area for growth.

Bally has opened or acquired 33 new fitness centers since Jan. 1, and plans to add several more before the end of 1999.