It took me most of the morning to recover from the Life Time Fitness conference call this morning about their second quarter earnings filing. After a while, the numbers that are tossed out in any call like this start to blur together. I generally read through the press release to gleen what I consider the most important information and then halfway listen to the call until the analysts start asking their questions at the end of the call. That's when you find out what the most important parts of the report generally are.
Seems like many of the analysts were interested in the real estate market and how its downturn might affect Life Time as they generally own the land and buildings in which their clubs are situated and their major growth mode means purchasing property in what some would now consider an unfavorable real estate market. However, Bahram Akradi, CEO of Life Time, expressed confidence that the downturn in the residential real estate market wasn't being seen in the commercial market.
Many of the analysts were also interested in the purchase Life Time made of six Wellbridge clubs in Minneapolis last summer. The clubs brought in an additional 25,000 members. Life Time has been renovating several of these clubs, and according to Akradi, the membership has received the changes well.
I also found it interesting that Akradi likes to keep his membership at under 12,000 per club. On the call, he noted that they increased membership dues to $79 per month (from $59) at some of the fuller clubs in part to decrease membership a bit.
They didn't speak much about their urban model in this call, which might be just as well since talk of it in that last financial call seemed to confuse some analysts who were used to the larger footprints of the company's suburban model.
Regardless, it was nice to hear some good news about a public company in our industry right now. - Pam