OVERLAND PARK, KS -- Fit Athletic Club, San Diego, is passing on the “perx” to its members.

With about 180 business partners in tow and another three to five partners scheduled to join the Fit Perx program every week, Fit is an example of a growing trend in which clubs offer discounts to their members through business partnerships.

Some of the categories in which Fit members can save money include restaurants, retail stores, salons, and real estate. Fit partners with several neighboring businesses in its downtown location and hosts several Perx partner events.

“I’ll continue to listen to whatever the members are asking for and go from there,” says owner Scott Lutwak, who was the founder and CEO of Restaurant.com. “If we can increase the value of the membership for the customers, then we will go out and secure the deal.”

Fit is not alone is offering perks for members. Recently, Life Time Fitness added Dell Inc. as a new partner for its Member Advantage program, which is designed to help Life Time members save money on products and services they already use. Under the new agreement, Life Time members can save 10 percent to 30 percent on select Dell computer purchases.

Earlier this year, Life Time announced a partnership with AMC Theaters in which Life Time members can save 25 percent to 35 percent on movie tickets and up to 45 percent on concessions.

Midtown Athletic Club in Overland Park, KS, created a partnership with SureWest, a local cable, Internet and phone service provider, which provided perks for SureWest customers, who received a free 30-day all-access pass to Midtown in their SureWest bill. Included in the pass were three free group training sessions and two free group tennis lessons at Midtown.

Gold Star Fitness, Kingsport, TN, offers members getaway hotel and resort packages at a discount of up to 60 percent. Destinations include Destin, FL, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Gatlinburg, TN. Gold Star Fitness owner Stan Pace also owns the vacation rental properties that are included in the member packages.

At Fit, each member receives a Fit Perx card, presents it at select Perx partner businesses and receives a minimum discount of 20 percent on the bill each time they purchase from that vendor. In return, the businesses have the opportunity to directly market to Fit’s exclusive membership base, at no cost to them, through the Perx website (www.fitperx.com). They also are given the opportunity to participate in Fit’s Member Appreciation Day, which is held the third Saturday of each month.

Fit, which has 3,000 active members, conducted a survey of those members to determine how much its average member spends each month on food, entertainment, services and other items. The survey showed that members spend about $1,300 a month and save roughly $250 with their Perx card. By comparison, monthly dues at the club are $120.

“Our sales team truly believes the Perx program helps them close the sale at the end of the tour,” says Connie Cook, Fit’s fitness director. “We have also noticed the larger the Perx program has grown, the less attrition we have experienced. Our members definitely realize and appreciate the value of the Perx.”