N.H.-Based Health Club Operator Sets The Industry's Pace

Planet Fitness tops competition on Inc. 5000 list

'Judgment Free Zone' rakes in revenue and new members

Aug 25, 2008, 01:00 ET from Planet Fitness

    DOVER, N.H., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Planet Fitness, the health club
 chain known for its "Judgment Free" atmosphere and friendly prices, earned
 the top spot among all fitness companies on Inc. magazine's 2008 list of
 the 5,000 fastest-growing private businesses in the United States.
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080825/NEM084LOGO )
     The Inc. 5,000 list ranks companies according to revenue growth in the
 four previous years. From 2004 to 2007, Planet Fitness's revenues leaped
 from $8.4 million to $48.5 million - an increase of 472 percent, good for
 the 732nd spot on the magazine's list.
     With 230 clubs in 29 states and more than 1.1 million members, Planet
 Fitness is the country's premier low-cost/high-value gym operator. As
 recently as 2003, the company consisted of a handful of clubs in its home
 state of New Hampshire. But when Planet Fitness began franchising in 2003,
 it triggered a rapid national expansion.
     The company's business model is vastly different than that of other
 health clubs. Memberships prices are extremely low - $10-$19.99 a month. In
 addition, Planet Fitness clubs have no salespeople and no bodybuilders.
 They don't offer childcare or group-exercise classes, and there are no
 pools and spas - just stylish facilities outfitted with a huge selection of
 top-notch cardio and strength machines. The company's core customers tend
 to be first-time and occasional gym users drawn to our Judgment Free
 Zone(R) philosophy, which allows members to lose weight and get fit without
 the intimidating atmosphere common in so many gyms.
     The Planet Fitness model began to take shape in 1992, when company
 founder Mike Grondahl acquired a financially struggling gym in Dover, N.H.,
 and dramatically reduced prices to try to compete against better-financed
 and better-known brands. Membership rolls immediately swelled, and Grondahl
 and his two partners - his brother, Marc, and Chris Rondeau - spent several
 years refining the Planet Fitness business model. Today a number of Planet
 Fitness clubs have as many as 10,000 members, and no other health club
 operator competes in the same niche or offers a comparable value.

SOURCE Planet Fitness