9 Health Club Models Most Likely to Attract Core Members

Converting casual club-goers into "core members" is one of the most effective ways of improving any club's bottom line, according to a recent IHRSA report.

Health club owners should not only understand just how many total members belong to their club but, more importantly, how many of those members are "core members."

In 2016, roughly 25 million club members were core members, or those tallying at least 100 annual visits, according to the IHRSA 2017 Health Club Consumer Report. That's 44 percent of all club members across the country.

Men (12.6 million) are slightly more likely to be core members than women (12.4 million), the report states. Members under age 35 (Generation Z and Millennials) comprised only 35 percent of core members, while those over age 35 (Generation X and Baby Boomers) made up the other 65 percent.

Core members also tend to remain members at their club of choice for one year longer (5.8 years) than average members.

The report states: "Converting casual users into core members can increase a club’s bottom line—not only through continued membership dues revenue, but via ongoing exposure to non-dues services, for which core members may be more likely to pay an additional fee."

Fitness-only clubs attracted the highest number of core members (7.9 million) in 2016; studios attracted the least, with only 553,000 belonging to boxing or martial arts clubs.

View this clickable gallery for a breakdown of core members by facility type.

The report includes additional insights for better engaging club members from all demographics: Millennials, Generation XGeneration Z and Seniors.

View the complete IHRSA report here.

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