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Behind the Scenes

IHRSA Shares Encouraging Numbers at Annual Meeting

At the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) conference last week in Los Angeles, IHRSA shared some interesting numbers that seem to show growth in the fitness industry.

Revenue in 2011 for IHRSA stood at $13 million, an increase from $12.8 million in 2010. IHRSA's overage after expenses was $909,000 in 2011, an increase from $337,000 in 2010.

The fitness industry generated $21.4 billion in 2011 compared to $20.3 billion in 2010.

On the membership side, the United States had 51.4 million health club members in 2011, compared to 50.2 million in 2010, which had been a 10.8 percent increase from 2009. With 128 million members worldwide, the industry also beat IHRSA's goal of having 120 million members worldwide by 2010.

Health club usage also increased in 2011. The average number of visits was 104.5 in 2011 compared to 97.5 visits in 2010.

What do these numbers mean for the industry? Obviously, they seem to be a sign that people are coming back to clubs, that new people are joining clubs and that the industry is moving forward. However, I think much of this growth is international and a sign that the fitness business overseas, which had a lot of room to grow, is doing just that. But growth of almost 1 million members in the United States in one year also is a good sign for us domestically. Do you think the low-price model is the reason for this growth or is it simply an improving economy and more emphasis on the need to be fit?

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