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Club Memberships Grow in 2001

BOSTON — A national consumer study conducted by American Sports Data Inc. and sponsored by IHRSA has determined that the total number of health club patrons, including both members and non-member users of clubs, climbed 7.0 percent to 58.3 million people in 2001. Preliminary findings from the annual Health Club Trend Report also found that the number of members of health and fitness clubs in the U.S. grew to 33.8 million (+3.0%) in 2001.

Given this growth in consumer demand and a 5.0 percent increase in the number of health clubs, IHRSA estimates that the U.S. commercial health club industry generated $12.2 billion in total revenues in 2001 (+5.0%).

“Our industry has seen total U.S. membership rise by almost 63 percent since 1992,” said John McCarthy, IHRSA executive director. “The stable demand for health club membership during a very tough year for the U.S. economy is excellent news, and what is particularly encouraging, is the news that health club patronage jumped by 7 percent last year.”

McCarthy added that this might show a trend of increasing non-membership revenues.

“Growth in overall attendance provides clear evidence that health clubs have adopted a more program driven business model, and that they now offer consumers the opportunity to take advantage of a club's services without having to become a member,” he said. “What this means is that some 24.5 million Americans were also customers of a health club or fitness center last year. These customers represent additional revenues for clubs as well as an excellent source of prospective new members.”

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