||This article possibly contains original research. (June 2014)|
California Fitness was a wholly owned subsidiary of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide which has around 400 clubs serving more than three million members. The first California Fitness club was established in 1996 in the business district of Hong Kong near Lan Kwai Fong. There are 16 clubs in Hong Kong, Singapore and China. California Fitness was acquired by 24 Hour Fitness in 1999 and now owned by the Ansa Group.
The mission of the company is to help members live better through fitness.
California Fitness launched Hong Kong’s first human-powered exercise machines designed to power a gym building in 2007.
- Mainland China (3)
- Hong Kong (9)
- Central, Causeway Bay, Wan Chai (will re-open on 2nd quarter of 2014), Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok, Whampoa, Tuen Mun Town Plaza, Quarry Bay, Megabox, One Kowloon (Leap by California Fitness)
- Singapore (4)
- Bugis, Novena Square, Orchard, Raffles
Beginning in 2005, California Fitness partnered with two fitness superstars, Jackie Chan and Yao Ming , to create signature clubs in the region. There were two California Fitness-Yao Ming Sport clubs in Mainland China which were re-branded as normal California Fitness in 2010. Also were four California Fitness-Jackie Chan Sport clubs in Asia (two in Hong Kong and two in Singapore) re-branded as normal California Fitness in 2012. California has chosen Richie Jen as new spokesman since 2012.
- The Thai and Korean chains were spun off into California WOW Xperience in early 2000s.
- Three former Malaysian clubs were acquired by Celebrity Fitness in 2009.
- Six former Taiwan clubs were acquired by World Gym in September 2010.
Products, services and facilities
In addition to cardio and resistance equipment, free weights, group exercise studios, all California Fitness clubs have free internet access (wifi or in-club kiosks). Most of its clubs have steam and sauna rooms and there is an outdoor swimming pool in one of its Hong Kong clubs.
California Fitness clubs in Singapore were hit by a significant number of consumer complaints filed against them with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) between 2011 and 2014. Grouses against California Fitness and a rival True Fitness made up more than three-quarters of 86 complaints involving fitness clubs filed last year with the former receiving 35 complaints against it in 2013. As of April 2014 nine complaints were filed against California Fitness with CASE.
California WOW Xperience
California WOW Xperience (SET: CAWOW), a totally separate company, with the California Fitness founder Eric Levine as the CEO, was established when Thailand and Korea locations were spun off from California Fitness in early 2000s.
In August 2008, cross-membership agreements between California WOW Xperience and California Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness were terminated.
Despite company changes, California WOW Xperience is still frequently confused with California Fitness.
In 2012, California WOW Xperience found itself entangled in a financial dispute and was sued in Thailand's Bankruptcy Court by Bangkok Bank Plc. which sought the repayment of a 72 million baht loan including 4 million baht in interest. As a result, California WOW Xperience shut down seven of its eight Thailand branches. The company faced much criticism for continuing to sign up customers at the various branches until their date of closing. In August 2012, more than 200 members, many of whom found themselves unable to travel to California WOW Xperience's single remaining Thailand branch to make use of longterm or lifetime memberships, filed complaints against the company in hopes of being refunded. The Foundation for Consumers along with 100 former customers have filed a lawsuit against California WOW Xperience which is now awaiting a court order.
- Inhabitat » Human-powered gyms in Hong Kong 8 March 2007
- Winning Partnership – Jackie Chan Teams Up with California Fitness to open New Blockbuster Signature Health Clubs 15 March 2005
-  World's Leading Health Club Company Appoints Basketball Superstar, Yao Ming, to Unveil New Beijing Club 11 April 2007
-  California Fitness Refocuses on Key Markets in Asia 29 September 2010
- Lin, Melissa. "Two fitness clubs hit by complaints". Retrieved 29 June 2014.
-  California WOW faces bankruptcy suit 26 April 2012
-  Club members sign complaints 23 August 2012
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China, Hong Kong, Singapore