LA Fitness

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LA Fitness
Type Private
Industry Exercise, Health Clubs
Founded 1984 (1984)
Headquarters Irvine, California, United States
Website www.lafitness.com

LA Fitness is a privately owned American health club chain with over 500 clubs across the United States and Canada. The company was formed in 1984 and is based in Irvine, California.

History[edit]

LA Fitness was founded in 1984 with one location in Los Angeles, California. Official records describing the company's history and growth are few. Through the mid-1990s, the company expanded by acquiring under-performing fitness clubs in Southern California, and by developing, opening and operating newly constructed properties.

In 1995, LA Fitness designed and built a new multipurpose sports and fitness club that became the company’s signature model at the time. This prototypical design starts with the strength and cardio equipment, free weights and group exercise room that are found in most fitness centers and adds a swimming pool and court sports (basketball and racquetball in most locations) to offer LA Fitness members a wider variety of workout options.

With a successful prototype in place, LA Fitness then expanded its in-house development efforts, and new club construction now accounts for the vast majority of the clubs opened every year. In 1998, with 12 proven prototype clubs in Southern California and Arizona, the company rapidly increased the rate of new club development and began rolling out its concept into several new geographic regions across the U.S., including the Sun Belt, the Pacific Northwest, the Mid-Atlantic states, the Northeast, and the upper Midwest. The rate of expansion was rapid, with over 180 new clubs added from 2006 to 2009.

Aerial View of the LA Fitness Signature club in Irvine CA

In 2000, the company acquired the then largest health club chain in Atlanta and eventually replaced its 25 units with 14 larger prototype clubs. The company continued to build clubs in the Atlanta area and currently has 26 clubs in Georgia.

In 2007, the company expanded outside of the United States by way of an acquisition of six fitness clubs, in Toronto, Canada. Also of notable size, in 2010 the company acquired ten locations in Phoenix from Pure Fitness Arizona.[1] Within a year, all but one of the former Pure Fitness clubs were closed.

On November 30, 2011, the company completed the acquisition of 171 clubs for $153M from Bally Total Fitness. After the closing, LA Fitness began closing some former Bally Fitness clubs near existing LA Fitness facilities, closed due to remodeling.[2][3]

On July 2, 2012, the company completed the acquisition of all 33 Lifestyle Family Fitness Clubs in Florida,[4] but the transition was bumpy. Many customers were angered when the popular Les Mills workouts were replaced with the LA Fitness product. The facility in St. Petersburg was slated to close on October 1, so over 80 members scheduled a farewell Les Mills workout on September 29, which the club cancelled. A member commented, "We're not angry about (closing the club), that's a business decision. But to just ax the classes and not let us have our last class and thank the instructors for all their hard work and compassion is just absolutely inexcusable."

Silver Sneakers, a senior citizen fitness program that was paid for by Medicare and other insurance plans, was terminated with no replacement offered. Numerous locations were closed, some abruptly and without customer notification, and many employees and trainers from Lifestyle were dismissed.[5]

LA Fitness remains a privately owned company, with major ownership interests held by private equity firms Seidler Equity Partners, CIVC Partners, and Madison Dearborn Partners.

Cancellation Policy[edit]

The LA Fitness website states that "You may cancel your Membership and the continued billing of Dues via EFT or CC by mailing written notice of your cancellation request to: LA Fitness, P.O. Box 54170, Irvine, CA 92619-4170. A cancellation notice postmarked at least 5 business days before your next billing date should result in no further Dues billing. A cancellation notice postmarked less than 5 business days before your next billing date may result in one more Dues billing. In either case, if such an additional billing occurs, LA Fitness will refund that billing. Your prepaid last Billing Period Dues will be applied to the Billing Period following the final Billing Period paid for by your recurring EFT or CC Dues billings, and your Membership will expire at the end of that prepaid last Billing Period. Until your Membership expires, you will have continued club access.”

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LA Fitness acquires Pure Fitness gyms". azcentral.com. 
  2. ^ Quinn, Dale (2011-11-29). "LA Fitness buys Bally's locations in Tucson, elsewhere". Azstarnet.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  3. ^ "LA Fitness brings changes to Ballys". Daily Breeze. 
  4. ^ "LA Fitness to buy 33 Lifestyle Family Fitness centers in Florida". WFTV.com. 
  5. ^ Thalji, Jamal (October 20, 2012). "Gym life under LA Fitness not quite working out for Lifestyle's ex-members". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 

External links[edit]