A Planet Fitness location in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan in April 2010
|Traded as||NYSE: PLNT (Class A)|
Russell 2000 Component
Number of locations
|Chris Rondeau (CEO)|
Planet Fitness (PFIP LLC) is an American franchisor and operator of fitness centers based in Hampton, New Hampshire. The company reports that it has 1,742 clubs, making it one of the largest fitness club franchises by number of members and locations. There are locations across the United States as well as in other countries such as Canada, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Mexico. It markets itself as a "Judgement Free Zone" that caters to novice and casual gym users and is reported to be the nation’s fastest growing fitness center franchise.
Planet Fitness was founded in 1992, in Dover, New Hampshire, when Michael and Marc Grondahl acquired a financially struggling gym and dramatically reduced prices to compete against better-known brands. This low-cost business model focuses on the needs of occasional or first-time health club members, rather than more experienced members.
In 1993, the Grondahl brothers hired Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness’ current CEO, to work the front desk. Rondeau and the Grondahls recognized that there was a greater opportunity to serve a much larger segment of the population if they changed the gym environment, both in attitude and format, by creating a non-intimidating, low-cost model. Planet Fitness then became known as the "Judgement Free Zone," aimed more at the average user than the bodybuilder type of fitness enthusiast. As early as March 2015, the "Judgement Free Zone" policy has been expanded to allow trans women to use the women's locker room. The policy states that "members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity."
In 2003, Planet Fitness opened its first franchised location in Florida, with Eric Dore and Shane McGuiness.
In February 2016, the franchise was added to the Franchise Times' "Fast and Serious" list of top franchises (#1), and in its 2016 ranking of franchises, Forbes magazine ranked Planet Fitness #4. It ranked in the top 50 of Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 in 2017.
In the fall of 2013, TSG Consumer Partners LLC became an equity partner in the Planet Fitness franchise. Michael Grondahl, co-founder of Planet Fitness stepped down as CEO, and was succeeded by Chris Rondeau.
Statistics and international expansion
The company reports that as of 2019, there are 76 corporate-owned gyms, the rest independently owned and operated.
The club's two membership levels are $10 and $21.99 per month: the $10 per month level includes access to cardio and strength equipment, unlimited group fitness instruction and pizza and bagels once a month; the $21.99 per month (“Black Card”) level allows members to bring one guest per day at no charge, access to all Planet Fitness locations, and access to extra amenities, such as tanning booths, massage chairs, red light therapy and water massage beds.
In December 2014, Planet Fitness opened its first international location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The second Toronto location opened in early 2015. In October 2015 the company opened their second international location in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
With the addition of a Planet Fitness outlet in Hawaii in January 2018, Planet Fitness had 1,500 locations with an estimated 10 million members across 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Canada. In 2016, over 90% of Planet Fitness locations were opened by existing franchise owners.
In October 2011, Planet Fitness reached an agreement with NBC to sponsor the network's reality show, The Biggest Loser beginning with the 2012 season. The contestants on the show worked out on Planet Fitness equipment and then at Planet Fitness gyms near their homes, working with Planet Fitness instructors.
In March 2016, Planet Fitness partnered with STOMP Out Bullying, a national organization dedicated to bullying prevention, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to launch the company’s national philanthropic initiative, The Judgement Free Generation. Also in 2016, the company donated more than $1 million to the program. Planet Fitness has also provided mini "Judgement Free Zone" gyms to Boys & Girls Clubs in Manchester, New Hampshire and Pasadena, California.
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- STOMP Out Bullying
- Share, Susan (March 11, 2016). "The Judgement Free Zone: Judgement Free Generation Video Contest". www.myclubmylife.com. Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
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- "Planet Fitness Anti-Bullying Initiative $1M Success". thenewsandsentinel.com. The Parkersburg News & Sentinel. January 8, 2017.
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- "Planet Fitness raises $1M for Boys and Girls Clubs of America". Fosters.com. Gatehouse Media Publications. November 28, 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
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