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Company founders Michael Talla and Nanette Pattee Francini met as teenagers on spring break in Mexico in 1969, and later founded a bikini company, Foxy Lady. They went on their own and pursued separate ventures, with Talla founding a racquetball gymnasium and Francini winning the Miss Aspen pageant and becoming a Budweiser girl. Reuniting professionally, the couple opened the first of the company's health clubs in Santa Monica, California, as "The Sports Connection", in 1979. The club became popular among Hollywood celebrities and was the inspiration behind the 1985 film, Perfect. In 1987 they opened the first of several larger clubs called the "Spectrum Club" and Sports Club/LA. They would later sell off the Spectrum and Sports Connection clubs to concentrate on Sports Club/LA. In 1994 the company went public as The Sports Club Company, Inc., and in 1995 opened the first of several clubs in New York City, initially called "Reebok Sports Clubs".
On January 6, 1998, it purchased the four southern California clubs (in Fullerton, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley and Canoga Park) under the name of Racquetball World Health and Fitness for $17 million. 
In 2006, Sports Club/LA locations outside of Los Angeles were purchased by Millennium Partners, one of the company's original investors. That year, Millennium Partners created Millennium Partners Sports Club Management LLC, to operate all of the Sports Club/LA clubs as well as Reebok Sports Club/NY and residential property fitness studios.
In 2011 Equinox Fitness bought four Sports Club/LA gyms from The Sports Club Company for $130,000,000, and in July 2014 it acquired the remaining locations from Millennium Partners, all at a price averaging about $20 million per location.
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- "Equinox Fitness Is Buying Rest of Millennium's Gyms". New York Times. July 28, 2014.
- sportsclubla.com - official site