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As the fitness industry continues to flex its muscles, with health club and gym revenues totaling $87.2 billion in 2018 alone and membership surging, a number of brands have emerged as leaders in this fast-growing sector. One of these happens to be the Anytime Fitness franchise, the largest gym franchise in the world today.
Having grown from its modest roots in 2002 to a global brand of more than 4,500 locations worldwide, Anytime Fitness has been at the forefront of the health and fitness trend globally. In fact, the popular gym franchise boasts more than 4 million members as of 2019 and generates over $1.45 billion in revenue, cementing its status as the world’s leading fitness franchise.
We take a detailed look at the popular 24-hour gym franchise below.
The Anytime Fitness Franchise Story
The genesis of the Anytime Fitness franchise actually dates back to the early 1990s when co-founders Dave Mortensen, Chuck Runyon, and Jeff Klinger all met while working at a St. Paul, Minnesota fitness club. The trio jointly purchased the Southview Athletic Club in 1995, growing its membership substantially from 500 to 4,000 until they sold the fitness club in 2001.
While running the gym, they also worked for a consulting agency that focused on improving low-performing fitness clubs and gyms across the United States, eventually coming up with the idea of what would become the Anytime Fitness franchise after gauging the expectations of long-term fitness club members across the country and aiming to create a new brand that would appeal to them.
Anytime Fitness was officially established in 2002. Later that year, the company opened its first franchise location in Cambridge, Minnesota, while subsequent franchise locations soon opened up in the Minnesota cities of Duluth and Albert Lea. All in all, Anytime Fitness sold 29 franchise locations before opening up its first corporate-owned location in the city of Bemidji, Minnesota.
In February 2005, the Anytime Fitness franchise expanded to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, its first location outside of the U.S and 77th overall. By 2008, the company had close to 700 franchise locations opened in the United States and Canada, later opening its 1,000th franchise location in January 2009 in Wake Village, Texas. The strong growth of the Anytime Fitness franchise continued, with the brand marking more than 1,200 clubs opened by October 2009.
From 2010 to 2012, Anytime Fitness embarked on an ambitious international expansion, opening new locations in Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere all around the world.
In December 2013, the company announced plans to build a new headquarters in Woodbury, Minnesota and later marked its 3,000th location in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England. Anytime Fitness soon marked another milestone when, in June 2017, it became the first U.S.-based fitness franchise to obtain a franchising license in China. 2019 saw Anytime Fitness become the world’s first gym to expand to all seven continents when it opened a location in Antarctica after partnering with Antarctica21, a tour operator that specializes in tourism to the planet’s southernmost continent.
Today, Anytime Fitness claims the title of the world’s largest and fastest-growing gym franchise, boasting some 4,520 locations and over 4 million members worldwide as of 2019.
Why Are Entrepreneurs Pumped About Anytime Fitness?
1. Excellent Brand Recognition
Anytime Fitness is the largest fitness franchise on the planet, boasting locations on all seven continents with more than 4,500 locations sold and over 4 million members throughout the world. These impressive figures give the Anytime Fitness franchise excellent brand recognition and a massive base of potential customers.
2. Market Leader in a Growing Industry
Anytime Fitness, in addition to being the world’s largest fitness franchise, also benefits from being at the epicenter of a fast-growing industry. In fact, over one million people join health clubs each year and the worldwide health club industry totalled a staggering $87.2 billion in revenue according to the 2018 IHRSA Profiles of Success report, meaning that the health and fitness industry is expanding quickly with great potential for revenue growth.
3. Affordable Investment Costs
Compared to many other gyms and health clubs, the Anytime Fitness franchise enjoys affordable investment costs and modest royalty fees, making it a very accessible option for entrepreneurs even with limited financial resources at their disposal.
4. Solid Training and Support System
The Anytime Fitness franchise provides an extensive initial training session that lasts 10 days, plus comprehensive additional training sessions to continue to hone their skills as a franchisee. The company also offers robust ongoing support that includes
5. Volume Buying Power
Anytime Fitness franchisees also enjoy significant volume buying power thanks to the company’s partnerships with vendors like Life Fitness and Precor, enabling them to obtain supplies at affordable prices for their locations.
Initial Franchise Fee: $3,150 – $42,500
The standard initial franchise fee for an Anytime Fitness center is $42,500, while the standard initial franchise fee for an Anytime Fitness Express center is $21,500. However, a number of discounts are currently available for veterans, existing franchisees with Anytime Fitness and affiliated brands like Basecamp Fitness, The Bar Method, and Waxing the City, and for franchisees signing development agreements for multiple locations that can reduce the initial franchise fee to as low as $3,150.
Monthly Royalty Fee: $449 – $699 per month
The standard monthly royalty fee for an Anytime Fitness Express center is $449 per month. Franchisees who operate between one and nine Anytime Fitness center locations are required to pay a $699 per center monthly royalty, while franchisees with 10+ centers pay a $649 per center royalty on a monthly basis.
Estimated Initial Investment Costs: $74,290 – $523,924
|Name of Fee||Low||High|
|Initial Franchise Fee||$3,150||$42,500|
|Travel and Living Expenses for Training||$413||$2,750|
|Real Estate and Improvements||$35,639||$189,267|
|Architect and Design Fees||$1,200||$8,500|
|First Aid Equipment||$150||$1,000|
|Miscellaneous Opening Costs||$617||$6,263|
|Pre-Sale/Grand Opening Advertising||$750||$16,000|
|Supplies and Furniture||$510||$9,000|
|Legal and Accounting Expenses||$450||$4,500|
|Additional Funds (3 months)||$6,067||$55,707|
Average Revenue Per Location: $224,687 – $441,116
Per the 2020 Anytime Fitness FDD, the average total revenue reported for an Anytime Fitness Express center was $224,687, while Anytime Fitness centers reported an average total revenue of $441,116.
It’s important to note that these are only statistics based on the revenue history of Anytime Fitness franchisees, not in any way a guarantee of what franchisees can expect to generate in revenue with the company.
Flex Your Entrepreneurial Muscles with Anytime Fitness
The Anytime Fitness franchise, with its strong brand recognition, affordable investment costs, excellent support, and position as a market leader in the fast-growing health and fitness industry, can potentially be a great way to get in shape as an entrepreneur. If you’re interested in getting into the health and fitness industry, see if it’s a business opportunity you can really get pumped up about!