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N.H.-Based Health Club Operator Sets The Industry's Pace
Date:8/25/2008

Planet Fitness tops competition on Inc. 5000 list

'Judgment Free Zone' rakes in revenue and new members

DOVER, N.H., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Planet Fitness, the health club chain known for its "Judgment Free" atmosphere and friendly prices, earned the top spot among all fitness companies on Inc. magazine's 2008 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private businesses in the United States.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080825/NEM084LOGO )

The Inc. 5,000 list ranks companies according to revenue growth in the four previous years. From 2004 to 2007, Planet Fitness's revenues leaped from $8.4 million to $48.5 million - an increase of 472 percent, good for the 732nd spot on the magazine's list.

With 230 clubs in 29 states and more than 1.1 million members, Planet Fitness is the country's premier low-cost/high-value gym operator. As recently as 2003, the company consisted of a handful of clubs in its home state of New Hampshire. But when Planet Fitness began franchising in 2003, it triggered a rapid national expansion.

The company's business model is vastly different than that of other health clubs. Memberships prices are extremely low - $10-$19.99 a month. In addition, Planet Fitness clubs have no salespeople and no bodybuilders. They don't offer childcare or group-exercise classes, and there are no pools and spas - just stylish facilities outfitted with a huge selection of top-notch cardio and strength machines. The company's core customers tend to be first-time and occasional gym users drawn to our Judgment Free Zone(R) philosophy, which allows members to lose weight and get fit without the intimidating atmosphere common in so many gyms.

The Planet Fitness model began to take shape in 1992, when company founder Mike Grondahl acquired a financially struggling gym in Dover, N.H., and dramatically reduced prices to try to compete against better-financed and better-known brands. Membership rolls immediately swelled, and Grondahl and his two partners - his brother, Marc, and Chris Rondeau - spent several years refining the Planet Fitness business model. Today a number of Planet Fitness clubs have as many as 10,000 members, and no other health club operator competes in the same niche or offers a comparable value.


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SOURCE Planet Fitness
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