Industry Buzz: 2014 Recap

Last week, US Fitness Holdings, LLC (US Fitness) announced it had acquired Atlanta Fitness, after acquiring Sport&Health just a few months prior. That’s big news for the company, which also owns Onelife Fitness, as the company now has 45 clubs total within its portfolio.

However, that’s not the only company to have a big headline this year. Below is a brief recap of some of 2014’s biggest news stories.

Photo courtesy of 24 Hour Fitness.

Photo courtesy of 24 Hour Fitness.

24 Hour Fitness Has a Major Year

In June, AEA Investors LP and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension bought 24 Hour Fitness from Forstmann Little, which had acquired the company in 2005. As a part of the acquisition, former CEO Elizabeth Blair was replaced by Mark Smith, who officially stepped into the role in August. In December, 24 Hour Fitness acquired certain assets of Bally Total Fitness, including 32 fitness clubs located in New York, New Jersey, Denver and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Gold’s Gym Acquires and Sells 

In July, Gold’s Gym signed a deal to acquire The Rush Fitness Complex, a 23-club chain with locations in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. A few months later, in November, 17 Gold’s Gyms in Utah were acquired by VASA Fitness.

Mountainside Fitness Says Goodbye to CEO

In February, Mountainside Fitness partnered with PNC Mezzanine Capital, a division of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. The new partnership provided Mountainside Fitness with growth capital of up to $40 million. As a result, Mountainside expected to add 1,500 to 2,000 new jobs in Arizona and nationwide. In October, CEO Billy Malkovich announced he was leaving the company as part of an amicable split. Currently, a new CEO has not been announced.

Active Sports Clubs Makes a Splash

Active Sports Clubs, founded by Jill Kinney, Bill McBride and Carey White in December 2013, announced in January 2014 that the company had acquired the majority of Club One’s Bay Area health clubs and nationwide fitness management assets. Big news, considering Kinney had co-founded Club One, but left in 2007 to pursue other interests.

Other Major Headlines:

  • Equinox acquired Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Club/NY.

  • The Bay Club Company was acquired by York Capital Management, in addition to landing a minority investment from JMA Ventures.

  • Anytime Fitness opened its 2,500th gym.

  • Corporate Fitness Works acquired L&T Health and Fitness.

  • Snap Fitness established a parent company, Lift Brands, to manage its portfolio of wellness brands.

  • Total Woman Gym + Day Spa welcomed a new CEO, Corrine Perritano.

Here’s to another year, which I’m sure will bring more major headlines for the industry. I’m excited to see what 2015 holds!

Happy New Year!

Rachel Zabonick is the Editor of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@clubsolutionsmagazine.com. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.

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