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The Dirty Truth

Dirty Truth

Maintaining a clean gym is important. With hundreds of people utilizing the same fitness equipment and spaces on a daily basis, maintaining a clean facility is crucial to eliminating germs and bacteria, and preventing disease outbreaks. Running a clean fitness facility also has a strong, positive impact on a gym’s bottom line.

One of the most common ways in which running a clean gym pays off is through membership retention. In 2015, Listen360’s Fitness and Health Industry Report found that some of the key detractors that led to dissatisfaction among gym members and eventually, membership loss, were cleanliness related issues ranging from bad odors to facility dirtiness.

A 2008 study conducted by IHRSA also proved this to be true: Given a clean facility, gyms can retain more members and save thousands of dollars in membership revenue. The study found that by maintaining a clean facility, gym members can retain 3 percent of members that they would have originally lost in a year. If we take a gym with a membership of 1,500 individuals, this amounts to 45 members retained per year. At the average annual membership fee of $720, this saves a gym $32,400 in a year.

But let’s not stop there: What’s not as widely discussed is that facility cleanliness also plays a significant role in membership acquisition. A 2017 study that my team ran asked hundreds of gym members at 23,000 fitness facilities how much facility cleanliness matters to them. The survey found that 83 percent of gym members consider the cleanliness of a gym space to be important when deciding which gym to join. With growing competition in the gym industry, this is not a statistic that should be ignored. If having a clean facility aids in closing even just five new members per month, at the average annual membership fee of $720, cleanliness can generate $43,200 in annual membership revenue. Health conscious gym members are not only looking for a place to workout — they’re looking for a place that offers total physical well-being, which encompasses a healthy, clean space.

Of course, these calculations will vary by gym size and type, number of members, as well as other variables — and should be adjusted on a case-by-case basis. Investments made in cleaning, including hiring a professional cleaning service, purchasing disinfecting gym wipes and other cleaning supplies, and training staff on the latest cleaning protocols, all contribute toward improving membership satisfaction and retention, and attracting new members to the gym. Invest in a clean and healthy gym for an even healthier bottom line.


Paul LeBlanc is the founder and CEO of zogics.com, a one-stop-shop for fitness professionals with an extensive lineup of products including gym wipes and cleaning supplies, fitness and facility equipment, bathroom and locker room supplies, wholesale towels and more. Reach Zogics at hello@zogics.com or 888.623.0088.


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1 Comment

  1. Jim Czarnecki October 11, 2017

    This is sooo… true, Paul. Since taking over the General Manager position at Snap Fitness in Lee, MA (October 2016), I have increased Membership Revenue by nearly 50% simply by being attentive to the Club Members’ needs and improving the cleanliness of the club. Membership was on a downward spiral, until I came in and emphasized cleanliness. And I’d like to compliment Paul and his staff – we purchase all our cleaning products and supplies from them.


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