Plans For Gym Chain Closings in 2022

Joel Eisenberg

The pandemic caused many gym chains to temporarily close their doors, and several to seek help for overwhelming debt. For some, plans for the current calendar year remain in flux.

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LA FitnessAdobe Stock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. All linked information within this article is fully-attributed to the following outlets: ClubIndustry.com, National Health and Fitness Alliance (NHFA), Exercise.com, Sports-Net.org, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo.com, 24HourFitness.com, and Franchise Chatter.com.

Introduction

According to an August, 2021 article from ClubIndustry.com, entitled “22 Percent of Gyms Have Closed, $29.2 Billion Revenue Lost Since COVID-19 Hit,” health club jobs assumed a major fall.

As excerpted from the article, which references the National Health and Fitness Alliance (NHFA): Revenue loss was no doubt a contributing factor in 22 percent of health clubs and studios permanently closing since 2019. With the temporary closures and the subsequent permanent closures of health clubs and studios, about 1.5 million people lost their jobs in the industry, according to NHFA. That equates to 47 percent of jobs in the industry.

As to the majority of of U.S. gyms, most have continued to see their share of business declines, as we will see. Though many patrons have returned, making up for lost memberships have remained a challenge.

2022 Plans

A May, 2021 article published by Exercise.com listed the most financially successful gyms in the United States to that time. The list included LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and Anytime Fitness, among others.

Let us examine the recent financial conditions of each.

LA Fitness

A November, 2021 article from Sports-Net.org, titled “Is LA Fitness in Financial Trouble?” stated: The company faced a liquidity crunch as 2020 ground on, and Moody’s cut LA Fitness’ credit rating after a surge of Covid cases forced management to shut gyms in California and Arizona a second time. Those states generate more than 20% of the company’s total revenue, Moody’s wrote.

Moody’s for those unaware, is utilized as a research tool for credit reportage. In late 2020, LA Fitness secured a $300 million dollar loan from the government’s Main Street Lending program, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company continues to work with its creditors on its remaining debt.

In 2022, LA Fitness has not announced any plans to permanently shutter, though individual locations — such as a stalwart in downtown Evanston, Illinois — are closing for various reasons, in this case per a March, 2022 piece from EvanstonNow.com. See here.

24 Hour Fitness

In January, 2021, ClubIndustry.com shared positive news. In its article titled “24 Hour Fitness Emerges From Bankruptcy,” the site stated: 24 Hour Fitness filed for bankruptcy on June 15. The company now has an optimized cost structure and leaner balance sheet after eliminating $1.2 billion of funded debt, according to the announcement. A new board of directors has been appointed in conjunction with the emergence from Chapter 11 to help 24 Hour Fitness navigate through the next phase of its strategic plans.

From all indications, the company is continuing its upswing. Its website tells the tale, in a letter to its members.

Anytime Fitness

According to FranchiseChatter.com, Anytime Fitness is a healthy company.

As excerpted from the website’s 2021 status report on the entity: Anytime Fitness ranked No. 30 on Entrepreneur’s 2021 Franchise 500 list.

Specific revenue statistics can be attained on the Franchise Chatter website.

For further information on the aforementioned clubs, including current financials and history, visit their websites or Wikipedia pages. For other gyms that have filed for bankruptcy protection, including the iconic Gold’s Gym, see Yahoo.com article here.

Conclusion

Our largest fitness chains by and large are remaining in business, though for most there are still moves to be made before they can be considered safe from pandemic-era business downturns.

In a followup article, we will examine Crunch Fitness and Equinox.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA
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