The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) announced today the release of the results of IHRSA's new Monthly Trends Survey.


"Building on IHRSA's longstanding commitment to provide its members with timely and useful data on the state of the health club business, IHRSA's Monthly Trends Survey will gather qualitative data on club performance throughout the year," said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA's executive vice president of global products. The survey will collect information from individual club locations about membership dues/fees revenue, non-dues/fees revenue, EBITDAR, club attendance, capital expenditures and the general business outlook for the fitness industry.


For the month of July 2009 relative to July 2008, a notable sample of 67 participating IHRSA clubs indicated comparable or improved performance in several key areas of business. Although many clubs reported declines in these membership dues (45%), membership accounts (42%), and non-dues revenue (37%), the majority of participating clubs reported similar or improved performance. Over half of respondents indicated steady or increased membership dues/fees revenue (55%) and number of membership accounts (58%). Six out of 10 participants (62%) indicated comparable or increased revenue from non-dues services.


"Consistent performance in these vital indicators during what is a typically an off-peak month in the industry and within the context of a tough economy indicates that club operators are closely managing their businesses," said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA's Manager of Research.


Respondents also reported favorable performance in other aspects of operations year-to-date as of July 31, 2009 relative to the same time frame in 2008. Nearly half (49%) of participants acknowledged that overall member and non-member visits were up for the fist seven months of 2009 in comparison with the same time span in 2008. While 40% of respondents indicated declines in EBITDAR, nearly six out of 10 (59%) reported same or better EBITDAR, implying that in addition to improving profit centers, club operators may also be wisely managing expenses.

Revenue improvements and expense management may be helping club owners and managers stay on track with plans to make capital expenditures in equipment, expansion or remodeling. Approximately two-thirds (66%) of respondents indicated plans to make such investments over the next three months. Over half indicated making such expenditures for equipment in the last three months. “In spite of economic conditions, clubs are committed to adding value to memberships by planning for expenditures to improve operations and enhance club offerings,” said Rodriguez.
Participants remain optimistic regarding business operations as nearly 79% anticipate equal or increased revenue over the next three months.
Month-end July 2009 vs. July 2008 Performance (95% of sample responding)


Down About the Same Up
Membership Dues/Fees Revenue 45% 19% 36%
Non-Dues Revenue 37% 35% 27%
Membership Accounts 42% 17% 41%
Total Survey Responses; n=67
Year-to-Date as of July 2009 vs. as of July 2008 (95% of sample responding)
Down About the Same Up
# of Visits (Member + Non-Member) 16% 35% 49%
EBITDAR 41% 26% 33%

Total Survey Responses; n=67
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The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. The association's membership includes over 9,750 clubs in 78 countries, along with over 740 industry suppliers.