Planet Fitness History
The year 1992 was when Planet Fitness founders Michael and Marc Grondahl acquired a struggling Gold’s Gym franchise in Dover, New Hampshire. They closed the first location and added another partner, the current Director of Operations Chris Rondeau. They bought ownership rights of the trademark Planet Fitness from Rick Berks and changed the name of their franchise.
Berks was the owner of his personal Planet Fitness gym in 1993 in Sunrise, Florida, and then increased it to three clubs and the Gold’s Gym franchise. Berks was catering to the bodybuilding community at the gym he called Gold’s Gym. “I decided I didn’t want to deal with that crowd, so that’s when I opened the original Planet Fitness club in Sunrise, Florida, in 1993.” The name is derived from his daughters school’s project “Fitness Planet.The new concept was a bid to create an exercise center for the everyday people. Berks then went on to create his first Youfit Health Club in St. Petersburg, Florida. Even Planet Fitness membership cancellation is very easy process.
Rondahl and his family realised that there was an chance to reach a larger portion of the population if they altered the environment of the gym both in terms of attitude and structure, by creating an environment that was non-threatening, affordable. Planet Fitness became known as the “Judgement Free Zone,” designed for the common user rather than the bodybuilder style of enthusiast.They also drastically reduced their prices in order to compete with the more well-known brands.This low-cost business model is centered specifically on needs of casual or new members to the health club instead of experienced members. It also relies on a large number of members not attending up.According to an Planet Money episode from 2014, “half of the Planet Fitness members do not visit their fitness centers. “
As part of their attempt to provide a relaxing and non-threatening atmosphere, Planet Fitness has alienated numerous serious weightlifters. The gym has an alarm system called a “lunk alarm”, which is a loud siren as well as a moving light that’s employed when a person in the gym shouts too loudly or drops weights. Certain bodybuilders and weight lifters are finding that the way they’re represented by the Planet Fitness TV commercials to be offensive, as well as the treatment they receive in Planet Fitness gyms to be “quite possibly discriminatory.” Planet Fitness has been criticized for banning certain exercises for weightlifting, such as clean-and-jerks or deadlifts that experts say are efficient. In 2010 Men’s Health magazine called Planet Fitness “the worst gym in America. “
In March of 2015 it was announced that it was announced that the “Judgement Free Zone” policy was extended to allow trans women to access the locker rooms for women. The policy says the following “members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity. “
in 2003 Planet Fitness opened its first franchised store in Florida and was founded by Eric Dore and Shane McGuiness.
In the autumn of 2013 TSG Consumer Partners LLC became an equity partner of the Planet Fitness franchise. Michael Grondahl, co-founder of Planet Fitness stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Chris Rondeau. Planet Fitness was listed on the market on the 6th of August, 2015.
In February of 2016 the franchise was included on the Franchise Times’ “Fast and Serious” list of the best franchises. And in its ranking of franchises in 2016, Forbes magazine ranked Planet Fitness as number 4. It was ranked among the top 50 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 in the year 2017.
In 2020, the firm was criticized for charging its customers for their March fees “despite closing its facilities nationwide due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.” They claimed that they were unable end the scheduled payments at short notice, but they would not charge any future monthly fees until they reopen. In addition, they could also issue the credit for days that were closed which were paid for previously.
When Planet Fitness closed many facilities at the time of the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, in the Delta and Omicron versions of Planet Fitness there was not an increase in fitness attendance.
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