Planet Fitness etc.,

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
PinotGris
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Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by PinotGris » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:27 pm

My renewal with PF is coming up. I have always liked it because my routines are simple - 20 mts on elliptical, free weights, some yoga and other floor exercises, and I am out of there in an hour. I don't do classes so no problems.
But lately I find their electronic inputs are mostly broken and they are not fixing them. I catch up on the news and listen to podcast and it is important for me. I am thinking about switching, but in most places I am paying for juice bars and classes which I don't plan on using.
Are you a PF member? How is your facility? Are you switching?

blevine
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by blevine » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 pm

The local PF is much further than a Y near my home.
I used to travel for a high expense premium club, and everything just worked.
They used to replace perfectly good and functioning machines BEFORE they break, but the cost was many times PF or the Y.
I now pay less than PF for my local Y, hate the equipment but I get my exercise, it's close home and cheap so no excuses.
I was spoiled going to a fancier place, should have stayed at the Y and never would have known what I was missing :-)
Maybe staying at PF over a more expensive place is your answer ?

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happysteward
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by happysteward » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:36 pm

Mine replaces workout apparatus and is currently renovating the locker rooms...my yearly fee is ~$150, went up fro $99 a year or so ago...no complaints here...
"How much money is enough?", John Rockefeller responded, "...just a little bit more." | "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money..." Ecclesiastes 5:10

kjvmartin
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by kjvmartin » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:40 pm

My PF just replaced all of their cardio machines at once. That's good, I suppose, but they didn't add functionality for NFC. My smart watch as the ability to pair with fitness equipment for more accurate measurements.

mhalley
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by mhalley » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:50 pm

PF is so much cheaper than most gyms, I would expect their equipment to not be updated as frequently. You might look into setting up a home gym, get a home elliptical, yoga mat and a work bench and free weights or a bow flex.

dowse
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by dowse » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:57 pm

I have belonged to PF for 5+ years. My local one was 3 mi. away, then moved 3 mi. farther away. I still go about 4 times a week. The new location took over a former hardware store location and rebuilt the inside from scratch. I've noticed that they have a pretty high turnover rate for employees. Never a good sign. They don't seem to be interested in constructive criticism. Broken exercise equipment, water dispenser and various shower room fixtures usually take weeks to repair. The hot water is a crap shoot as to where it is in the cycle when you jump in the shower. I've waited as long as 5 min. for it to reach a tolerable temperature. Most people are considerate, but I occassionally run into someone hogging a machine or sometimes tying up more than one machine with some type of sequence exercise. Most folks are good about wiping down equipment after use. Reception of TV audio is sometimes weak in some areas. Still, a great value for the price, so I keep going.

jacksonm
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by jacksonm » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:32 pm

Given the price I wouldn't expect PF to be much more than the McDonald's of gyms.

Before I switched to PF I was paying $30/month at Anytime Fitness. PF was $10 at the time.

I always thought PF had latched onto a pretty good business model. As usually happens with gym memberships you start to ask yourself if it's really worth it, especially at times when you aren't going very often. You probably aren't as likely to cancel during those times when you are only paying $10. So my guess is they get a lot of steady income from people who aren't really putting much wear and tear on the equipment.

Eventually I decided that it was a waste of money even at $10. I do my exercise outdoors now, either cycling, running, or just going for walks. And as far as resistance training, I can get all I need with a $5 theraband.

quantAndHold
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:40 pm

You don’t go to planet fitness to watch the TV’s. You go to get a cheap workout.

No PF in my area, but I’m asking the same thing about 24 Hour Fitness. My membership is ending in a couple of months. It’s super cheap. But stuff is broken, dirty, etc.

Before we moved, we had LA Fitness memberships. The price was twice as much, but everything was clean and worked. And they had towels. If there was an LA Fitness in my current area, I’d gladly go back.

My wife has Silver and Fit, so she can go to 24 Hour Fitness for free. Any other realistic alternatives, we would have to pay for 2 memberships, which ends up being 4x what we’re paying now. So I’m torn. How bad does it have to be before I give up and go someplace more expensive? We really do use our memberships, so having a membership somewhere is worth it.

PinotGris
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by PinotGris » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:53 pm

jacksonm wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:32 pm
Given the price I wouldn't expect PF to be much more than the McDonald's of gyms.

Before I switched to PF I was paying $30/month at Anytime Fitness. PF was $10 at the time.

I always thought PF had latched onto a pretty good business model. As usually happens with gym memberships you start to ask yourself if it's really worth it, especially at times when you aren't going very often. You probably aren't as likely to cancel during those times when you are only paying $10. So my guess is they get a lot of steady income from people who aren't really putting much wear and tear on the equipment.

Eventually I decided that it was a waste of money even at $10. I do my exercise outdoors now, either cycling, running, or just going for walks. And as far as resistance training, I can get all I need with a $5 theraband.
I walk now but it get cold and icy in winter where I live. So I use PF When the weather gets bad. It take me 10 minutes to get there but there are others at the same distance. I will try out a few - free trial.

4nwestsaylng
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:13 pm

blevine wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 pm
The local PF is much further than a Y near my home.
I used to travel for a high expense premium club, and everything just worked.
They used to replace perfectly good and functioning machines BEFORE they break, but the cost was many times PF or the Y.
I now pay less than PF for my local Y, hate the equipment but I get my exercise, it's close home and cheap so no excuses.
I was spoiled going to a fancier place, should have stayed at the Y and never would have known what I was missing :-)
Maybe staying at PF over a more expensive place is your answer ?
I just found the budget places so depressing,the LA Fitness too much high pressure from dumb clod employees trying to push personal training. When I lived in the Phoenix area I really enjoyed the Lifetime Fitness facility, it was huge, and I think I paid $40 per month, but for me a great place, with a nice pool, best equipment and shower areas that did not make me cringe, it made me want to go there almost every day. Another place I liked was a membership at a major resort hotel's exercise facility, again it included a great pool, which is a definite plus in Arizona.

Now retired, I have joined the rec center at the local college. It has a multimillion dollar facility, wonderful equipment and pool, and I pay $40 a month. Seems that is the price point for a higher end place. Anytime Fitness has a place nearby, has called promoting it. But I think that if I ever stop my membership at the college, I will just exercise at home. I just can't go back to the budget places, let alone have to drive to them, but I know it does work for many. Going to a nice place, for me, is a reward. Life is not all about investments.

StopIroningShirts
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by StopIroningShirts » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:41 pm

There's no free lunch in the gym business. I'm a 24 Hour fitness member and have been for the last four years through the Costco deal. The equipment is old/dirty/broken and there's a lot of deferred maintenance. I think they got hammered by the Planet Fitnesses of the world trying to get even cheaper than the $17/mo or so we're paying per person.

I've never personally financed a gym, but loan money to small businesses for a living. The best I can figure out is breakeven in this business is $35-$50/member. PF went into cheaper buildings trying to lower part of the fixed overhead, but you still have to cover maintenance capX and I can't see how they have enough money to go around after rent, employees, utilities to keep up with regular maintenance and equipment replacement. My guess is they've overestimated the useful life of equipment.

There's a reason my local not for profit Y charges $90 for two of us (which we join/pay in the summer for pool access and the membership is on freeze). They have 60+ years of experience in maintaining the facility/equipment.

The good news for those of us who are frugal, there's usually another fool waiting to open a gym and run a promotional deal below the actual cost.

lostdog
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by lostdog » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:46 pm

I am there 5 to 6 days a week and so far it's fine. I've been there for a year.

blevine
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by blevine » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:29 pm

4nwestsaylng wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:13 pm
When I lived in the Phoenix area I really enjoyed the Lifetime Fitness facility, it was huge, and I think I paid $40 per month, but for me a great place, with a nice pool, best equipment and shower areas that did not make me cringe, it made me want to go there almost every day. Another place I liked was a membership at a major resort hotel's exercise facility, again it included a great pool, which is a definite plus in Arizona.
Lifetime Fitness is where I was spoiled, but they build super premium clubs now in more recent locations. I think it’s more like $140/mo with discounts for 2nd, 3rd family member in my area. I was spending $300/mo for my family, now <$100 at the local Y. But you do get what you pay for in this case. They are not comparable at all.

David S
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by David S » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:08 pm

I have a Medicare Advantage plan from Humana that includes membership in Silver Sneakers at no additional cost. This program is offered by Humana, but is actual run by Tivity Health, along with severl other similar health programs. The Silver Sneakers card gives me access to a number of different gyms in my area: Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, Workout Anytime, a local swim club, and several other facilities. I can use any or all of them.
I prefer Workout Anytime because it’s closest to me and I only use the cardio equipment, although it has strength machines and free weights, as well. It’s a small, no-frills, storefront franchise facility and this one is always clean and operational and well staffed during working hours.It's accessible anytime after normal hours by keycard. There are 4-5 personal trainers available, but there’s never been any sales pressure to utilize them.
Without the Silver Sneakers program, basic membership would be $10/month with an annual membership, or $19/month for a month-to-month plan.

randomguy
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by randomguy » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:13 pm

StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:41 pm
There's no free lunch in the gym business. I'm a 24 Hour fitness member and have been for the last four years through the Costco deal. The equipment is old/dirty/broken and there's a lot of deferred maintenance. I think they got hammered by the Planet Fitnesses of the world trying to get even cheaper than the $17/mo or so we're paying per person.

I've never personally financed a gym, but loan money to small businesses for a living. The best I can figure out is breakeven in this business is $35-$50/member. PF went into cheaper buildings trying to lower part of the fixed overhead, but you still have to cover maintenance capX and I can't see how they have enough money to go around after rent, employees, utilities to keep up with regular maintenance and equipment replacement. My guess is they've overestimated the useful life of equipment.

There's a reason my local not for profit Y charges $90 for two of us (which we join/pay in the summer for pool access and the membership is on freeze). They have 60+ years of experience in maintaining the facility/equipment.

The good news for those of us who are frugal, there's usually another fool waiting to open a gym and run a promotional deal below the actual cost.
Your paying 90 bucks for the pool. Get rid of that the cost of providing your service drops to like 30 bucks.:)

You don't understand the PF business:) PF isn't a gym for people that want to workout. It is a gym for people that don't want to work out. They are getting 10 month and half of their members never show up once.:) They are far worse of the gyms that people already joke about not using their membership at:) https://www.franchisechatter.com/2012/0 ... locations/ is from a while back (and I am pretty sure is leaving off depreciation. I doubt you can outfit a club for 9k/year of equipment rentals) but I bet the general idea holds.

StopIroningShirts
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by StopIroningShirts » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:14 am

I get their model, but don't see how $10/mo is sustainable. I know what you're saying about the $45/mo gym including the pool. Company is public so I can see the earnings, but would have to examine it a lot further for franchisee vs. company owned stores.

If their goal is to squeeze out some competitors and get their price point up to $20 - I'd invest in that.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong

Housedoc
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by Housedoc » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:09 am

I have been a PF black card member for 4 yrs. I go 6 days a week. Wife gets in for free 5 days a week. Equipment changes every 3 yrs. Local area manager comes through often and checks place over. They have a full time staff member cleaning 5 days a week. If you have issues, email or tweet HQ, they will get the word to local site if you don't want to tell them face to face. For 20 bucks a month and a yearly 39.99 I can't beat it.

SC1959
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by SC1959 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:17 am

StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:41 pm

The good news for those of us who are frugal, there's usually another fool waiting to open a gym and run a promotional deal below the actual cost.
A friend owned more than 50 PFs. Sold 20 for 1.5m each. I wish I was half as foolish as him!

dcabler
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by dcabler » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:18 am

PinotGris wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:27 pm
My renewal with PF is coming up. I have always liked it because my routines are simple - 20 mts on elliptical, free weights, some yoga and other floor exercises, and I am out of there in an hour. I don't do classes so no problems.
But lately I find their electronic inputs are mostly broken and they are not fixing them. I catch up on the news and listen to podcast and it is important for me. I am thinking about switching, but in most places I am paying for juice bars and classes which I don't plan on using.
Are you a PF member? How is your facility? Are you switching?
Been a PF member for a year. My club here in Austin is in fine shape. And it's really hard to beat $10 per month...

smitcat
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by smitcat » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:25 am

SC1959 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:17 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:41 pm

The good news for those of us who are frugal, there's usually another fool waiting to open a gym and run a promotional deal below the actual cost.
A friend owned more than 50 PFs. Sold 20 for 1.5m each. I wish I was half as foolish as him!
$1.5 million each per sale would indicate that they were cash flowing about $1/2 million or so each.
Based upon total revenue and expenses not likely is my response.

StopIroningShirts
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by StopIroningShirts » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:22 am

smitcat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:25 am
SC1959 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:17 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:41 pm

The good news for those of us who are frugal, there's usually another fool waiting to open a gym and run a promotional deal below the actual cost.
A friend owned more than 50 PFs. Sold 20 for 1.5m each. I wish I was half as foolish as him!
$1.5 million each per sale would indicate that they were cash flowing about $1/2 million or so each.
Based upon total revenue and expenses not likely is my response.
After debt? The estimated cost to open one is between $700,000 and $3,800,000. That looks like he sold for the low range of the original investment amount. I acknowledge I am biased, I loan money to independently owned businesses and haven't seen a gym deal that makes sense in fifteen years. Not for me, I still think they're selling their product below cost.

Great for a consumer while it lasts. I kind of like their product too, I've bought the one week pass when I visit family back home

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southerndoc
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by southerndoc » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:04 am

My insurance includes a Tivinity Fitness Your Way membership for $25/month. I can go to pretty much any gym. I think they get $1 per visit. I've successfully used it at Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and LA Fitness. Out of all, Planet Fitness seems to be the best -- less crowded, very clean, great equipment. LA Fitness has great equipment, but the place is crowded as all get out.

lostdog
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by lostdog » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:09 am

Housedoc wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:09 am
I have been a PF black card member for 4 yrs. I go 6 days a week. Wife gets in for free 5 days a week. Equipment changes every 3 yrs. Local area manager comes through often and checks place over. They have a full time staff member cleaning 5 days a week. If you have issues, email or tweet HQ, they will get the word to local site if you don't want to tell them face to face. For 20 bucks a month and a yearly 39.99 I can't beat it.
+1

I see staff always cleaning equipment and locker room. I am there 5 to 6 days a week also. The equipment is always clean.

I spend about 1.5 to two hours every mid morning there. I'll take that over riding a desk all day answering g to a boss. Physical fitness over riding a desk. FI is the best revenge.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:20 am

StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:14 am
I get their model, but don't see how $10/mo is sustainable. I know what you're saying about the $45/mo gym including the pool. Company is public so I can see the earnings, but would have to examine it a lot further for franchisee vs. company owned stores.

If their goal is to squeeze out some competitors and get their price point up to $20 - I'd invest in that.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong
Like most gym memberships, the profit is in the non-use. People sign up for $10 a month, go for a few weeks, then stop going. $10 a month keeps hitting their checking account (PF resists using a charge card but you can). The number of people that pay $10 a month and never go is large.

Many PF's are located in plaza's where stores when bankrupt and vacated. Landlords are happy for a tenant and give good rates.

I wouldn't invest in one.

The quality of any PF depends on the owner of the franchise. I belonged to one at one point, and had to constantly point out things that were broken. Or a locker room that needed more cleaning.
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

smitcat
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by smitcat » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:21 am

StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:22 am
smitcat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:25 am
SC1959 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:17 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:41 pm

The good news for those of us who are frugal, there's usually another fool waiting to open a gym and run a promotional deal below the actual cost.
A friend owned more than 50 PFs. Sold 20 for 1.5m each. I wish I was half as foolish as him!
$1.5 million each per sale would indicate that they were cash flowing about $1/2 million or so each.
Based upon total revenue and expenses not likely is my response.
After debt? The estimated cost to open one is between $700,000 and $3,800,000. That looks like he sold for the low range of the original investment amount. I acknowledge I am biased, I loan money to independently owned businesses and haven't seen a gym deal that makes sense in fifteen years. Not for me, I still think they're selling their product below cost.

Great for a consumer while it lasts. I kind of like their product too, I've bought the one week pass when I visit family back home
I think I was being generous - no one is likely buying a business for more than 3 times cash flow.
If he did have a cash flow of $500K that would indicate over 5,000 active clients again at generous numbers.
The one opening next week next to us is charging $19.99/month for the black card - my best guess is they will need 3,300 clients to break even best case.
Again - not likely

Here are a few other costs which most do not consider ....
https://www.franchisechatter.com/2016/1 ... hise-fees/

Quaestner
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by Quaestner » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:23 pm

I'm a member. I can walk to it - so it's convenient. During my workout, I do podcasts to my wireless headphones, so I don't worry about their TV. I'd pay twice as much per month if they would simply turn down the volume of their music, but for the moment, I'm not switching.

jacksonm
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by jacksonm » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:27 pm

PinotGris wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:53 pm
jacksonm wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:32 pm
Given the price I wouldn't expect PF to be much more than the McDonald's of gyms.

Before I switched to PF I was paying $30/month at Anytime Fitness. PF was $10 at the time.

I always thought PF had latched onto a pretty good business model. As usually happens with gym memberships you start to ask yourself if it's really worth it, especially at times when you aren't going very often. You probably aren't as likely to cancel during those times when you are only paying $10. So my guess is they get a lot of steady income from people who aren't really putting much wear and tear on the equipment.

Eventually I decided that it was a waste of money even at $10. I do my exercise outdoors now, either cycling, running, or just going for walks. And as far as resistance training, I can get all I need with a $5 theraband.
I walk now but it get cold and icy in winter where I live. So I use PF When the weather gets bad. It take me 10 minutes to get there but there are others at the same distance. I will try out a few - free trial.
Yes, there is the weather thing. Fortunately I live in Florida but I also have my own little used indoor exercise bike. It cost about $200 and was actually paid for by my wife's insurance company.

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Jazztonight
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by Jazztonight » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:52 pm

The only time I walk into a gym is when I'm on a cruise ship. The first few days, people are lined up to use the treadmills and a few other machines. (I ignore the machines, grab a yoga mat, and just work out while listening to music on my iPhone).

I'll never understand why, on an ocean cruise to Hawaii, for example, people would prefer to walk inside on a machine rather than walk outside in the fresh air on the promenade deck with the ocean all around them.

I ascribe to the notion that "you take your gym with you" wherever you go, and "your body is your gym." Bodyweight exercises can satisfy most people's fitness needs. Maybe add a couple of dumbbells if you want.

OP: Is it necessary to drive to a fitness center, regardless of whether the cost is high or low, the facility is cheap or expensive, or the the electronics are working or not?

My current home workout (pull-ups and Burpees with pushups) takes 36 minutes, 3 times a week. For cardio I walk out the door for a 3-mile walk.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

PinotGris
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by PinotGris » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:50 pm

Jazztonight wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:52 pm
OP: Is it necessary to drive to a fitness center, regardless of whether the cost is high or low, the facility is cheap or expensive, or the the electronics are working or not?

My current home workout (pull-ups and Burpees with pushups) takes 36 minutes, 3 times a week. For cardio I walk out the door for a 3-mile walk.
Actually, yes. I can easily just go down to the basement and work out on my Step-aerobics blocks or the stationary bike which I hate. We even have one of those treadmills but I don't trust it, we have a few weights, and I can easily just be in my gym clothes for the rest of the day.

But getting dressed and getting outdoors, even in a car, is necessary for me in the depth of winter. I pick up groceries and get gas near by, visit my library, get some coffee and read the New York Times at the coffee shop, and when I come home I feel good. Walking in the snow and ice with no sidewalk is no fun and can be dangerous.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:03 pm

4nwestsaylng wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:13 pm
blevine wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 pm
The local PF is much further than a Y near my home.
I used to travel for a high expense premium club, and everything just worked.
They used to replace perfectly good and functioning machines BEFORE they break, but the cost was many times PF or the Y.
I now pay less than PF for my local Y, hate the equipment but I get my exercise, it's close home and cheap so no excuses.
I was spoiled going to a fancier place, should have stayed at the Y and never would have known what I was missing :-)
Maybe staying at PF over a more expensive place is your answer ?
I just found the budget places so depressing,the LA Fitness too much high pressure from dumb clod employees trying to push personal training. When I lived in the Phoenix area I really enjoyed the Lifetime Fitness facility, it was huge, and I think I paid $40 per month, but for me a great place, with a nice pool, best equipment and shower areas that did not make me cringe, it made me want to go there almost every day. Another place I liked was a membership at a major resort hotel's exercise facility, again it included a great pool, which is a definite plus in Arizona.

Now retired, I have joined the rec center at the local college. It has a multimillion dollar facility, wonderful equipment and pool, and I pay $40 a month. Seems that is the price point for a higher end place. Anytime Fitness has a place nearby, has called promoting it. But I think that if I ever stop my membership at the college, I will just exercise at home. I just can't go back to the budget places, let alone have to drive to them, but I know it does work for many. Going to a nice place, for me, is a reward. Life is not all about investments.
I've been going to LA fitness for over 12 years... Never been harassed for personal training.

And at $99/yr, if they start I'm probably not going to take business elsewhere 😁

randomguy
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by randomguy » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:18 pm

smitcat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:21 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:22 am
smitcat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:25 am
SC1959 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:17 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:41 pm

The good news for those of us who are frugal, there's usually another fool waiting to open a gym and run a promotional deal below the actual cost.
A friend owned more than 50 PFs. Sold 20 for 1.5m each. I wish I was half as foolish as him!
$1.5 million each per sale would indicate that they were cash flowing about $1/2 million or so each.
Based upon total revenue and expenses not likely is my response.
After debt? The estimated cost to open one is between $700,000 and $3,800,000. That looks like he sold for the low range of the original investment amount. I acknowledge I am biased, I loan money to independently owned businesses and haven't seen a gym deal that makes sense in fifteen years. Not for me, I still think they're selling their product below cost.

Great for a consumer while it lasts. I kind of like their product too, I've bought the one week pass when I visit family back home
I think I was being generous - no one is likely buying a business for more than 3 times cash flow.
If he did have a cash flow of $500K that would indicate over 5,000 active clients again at generous numbers.
The one opening next week next to us is charging $19.99/month for the black card - my best guess is they will need 3,300 clients to break even best case.
Again - not likely

Here are a few other costs which most do not consider ....
https://www.franchisechatter.com/2016/1 ... hise-fees/
Pf has 12 million members and 1600 locations. That is an average of 7k members per location. :) Again remember they don't need a big location for all these members because most of them will never be there again. A gym for 6000 people who attend would be really expensive. A gym that has 6000 members where only 600 attend can be really cheap.

If you look at the franchise data, it matches your numbers pretty well. The average place is brining in 1.7 million (7k people paying a bit over 20 bucks each) and paying ~800k in expenses. For 900k net. Now you also have to pay the franchising royalty (~120k), interest/opportunity cost (1-2 million dollars. Call it 75-150k/year), running the shop (i.e. a job that you have to figure out how much to pay yourself), and all the other misc. Seems like an OK return but not absurd enough that we should all quit our jobs to become gym owners:)

As far as selling, without details we have no clue. Selling it for 1.5 million is not enough info. Selling it for 1.5 million after investing 100k and borrowing 1.4 million (and the debt stays with the business) is one thing. Selling it for 1.5 million after investing 2 million cash is another but that can make a ton of sense if you say have made 5 million in profits and have depreciated say 1 million of equipment that will need to be replaced soon:). But I guess anyone that has opened 50 of them has a clue about what they are doing and at worst isn't making much per unit (i.e. with only 20k profit dude we are talking 1 million:)). Or of course maybe he over expanded and is dumping the losers:)

And I finally PF and the like might be ok investments. The gym run by the local body builder who wants a place for serious people to train on the other is likely to be a total money pit. Not sure about some of the nichier things like Curves, crossfit, SolidCore, soul cycle and rest of the small group exercise class places. I bet they have their own economics. I have a feeling most of them are buying a job from the few numbers I have seen.

smitcat
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by smitcat » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:14 pm

randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:18 pm
smitcat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:21 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:22 am
smitcat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:25 am
SC1959 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:17 am


A friend owned more than 50 PFs. Sold 20 for 1.5m each. I wish I was half as foolish as him!
$1.5 million each per sale would indicate that they were cash flowing about $1/2 million or so each.
Based upon total revenue and expenses not likely is my response.
After debt? The estimated cost to open one is between $700,000 and $3,800,000. That looks like he sold for the low range of the original investment amount. I acknowledge I am biased, I loan money to independently owned businesses and haven't seen a gym deal that makes sense in fifteen years. Not for me, I still think they're selling their product below cost.

Great for a consumer while it lasts. I kind of like their product too, I've bought the one week pass when I visit family back home
I think I was being generous - no one is likely buying a business for more than 3 times cash flow.
If he did have a cash flow of $500K that would indicate over 5,000 active clients again at generous numbers.
The one opening next week next to us is charging $19.99/month for the black card - my best guess is they will need 3,300 clients to break even best case.
Again - not likely

Here are a few other costs which most do not consider ....
https://www.franchisechatter.com/2016/1 ... hise-fees/
Pf has 12 million members and 1600 locations. That is an average of 7k members per location. :) Again remember they don't need a big location for all these members because most of them will never be there again. A gym for 6000 people who attend would be really expensive. A gym that has 6000 members where only 600 attend can be really cheap.

If you look at the franchise data, it matches your numbers pretty well. The average place is brining in 1.7 million (7k people paying a bit over 20 bucks each) and paying ~800k in expenses. For 900k net. Now you also have to pay the franchising royalty (~120k), interest/opportunity cost (1-2 million dollars. Call it 75-150k/year), running the shop (i.e. a job that you have to figure out how much to pay yourself), and all the other misc. Seems like an OK return but not absurd enough that we should all quit our jobs to become gym owners:)

As far as selling, without details we have no clue. Selling it for 1.5 million is not enough info. Selling it for 1.5 million after investing 100k and borrowing 1.4 million (and the debt stays with the business) is one thing. Selling it for 1.5 million after investing 2 million cash is another but that can make a ton of sense if you say have made 5 million in profits and have depreciated say 1 million of equipment that will need to be replaced soon:). But I guess anyone that has opened 50 of them has a clue about what they are doing and at worst isn't making much per unit (i.e. with only 20k profit dude we are talking 1 million:)). Or of course maybe he over expanded and is dumping the losers:)

And I finally PF and the like might be ok investments. The gym run by the local body builder who wants a place for serious people to train on the other is likely to be a total money pit. Not sure about some of the nichier things like Curves, crossfit, SolidCore, soul cycle and rest of the small group exercise class places. I bet they have their own economics. I have a feeling most of them are buying a job from the few numbers I have seen.
"The average place is brining in 1.7 million (7k people paying a bit over 20 bucks each) and paying ~800k in expenses. For 900k net. Now you also have to pay the franchising royalty (~120k), interest/opportunity cost (1-2 million dollars. Call it 75-150k/year), running the shop"

I do not know the Gym operations at all but can guess at most of the cost lines within reason.
If a single unit PF does happen to bring in 1.7 million in its 2nd or 3rd year the expenses around here would be about:
- 120K ff
- 300K lease/taxes
- 250K financing SBA at 2.0 million
- 100K insurance/cleaning/proff/maintenance/etc
- 200K replacement budget for wear equipment
- $600K a guess on labor costs (likely is short 24 X 5 +2 operation)
- 50K Advertise/mktg
Comes to 1,620K so far - i am sure i am missing something as well.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:18 pm

We're not at PF, we have subscriptions to one of the local YMCA branches. I don't even use the connections on the treadmill; I have my listening material downloaded onto my phone, and use Bluetooth earphones with that. So I can listen literally anywhere. If the condition of the connections on the machines is becoming a hindrance, you might consider doing something similar.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:28 pm

randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:18 pm
I have a feeling most of them are buying a job from the few numbers I have seen.
Have you seen a franchise that isn't like buying a job?

I looked at this a few years ago and after a few months of t taking to 30+ owners across 4 different business lines, I gave up. They all seemed to be buying a job... Great if you're not a white collar worker pulling in 6 figures at a cushy job already.

randomguy
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by randomguy » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:55 pm

smitcat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:14 pm


"The average place is brining in 1.7 million (7k people paying a bit over 20 bucks each) and paying ~800k in expenses. For 900k net. Now you also have to pay the franchising royalty (~120k), interest/opportunity cost (1-2 million dollars. Call it 75-150k/year), running the shop"

I do not know the Gym operations at all but can guess at most of the cost lines within reason.
If a single unit PF does happen to bring in 1.7 million in its 2nd or 3rd year the expenses around here would be about:
- 120K ff
- 300K lease/taxes
- 250K financing SBA at 2.0 million
- 100K insurance/cleaning/proff/maintenance/etc
- 200K replacement budget for wear equipment
- $600K a guess on labor costs (likely is short 24 X 5 +2 operation)
- 50K Advertise/mktg
Comes to 1,620K so far - i am sure i am missing something as well.
You can look at their numbers and decide if you think they are reasonable or not but they are claiming 765k (without loan servicing). I have no clue if 600k or 218k is more accurate for payroll and so on. 200k to replace machines that are not used seems really high:). Again at I high level I doubt anyone opened 50 locations and was losing money on all of them and was counting on scale to make it work. Now if they were profitable enough for the risk would require a lot more detailed level analysis that we can do.
Last edited by randomguy on Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

randomguy
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by randomguy » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:57 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:28 pm
randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:18 pm
I have a feeling most of them are buying a job from the few numbers I have seen.
Have you seen a franchise that isn't like buying a job?

I looked at this a few years ago and after a few months of t taking to 30+ owners across 4 different business lines, I gave up. They all seemed to be buying a job... Great if you're not a white collar worker pulling in 6 figures at a cushy job already.
The ones where you own 50 franchises locations. Granted I guess then you are just buying yourself a CEO job versus a manager one:)

JackoC
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by JackoC » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:13 pm

PinotGris wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:50 pm
Jazztonight wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:52 pm
OP: Is it necessary to drive to a fitness center, regardless of whether the cost is high or low, the facility is cheap or expensive, or the the electronics are working or not?

My current home workout (pull-ups and Burpees with pushups) takes 36 minutes, 3 times a week. For cardio I walk out the door for a 3-mile walk.
Actually, yes. I can easily just go down to the basement and work out on my Step-aerobics blocks or the stationary bike which I hate. We even have one of those treadmills but I don't trust it, we have a few weights, and I can easily just be in my gym clothes for the rest of the day.

But getting dressed and getting outdoors, even in a car, is necessary for me in the depth of winter. I pick up groceries and get gas near by, visit my library, get some coffee and read the New York Times at the coffee shop, and when I come home I feel good. Walking in the snow and ice with no sidewalk is no fun and can be dangerous.
Our PF is an ~8min walk. Pretty much everything really necessary is within walking distance. Though we still have a couple of cars, because we don't limit ourselves to necessary and are very far from cutting out $120/yr stuff because it's not 'necessary' :happy . However cutting out $10/mo for the gym seems like a real stretch to me, if that's the idea, for almost anybody. And I agree getting out and around town has value itself. I'm used to the car not necessary situation, but anyway. I walk 1.5hrs a couple or three time a week v 3 or 4 times going to PF for an hour or so. There's a bit of a trade off in the limited good weather periods here in the NY area, a little more walk a little less gym, vice versa in the winter and when it's hot. But I can see people wanting to avoid outside exercise in either extreme, also they plow and shovel around here fairly soon.

smitcat
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by smitcat » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:53 am

randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:55 pm
smitcat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:14 pm


"The average place is brining in 1.7 million (7k people paying a bit over 20 bucks each) and paying ~800k in expenses. For 900k net. Now you also have to pay the franchising royalty (~120k), interest/opportunity cost (1-2 million dollars. Call it 75-150k/year), running the shop"

I do not know the Gym operations at all but can guess at most of the cost lines within reason.
If a single unit PF does happen to bring in 1.7 million in its 2nd or 3rd year the expenses around here would be about:
- 120K ff
- 300K lease/taxes
- 250K financing SBA at 2.0 million
- 100K insurance/cleaning/proff/maintenance/etc
- 200K replacement budget for wear equipment
- $600K a guess on labor costs (likely is short 24 X 5 +2 operation)
- 50K Advertise/mktg
Comes to 1,620K so far - i am sure i am missing something as well.
You can look at their numbers and decide if you think they are reasonable or not but they are claiming 765k (without loan servicing). I have no clue if 600k or 218k is more accurate for payroll and so on. 200k to replace machines that are not used seems really high:). Again at I high level I doubt anyone opened 50 locations and was losing money on all of them and was counting on scale to make it work. Now if they were profitable enough for the risk would require a lot more detailed level analysis that we can do.
I have had some practice reading Franchise disclosures and how they can claim the numbers 'can' be as low as they state on expenses. I hope we will be able speak with the new owners of the place that is almost open now about 50 yards from one of our locations - so far we have only been able to speak with the construction manager and read the job posting at the pre opening sign up section next door to us. Other than assistant managers I do not know how many of each of these persons they intended to hire just that they were interviewing for these individual spots at a minimum:
- Assistant manager (2)
- client service rep
- CS shift 2
- CS shift 3
- Assistant client service rep
- Ass CS shift 2
- Porter /Janitor
- PJ 2
- PJ 3
- technician
- technicin 2
- Trainer
Weekend only - (two 12 hour days)
- Client service rep
- Ass client service
- Trainer
- PJ
- technician
Of course there may be more than one of many of these spots and there also may be others for other tasks.
If I run any reasonable salaries/benefits on these jobs I end up with way over $600K.
If I run all of them at minimum wage I end up with right about $500K alone.

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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by alfaspider » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:38 am

PF is a bit of a running joke among fitness enthusiasts because they seem to do their darndest to repel those who are actually into fitness. For example, most facilities have a "no deadlifting" rule, which is a core exercise that most people with any significant interest in strength training will expect to be able to do. A few locations also give out unhealthy food (pizza and donuts) on certain days as a promotion.

But if you just want to do the elliptical or use a few light dumbbells, it's hard to argue with $10 a month. I spent over $1,000 just buying my home gym equipment- I could have been a PF member for 10 years for the price. But nobody is going to yell at me for deadlifting in my own garage, well except maybe the neighbors wondering what that noise is :mrgreen:

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unclescrooge
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by unclescrooge » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:52 am

randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:57 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:28 pm
randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:18 pm
I have a feeling most of them are buying a job from the few numbers I have seen.
Have you seen a franchise that isn't like buying a job?

I looked at this a few years ago and after a few months of t taking to 30+ owners across 4 different business lines, I gave up. They all seemed to be buying a job... Great if you're not a white collar worker pulling in 6 figures at a cushy job already.
The ones where you own 50 franchises locations. Granted I guess then you are just buying yourself a CEO job versus a manager one:)
That makes sense... So how does one get to double digits locations?
Do you slog it out for 20 years?
Or do you start with a lot of money?

Dontwasteit
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by Dontwasteit » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:50 pm

My PF hardly has any free weights/ dumbbells. Good for cardio workout. Truthfully I rarely go anymore. Mine gives free bagels and donuts. Never quite understood that, I guess for carbs but gee, how about maybe a glass of carrot juice instead.

randomguy
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by randomguy » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:17 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:52 am
randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:57 pm

The ones where you own 50 franchises locations. Granted I guess then you are just buying yourself a CEO job versus a manager one:)
That makes sense... So how does one get to double digits locations?
Do you slog it out for 20 years?
Or do you start with a lot of money?
I dont know anyone with 50 PF type restaurants. One guy owns a dozen or so McDonalds. He built his empire over like 30 years. I know a couple guys who tried to buy their wives niche bussiness (not curves but the same idea) and so far they have been disasters😁

Again 50 PF is a crap load. Your looking at 50-100 million in capital and 500 or so employees. That is a pretty decent sized biz. I wouldnt expect those numbers to apply to most franchisees.

randomguy
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by randomguy » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:19 pm

Dontwasteit wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:50 pm
My PF hardly has any free weights/ dumbbells. Good for cardio workout. Truthfully I rarely go anymore. Mine gives free bagels and donuts. Never quite understood that, I guess for carbs but gee, how about maybe a glass of carrot juice instead.
The ideal customer😁 If it was 50/month you would go or quit. At 10, you keep the membership just in case

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Toons
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by Toons » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:21 pm

Treadmill and
Exercise bike at home
Both from Amazon.
Walk a lot.
:mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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UpsetRaptor
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by UpsetRaptor » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:44 pm

PF is terrible. Free bagels and donuts, no deadlifting, no squat rack, a few light weights. Hey, we don't care if you actually get fit or fat, but thanks for the business. :moneybag

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gasdoc
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by gasdoc » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:37 pm

We use our local YMCA, at about $70 per year for two of us. Then we donate another $500 per year because it actually helps our community.

Gasdoc

PinotGris
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by PinotGris » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:06 pm

Dontwasteit wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:50 pm
My PF hardly has any free weights/ dumbbells. Good for cardio workout. Truthfully I rarely go anymore. Mine gives free bagels and donuts. Never quite understood that, I guess for carbs but gee, how about maybe a glass of carrot juice instead.
The bagels and pizza only once a month but I never eat them just because they are free. Other than the fact that zany PF electronics don’t work it is clean, has free weights and floor space.

Dantes
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by Dantes » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:19 am

PinotGris wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:06 pm
Dontwasteit wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:50 pm
My PF hardly has any free weights/ dumbbells. Good for cardio workout. Truthfully I rarely go anymore. Mine gives free bagels and donuts. Never quite understood that, I guess for carbs but gee, how about maybe a glass of carrot juice instead.
The bagels and pizza only once a month but I never eat them just because they are free. Other than the fact that zany PF electronics don’t work it is clean, has free weights and floor space.
This sums it up nicely. PF is convenient, clean, has enough equipment for our purposes, and pleasant staff. The pizza and bagels seem odd to me, too, but there is no law that we have to eat them just because they are free. My minor complaints are the music (so I wear earphones) and no rowing machines.

There was a day last week when the audio system was not working, and that was nice. I assume they make money out of the playlist though the target demographics for the music appear closer to the staff than to the members.

smitcat
Posts: 1987
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by smitcat » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:33 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:52 am
randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:57 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:28 pm
randomguy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:18 pm
I have a feeling most of them are buying a job from the few numbers I have seen.
Have you seen a franchise that isn't like buying a job?

I looked at this a few years ago and after a few months of t taking to 30+ owners across 4 different business lines, I gave up. They all seemed to be buying a job... Great if you're not a white collar worker pulling in 6 figures at a cushy job already.
The ones where you own 50 franchises locations. Granted I guess then you are just buying yourself a CEO job versus a manager one:)
That makes sense... So how does one get to double digits locations?
Do you slog it out for 20 years?
Or do you start with a lot of money?
One location near us is about $1 million in construction buildout plus another $1 million in fitting it out.
$2 million does not include a whole bunch of stuff and allow for cash flow needs.
Either you have it or you borrow a large portion then just multiply by the number of centers you want.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:20 am

Dantes wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:19 am
PinotGris wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:06 pm
Dontwasteit wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:50 pm
My PF hardly has any free weights/ dumbbells. Good for cardio workout. Truthfully I rarely go anymore. Mine gives free bagels and donuts. Never quite understood that, I guess for carbs but gee, how about maybe a glass of carrot juice instead.
The bagels and pizza only once a month but I never eat them just because they are free. Other than the fact that zany PF electronics don’t work it is clean, has free weights and floor space.
This sums it up nicely. PF is convenient, clean, has enough equipment for our purposes, and pleasant staff. The pizza and bagels seem odd to me, too, but there is no law that we have to eat them just because they are free. My minor complaints are the music (so I wear earphones) and no rowing machines.

There was a day last week when the audio system was not working, and that was nice. I assume they make money out of the playlist though the target demographics for the music appear closer to the staff than to the members.
Usually you have to pay to play music in a commercial venue. It is definitely not a money maker.

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