Anytime Fitness Ranked As The Top U.S. Franchise

Anytime Fitness Ranked As The Top U.S. Franchise

Entrepreneur magazine ranked Anytime Fitness at the top of its 2014 Franchise 500 list, up from sixth place the year before.

Entrepreneur magazine compiles its “Franchise 500” list every year, ranking U.S. franchises based on their financial strength, stability, growth rate, and size. This year, Anytime Fitness earned the top spot on the list.
 
The Hastings-based fitness club chain beat out some major national players. It was followed by Hampton Hotels, Subway, Supercuts (which is a franchise segment of Edina-based Regis,) and Jimmy John’s Sandwiches, respectively, on the list. A total of 18 Minnesota companies made the “Franchise 500,” click here to see the full list.
 
Anytime Fitness is the first fitness franchise to ever be ranked number one and took the place of last year’s top-ranking Hampton Hotels. Anytime was founded in 2002 and was first added to Entrepreneur’s list in 2006 when it was ranked 261st. It has since climbed the list each year and reached sixth place last year.

 
In addition to financial strength and growth, Entrepreneur also considered the number of years a company has been in business, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations, and whether the franchise provides financing.
 
“Considering the reputation of the other franchises ranked in the top 10, this is a tremendous honor for Anytime Fitness,” President and co-founder Dave Mortensen said in a statement. “We love the fact that our business model provides our franchisees with the financial freedom and flexibility to enjoy their families while making meaningful contributions to their respective communities.”
 
Anytime cited a slowing in the overall fitness industry, but said it has opened more than 250 new clubs during each of the last six years and now has more than 2,300 clubs in 16 different countries on five continents, serving nearly 2 million members. Minnesota is host to 123 of those clubs.
 
Anytime spokesman Mark Daly told Twin Cities Business that within five years, the company expects to have 4,000 clubs open in the United States, compared to about 1,900 today, and 4,000 clubs open outside of the country, compared to about 450 international locations today.
 
According to Daly, a new Anytime gym opens every 36 hours, on average, and a new member joins every three minutes.
 
Unlike full-scale clubs like those offered by Chanhassen-based Lifetime Fitness, which often feature swimming pools, basketball courts, and health bars, Anytime keeps its gyms slimmed down with strictly weight-training and aerobic equipment, as well as changing areas and showers. The locations are open 24/7 and members can access the gyms during unstaffed hours, with computerized key fobs.
 
Anytime’s system-wide revenue (including franchise revenue) totaled about $484 million in 2012 and is projected to increase by 30 percent in 2013 to about $630 million. Its corporate revenue totaled $53 million in 2012 and is projected to increase by 35 percent to about $71 million in 2013.
 
The company charges its franchisees a flat monthly fee of $499 per club rather than a percentage of revenue, and its initial franchise fee is currently $29,999.
 
Anytime has been raking in the awards this year. It was recently named “One of America’s Most Promising Companies” by Forbes and also received Chief Executive magazine’s inaugural “Leadership” award.
 
Anytime has about 140 corporate employees worldwide, 115 of whom work in Hastings.
 
To learn more about how Mortensen and CEO and co-founder Chuck Runyon have grown Anytime Fitness to become a world leader, read Twin Cities Business’ September cover story by clicking here.