America's #1 Co-ed Fitness Club Chain Launches International Initiative
June 17, 2008 // Franchising.com // HASTINGS, Minn. – Anytime Fitness, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with a brotherâ€sister team of fitness industry veterans, Justin McDonell and Jacinta McDonell Jimenez, to serve as master franchisees for all of Australia and New Zealand. McDonell and Jimenez plan to open 350 Anytime Fitness clubs in Australia within the next five years, including at least five clubs in the next 12 months. The first club will likely open this summer near Sydney, Australia. Expansion plans for New Zealand are pending. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but McDonell and Jimenez will pay a franchise fee and monthly royalties for each club they open.
"We're extremely excited that Justin and Jacinta are joining our team," said Anytime Fitness coâ€founder Chuck Runyon. "We had several candidates who applied for the territory rights, but our choice was clear. Justin and Jacinta demonstrated the fitness industry expertise, the financial backing and the passion for Anytime Fitness' business model that made them the most qualified applicants."
McDonnell and Jimenez' interest in Anytime Fitness was piqued just over a year ago, when they read about America's fastestâ€growing fitness club franchise in an industry trade magazine. Six weeks later, they booked a flight to Minnesota, met with Anytime Fitness corporate staff and then spent the next week touring more than 50 Anytime Fitness clubs between the Twin Cities and Chicago.
"We were immediately struck by the atmosphere in the clubs," says Jacinta. "The attentive staff, the happy members, everything about the clubs told us that these are wellâ€run clubs with great potential."
"We grew up in a family that runs health clubs in Australia," says Justin. "We know what works and we know what members want. Anytime Fitness focuses on convenience and affordability – that's what people are looking for these days, but they also demand quality exercise equipment in a clean, friendly environment. Australians are just as busy as Americans. The model works in America and it will work in Australia and New Zealand, too."
Justin and Jacinta have owned a number of different clubs to date. Their first experience in the fitness industry was working at a health center owned by their parents called "Club Fitness," where they did everything from cleaning to managing the facility.
"We've always been passionate about helping others improve their own health and wellâ€being," says Jacinta. "I truly believe it's one of the most important things you can do."
Anytime Fitness currently has nearly 800 clubs open in 46 states, plus another handful of clubs in Canada. The Australian clubs will be the first Anytime Fitness centers to open outside of North America. Australia has a population of approximately 21,000,000. New Zealand's population is roughly 4,000,000.
Founded in 2002 and nearly doubling in size in 2007, Anytime Fitness is now the fastestâ€growing fitness club franchise in the world. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient and affordable fitness options in wellâ€maintained facilities which feature topâ€quality exercise equipment. Stateâ€ofâ€theâ€art security and surveillance systems ensure member safety during unstaffed hours at the clubs. Anytime Fitness fully expects to open its 1,000th club and achieve systemâ€wide sales in excess of $100â€million in 2008
Entrepreneur magazine (February, 2008) ranked Anytime Fitness the 13th fastestâ€growing franchise of any type in America (up from 36th last year) and Franchise Times magazine ranked Anytime Fitness 35th on its "Fast 55" list of new franchises. For the 3rd year in a row, Fitness Business Review has given Anytime Fitness its top rating and an FBR 50 Franchisee Satisfaction Award.