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The day Chris Rondeau’s pager quit buzzing, he knew Planet Fitness was on to something. It was the year 2000, and he and brothers Mike and Marc Grondahl had just opened their fourth gym in a small New Hampshire town, in most ways like the three that had come before. They had the same purple and yellow color scheme, the same rock-bottom membership prices to attract first-time gym users instead of workout fanatics, and the same “no gymtimidation” slogan to welcome the masses.

But because the site didn’t have enough space, they had stripped out all the extras in their other gyms, like juice bars and daycare and group fitness classes, and had a hundred pieces of cardio equipment or so and that’s about it.

“I had a pager, and the other stores were paging me every day,” to report the usual day-to-day chaos, Rondeau recalls. “The kid in daycare bit someone. The juice machine was broken.” But from the new gym—nothing. “The fourth store was running like a top. You couldn’t even tell it had opened.”

Read more: Franchise Times

Planet Fitness, Inc. to Report Third Quarter 2015 Results on November 12, 2015

NEWINGTON, N.H., Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Planet Fitness, Inc. (NYSE: PLNT) (the “Company”), today announced that the Company will report results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2015 after the market closes on Thursday, November 12, 2015. The Company will discuss its financial results on a conference call scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, November 12, 2015.

A live webcast of the conference call will be available at An audio replay of the webcast will be available within two hours of the conclusion of the call and remain available for 1 year.

About Planet Fitness

Founded in 1992 in Dover, N.H., Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations. With more than 1,000 locations in 47 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, Planet Fitness’ mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which we call the Judgement Free Zone®. More than 90% of Planet Fitness stores are owned and operated by independent business men and women. For more information, visit

Read original article on PRNewswire.

Planet Fitness’ Road to IPO Started with Corporate Management Hires

Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau is not shy when it comes to recognizing his corporate team and franchisees.

When the Newington, New Hampshire-based company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange last month, Rondeau invited a handful of franchisees to join him on the exchange floor to participate in the moment. In last week’s quarterly conference call with financial analysts, Rondeau called out corporate level employees and franchisees as a “great team to execute our growth strategy.”

The roots of the corporate team can be traced back three years when Planet Fitness started preparing for what became the initial public offering (IPO) by building out corporate infrastructure.

“We’ve more than tripled the size of our corporate office, servicing and supporting our franchisees, marketing support, operational support,” Rondeau told Club Industry in an interview after the IPO on Aug. 6. “We’ve put a lot of smart people on our management team to help build out our corporate office to get to this point.”

Some of those hires go back to 2013 when Planet Fitness hired former Radio Shack Corp. finance chief Dorvin Lively as chief financial officer, former Margaritas Restaurants CFO Bonnie Monahan as corporate treasurer, and former Robert Half International finance consultant Anna Arico as controller.

General Counsel Richard Moore, who led Planet Fitness through the sale to TSG in November 2012, became chief administrative officer in 2013. Moore assists Rondeau in building out Planet Fitness’ leadership and management team, and he manages the Newington headquarters. His focus is on creating infrastructure to support the company’s continued growth and expansion efforts.

With a base membership price of $10, Planet Fitness has more than 7.1 million members in more than 1,000 clubs and agreements in place to open 1,000 more clubs. Rondeau expects 500 clubs will be opened in the next three years.

Rondeau said there is potential for 4,000 Planet Fitness locations in the United States and potential for more than 300 in Canada. Franchising has started in Canada, where Planet Fitness opened its first international location in Toronto in October 2014 and a second in Brampton in 2015.

“We’re mainly focused on making sure we really build these markets up,” Rondeau said. “We want to get a strong hold of them.”

Last month, franchise owner Dave Leon signed a development agreement that will give him the rights to open 44 more clubs in British Columbia, Canada, and in Montana, Wyoming and Arizona. Leon, who heads the company’s national franchisee advisory council, was one of the franchisees who joined Rondeau on the NYSE floor for the IPO.

Rondeau’s timeline for further international expansion is “a couple years” out, and he did not outline any specific plans. However, he hinted at America’s neighbor to the south for possible growth.

“If you look at Mexico, for example, it beat out the U.S. last year as the most obese country in the world – the first time that’s ever happened,” Rondeau said. “I think our concept has legs in many other places.

Planet Fitness’ Wall Street Pitch

Planet Fitness entered the public market after other fitness club companies have traded on Wall Street with mixed results.

Bally Total Fitness, which began trading on the NYSE in May 1998, filed for bankruptcy in 2007. Life Time Fitness debut on the NYSE in 2004 and returned to private operations after the finalization of a $4 billion merger in June. Town Sports International went public on the NYSE in 2006, and its price per share has dropped nearly 84 percent since its IPO of $13.24 per share.

Rondeau said his pitch to potential investors starts with the Planet Fitness’ club model, which caters to the 80 percent of people who don’t have health club memberships, who never work out or who are intimidated by working out.

“I think we’re a very different brand,” Rondeau said. “We cater to a much bigger market. We’re also a model that works.”

Planet Fitness has locations in a variety of neighborhoods and next to a variety of competitors. It has locations in Manhattan next to Equinox clubs, clubs in Arkansas next to mom-and-pop clubs, Alaska clubs and clubs adjacent to Life Time Fitness locations, Rondeau said.

“We’re a model that works regardless of income, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of density – and we can still charge $10 a month,” Rondeau said. “It’s a much different model in that aspect. The fact that we’re a franchise company and we have almost 200 entrepreneurial groups out there beating the streets every day, caring about their businesses at a local level, running the stores, and keeping them judgment free and clean – it’s a very different business from both sides as compared to other public companies in the past.”

In addition to market expansion, Planet Fitness’ growth strategies include increasing brand awareness, expanding royalty rates on new franchisees (2.95 percent in 2014), and growing system-wide same store sales by attracting new members and increasing PF Black Card members.

PF Black Card Membership, at $19.99 per month, accounted for 55 percent of total memberships in 2014 – up from 38 percent in 2010. The card offers additional studio amenities and affinity partnerships with national retail brands.

Planet Fitness members receive 20 percent off Reebok products, and the company recently launched an affinity program with Regis Salons where Black Card members receive 10 percent off products and services.

“We’re constantly trying to put more value in that Black Card membership,” Rondeau said. “We’re trying to drive value outside the four walls, maybe like the AAA membership. With 7 million members now, there’s definitely people wanting some access to that, and it gives our members more value, which is really what we’re all about.”

Wall Street seems to be buying what Rondeau is selling, so far. Planet Fitness raised $216 million in the IPO, and its stock is trading up 16 percent since the IPO at over $18 per share.  The company had revenue of $79 million in the second quarter, an almost 26 percent year-over-year revenue increase, according to financials released last week.

“I actually believe we have developed something special,” Rondeau told analysts on the financial call last week. “I would like to say we’re lucky to have two types of customers, our members and our franchises. One we bring wealth, and one we bring health. I look forward to carrying on this tradition for many years to come.”

Planet Fitness was founded in 1992 by brothers Mike Grondahl and Marc Grondahl. Rondeau, 42, joined Planet Fitness in 1993. Rondeau has helped to refine Planet Fitness’ business model.

“I think that in some ways–I hate to say it–[Planet Fitness] single handedly helped the industry maybe do a better job of what they do,” Rondeau said. “We forced the industry to think smarter about the business and about making more people healthier, running their stores better. What we do at Planet is really about the best interest of the customer. Unfortunately, the industry, years ago, just really wasn’t about that. Bad cancellation policies and maybe not ethical marketing practices – so on and so forth. I think the industry has stepped it up to become more of a respected industry in recent years, and I hope we continue to do that. ”

Read the original article on Club Industry.

The Planet Fitness IPO Launched Aug. 6

Today, with the opening of the New York Stock Exchange, the Planet Fitness IPO took place and their stock began to trade under the ticker symbol PLNT. The IPO was estimated to raise $216 million for Planet Fitness.

View the original article (and footage from ringing the bell) on Club Industry

Planet Fitness Exploring Options for Company’s Future in New Hampshire Following Veto

A bill driven by Planet Fitness’ request to change a provision in New Hampshire’s tax law was vetoed by Governor Maggie Hassan on Monday.

Planet Fitness, which has filed for an initial public offering (IPO), has threatened to move its Newington-based headquarters out of state if the law is not changed.

“Like many others, I am disturbed by the process that brought this bill to my desk,” Hassan said in a statement. “It was passed at the last moment, with no public hearing before the vote.”

Hassan said she remained open to similar legislation as part of negotiations with lawmakers to end the state’s impasse over the state’s budget. Hassan vetoed an $11.3 billion state spending plan in June over reductions in the state’s two largest business taxes. The impasse is expected to linger into the fall, according to the Union Leader.

Planet Fitness said it is “disappointed” in the veto but is “hopeful” Hassan and state lawmakers can work together to resolve the state’s budget that incorporates the substance of House Bill 550 in the coming weeks.

“As a company founded in New Hampshire more than 23 years ago, we would like to stay in New Hampshire, which is why we are committed to this issue and urge both sides to continue to make changes to this law a priority for business and job growth in the state,” Planet Fitness Director of Public Relations McCall Gosselin said in a statement. “That said, as our state leaders work to pass a comprehensive budget, we are working with our advisors and board of directors to explore all options regarding the company’s future in the state.”

Hassan, in her statement, expressed concerns about how the tax cut would affect New Hampshire’s current budget and future budgets without addressing how the state would pay for it. Hassan said she hopes legislative leaders will return to the table and negotiate in good faith a compromise for the state budgets.

“In the meantime, however, we cannot continue to enact business tax reductions without transparently and honestly paying for them in budget,” Hassan said. “For this reason, I have vetoed HB 550.”

Planet Fitness lobbied lawmakers to change the step-up provision in the state’s business profits tax beginning in May, four weeks before filing for its IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau and former New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson, a former Planet Fitness board member and current franchisee, supported an amendment to change the existing law in front of the Senate Finance Committee on May 28.

Under current law, a New Hampshire company is required to pay the state’s 8.5 percent business profits tax on its increase in value. Democratic Senator Dan Feltes has said the change proposed in House Bill 550 would cost New Hampshire $8 million in revenue.

The bill made its way through the legislative process in June. The Senate approved the bill on a party-line 14-10 vote on June 4, a negotiating committee approved the bill without Democratic support on June 17 and the House sent the bill to Hassan’s desk with a 202-145 vote.

The language in the vetoed bill would have given New Hampshire businesses two options on when to pay the business profits tax in the event of a sale or exchange. A company could declare its increase in value in its tax returns, pay the tax and be allowed a future deduction based on the company’s increase in value. If the company decided not to declare its increase in value on tax returns, the future deductions would not apply.

The chance of overriding Hassan’s veto may be slim since all of the votes passed strictly on party lines and the Republicans do not have a two-thirds majority in either the House or the Senate.

Planet Fitness, which ranked No. 7 on Club Industry’s Top 100 Clubs list in 2014, reported $279.8 million in total revenue for 2014. It operated 976 clubs as of March 31 and has 154 employees at its Newington headquarters, according to its IPO registration statement.

Planet Fitness’ IPO date, number of shares to be offered and the price per share have yet to be determined.

Read the original article on Club Industry.