New Planet Fitness Members Won't Get That Sweet $10 Deal

Starting this summer, gym chain will charge $15 per month, its first price increase since 1998
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2024 10:00 AM CDT
New Planet Fitness Members Won't Get That Sweet $10 Deal
The Planet Fitness logo is seen March 14 in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

It seems odd, if not outright remarkable, that Planet Fitness hasn't raised its basic membership cost since the year Bill Clinton was impeached, but that low, low fee is about to vanish. CNN reports that, starting this summer, the fee for a "Classic" monthly membership at the gym chain, which allows users to frequent one Planet Fitness location only, will rise from $10 to $15 for new members, its first price increase for the plan since 1998. The cost for a monthly "Black Card," which permits gymgoers to head to multiple locations and offers other perks, remains $25, though company bigwigs say they may soon try out other pricing models for that type of membership.

Planet Fitness says already existing "Classic" members will keep forking over $10 a month "for the duration of their membership," per CNBC, which notes the price hike came after months of price testing in multiple markets around the US. It's not clear why the chain picked now to boost the price tag, though CNN notes that new gym openings have stalled due to current inflated construction costs and interest rates. Planet Fitness is considered a "no-frills" type of gym, without little extras like towels in the locker rooms, and "higher costs threaten its business model—known in the fitness industry as high volume, low price, or 'HVLP'—more so than luxury gyms," per CNN.

The news outlet points out that the $10 fee "was right in the sweet spot: cheap enough to draw people to Planet Fitness who want to get in shape and, equally as important, not so expensive that they will cancel if they don't go often." Still, Planet Fitness management doesn't seem concerned they'll see a mass exodus due to the 50% price jump, as the change will affect new members only, per TheStreet. "It is not going to come as a shock to anybody that we are moving a price that's been in effect for a long, long time," says Craig Benson, the onetime New Hampshire governor who's now the company's interim CEO. (More Planet Fitness stories.)

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