Runyon, Mortensen, and Klinger founded Anytime Fitness in 2002. Eric Keller, a former employee of Southview Athletic Club was interested in their business concept and agreed to become the first franchise owner of Anytime Fitness. They provided Keller with support in choosing a site location, marketing strategies, equipment selection, and membership sales.
In 2010, the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association named Anytime Fitness the fastest growing fitness club. Franchise Chatter titled Anytime Fitness as the franchise with the best business model in 2011. The Star Tribune called Anytime Fitness one of Minnesota's top workplaces in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The company ranked first in Minnesota Business Magazine's best company to work for in 2012 and 2013. Forbes ranked the company 14th as America's most promising companies. In 2014, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Anytime Fitness number one on their franchise 500 list. In 2015 and 2016, Anytime Fitness was ranked first on the publication's top global franchises list.
Planet Fitness (PFIP LLC) is an American franchisor and operator of fitness centers based in Hampton, New Hampshire. The company reports that it has 1,742 clubs, making it one of the largest fitness club franchises by number of members and locations. There are locations across the United States as well as in other countries such as Canada, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Mexico. It markets itself as a "Judgment Free Zone" that caters to novice and casual gym users and is reported to be the nation’s fastest growing fitness center franchise.
In 1993, the Grondahl brothers hired Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness’ current CEO, to work the front desk. Rondeau and the Grondahls recognized that there was a greater opportunity to serve a much larger segment of the population if they changed the gym environment, both in attitude and format, by creating a non-intimidating, low-cost model. Planet Fitness then became known as the "Judgement Free Zone," aimed more at the average user than the bodybuilder type of fitness enthusiast. As early as March 2015, the "Judgement Free Zone" policy has been expanded to allow trans women to use the women's locker room. The policy states that "members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity."
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