LA Fitness, a privately-owned American health club chain, was formed in Southern California in 1984. Throughout the mid-1990s, LA Fitness grew its club portfolio both by acquiring and turning around existing clubs and by developing venues for new construction and then opening and operating them.
In 1995, LA Fitness designed and built a new multipurpose sports and fitness club that became the company’s signature model. This prototypical design started with the strength and cardio equipment, free weights and group exercise room that are found in most fitness centers and added a swimming pool and court sports to expand the available workout options. In 1998, with 12 prototype clubs in Southern California and Arizona completed, the company rapidly increased the rate of new club development and began rolling out the concept to several other geographic regions across the United States. These included the Sun Belt, the Pacific Northwest, the Mid-Atlantic states, the Northeast and the upper Midwest. This expansion involved adding over 180 new clubs to the chain from 2006 to 2009.
LA Fitness has received considerable criticism over its cancellation policies, which require all cancellations to be done via postal mail. Such cancellations are often misplaced and credit cards then continue to be billed. Even in cases when cancellation has been confirmed via return mail, customers have reported that such billing has continued.