Planet Fitness CEO says gym visits are holding up against the omicron variant

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Planet Fitness is seeing gym visits and membership growth hold up against the Covid omicron variant, according to the chain’s chief executive officer, Chris Rondeau.

“Before there was a vaccine, we did see a pullback on joins and workouts and cancellation spiking,” Rondeau said in an interview Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“During the delta variant and omicron, we’re not seeing that pullback. … We’re not seeing members slowing to come in. We’re not seeing joins slowing. We’re not seeing cancelations rising,” the CEO said.

Rondeau said that instead people walking into Planet Fitness’ gyms are working out more than they have in the past. Members feel more comfortable with the health and safety protocols put in place at fitness centers and are prioritizing fitness in their lives, he added.

U.S. gym visits for the month of October were down just 8% from 2019 pre-pandemic levels, according to tracking data from investment firm Jefferies. That’s ahead of an expected surge in sign-ups and visits that typically comes around the first of the year as consumers commit to healthy resolutions.

“We saw some great, great momentum last year — we saw second- and third-quarter growth that we had never seen before,” Rondeau said. “Member workouts are just slightly down from 2019.”

Planet Fitness shares rose about 17% in 2021. Peloton, meantime, dropped 76%.

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