No end to finish line as Viva Leisure expands in Victoria

John Thistleton23 January 2021
Harry Konstantinou

Viva Leisure Chief Executive and Managing Director, Harry Konstantinou, at the helm of Canberra’s growing success story. Photo: Supplied.

Viva Leisure, Canberra’s health club success story, is continuing its national expansion, acquiring six Victorian health clubs for more than $6 million.

The latest move will add a minimum of 6,500 members and strengthen Viva Leisure’s presence in Victoria from eight to 14 locations. Viva Leisure’s Chief Executive and Managing Director Harry Konstantinou said acquiring Pinnacle health clubs continues to cement Viva’s position as the leading and probably fastest-growing health club owner and operator in the Australian market.

Viva Leisure’s interest in Pinnacle was sparked by the Melbourne-based operation’s strong network of clubs. With facilities in the Melbourne suburbs of Caribbean Park, Mulgrave, Oakleigh, Parkdale, Scoresby and Upwey, the clubs are well-placed to strategically reach a loyal network of Melbourne-based members.

The acquisition will double Viva Leisure’s Victorian metropolitan presence. Pinnacle health clubs present a harmonious alignment with Viva’s existing portfolio of brands and provide attractive membership options which could be rolled out through the rest of the Viva Leisure network.

In the short term, Mr Konstantinou said Pinnacle’s clubs would be re-branded to Club Lime. “Further changes will occur in the next 12 months as we get a better understanding of the business,” he said.

Viva Leisure has adapted to the COVID-19 regime, encouraging and reiterating to members the benefits of staying active physically and mentally.

“It’s been said that health clubs should close as part of COVID, as if they are part of the problem,” Mr Konstantinou said. “But when you think about it, fitness is part of the COVID solution. It is not part of the problem. Staying active during this time, with regular exercise, is good for both mental and physical health,” he said.

Exercising in gym

Pinnacle’s clubs will be re-branded to Club Lime in the short term. Photo: Supplied.

He said good operators pre-COVID-19 are still doing well, and operators that were possibly struggling pre-COVID are the ones that are struggling to bounce back.

“We are lucky. Our clubs and studios across the country are doing extremely well; however, understand, the industry has suffered, with many fitness clubs closing their doors,” he said.

While acquisitions have bolstered Viva Leisure’s rapid rise, excellent organic growth has played a significant role as well.

“We grew past 100,000 members in late November, and we expect to provide a membership update over the next few weeks to the market,” Mr Konstantinou said.

“Health clubs are about providing an experience,” he said, explaining Viva Leisure’s popularity with members.

“Our competing product is free. You can run around the oval for free. However, members prefer to run on our treadmills, interact with other like-minded people, socialise and escape for the length of the workout.

“Our new marketing campaign is around fitness as a lifestyle. There is no end or finish line. It is about continual improvement, and enjoyment, this could not be truer than in the current climate. Those who train understand the benefits of it, both short and long term, and therefore it becomes a key part of their lifestyle, and they become members for life.”

The purchase of Pinnacle clubs is expected to be completed within the next 60 days for between $6.05 million and $6.25 million depending on various completion conditions.

Original Article published by John Thistleton on The RiotACT.

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