Following Hilton Group plc`s announcement to establish its health club division as the first global health and fitness brand, LivingWell has acquired a chain of three health clubs in Australia. The clubs, formerly owned by The Christie Group, represent an A$10m (£3.8m) acquisition.
LivingWell managing director Stuart Broster comments: “Australia offers us a significant opportunity for further growth and development. Hilton`s established network of nine hotels on the continent is a fantastic platform, and although the Australian way of life is geared towards a healthy and fit lifestyle, we have identified a growing opportunity for a premium quality health club brand.”
The three acquired clubs have a combined membership of over 11,000. Two of the clubs are based in Sydney; one in the heart of the North Sydney business district, the other in the busy Castlehill Retail Park. The third club is in Brisbane city centre.
In the UK, LivingWell differentiates itself through state-of-the-art facilities, comprehensive staff training programmes and pioneering customer care and retention programmes.
The health club operator is also fast establishing itself as an innovator, with the recent introduction of Virtual Fitness, LivingWell`s truly unique fitness product, and The Sensory, a luxurious spa concept which aims to relax the body, soothe the soul and lift the spirits.
LivingWell Australia will now invest in the three Australian clubs to ensure that they reflect the LivingWell brand innovation and core club standards and features.
Patrick Fitzgibbon, who managed the acquisition in his role as vice president for international business development at LivingWell, said: “This is good news for employees at the clubs who will now gain all of the career opportunities and perks associated with working for the Hilton Group. It`s also great news for our health club members who will in turn receive the benefits and reciprocal rights associated with LivingWell.”
The doors of LivingWell`s first new Australian club at Hilton Melbourne Airport will open this March. This club will offer standard hotel model facilities including an air conditioned gym, 12 metre swimming pool, spa area including sauna, steam room and bubble pool.
A two-acre site acquired in Carindale, Brisbane is also currently under development. The LivingWell Carindale Premier is scheduled to open in September 2001 and will incorporate core Premier features such as The Sensory spa brand and the Caffè Cino food and beverage concept.
LivingWell is also currently identifying hotel health club opportunities in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa and the Americas. Current prospects exist in Bangkok, Prague, Paris and Colombo.