"We saw an opportunity to lead this sport and we took it"
CHANHASSEN, Minn., Oct. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As pickleball participation continues its explosive growth, so too have the number of permanent pickleball courts at Life Time (NYSE: LTH), the nation's premier healthy lifestyle brand. In fact, no other organization in America can say it owns and operates more permanent pickleball courts – now surpassing 350 across its locations with plans to top 600 by the end of 2023.
According to Max Ade, founder of Pickleheads,"Life Time operates more dedicated pickleball courts than any other brand in the United States. We don't see anyone who comes close."
Since August of 2021, Life Time has built indoor and outdoor pickleball courts at a rate of five new permanent courts each week from coast to coast, many with viewing areas, stadium seating, social lounges and more.
"If you had told me a year ago that I would be spending so much time playing, thinking about, and talking about this sport, I would have cheerfully challenged you. But now I'm obsessed," says Bahram Akradi, Founder, Chairman and CEO. "With the existing footprint of our athletic country clubs and incredible coaches and pros, we saw the opportunity to lead this sport and we took it. We will be not just the biggest provider of pickleball but also the best."
Anticipating and meeting the demand
The demand for pickleball courts has never been higher. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, nearly 5 million Americans now call themselves pickleball players. That's almost double the number compared to just five years ago. To meet the growing demand for court space, Life Time is offering pickleball classes, instruction, open court time, leagues, mixers and tournaments for every age and every level.
"Within our healthy way of life ecosystem, we consider pickleball another amazing growth opportunity," said Akradi. "We've seen total monthly participation at our clubs grow from approximately 16,000 to more than 70,000 in just the past nine months. Someday soon I believe that pickleball will be the sport that gets the largest number of people moving for fun, connection, competition, and the simple love of the game. And at Life Time, you can travel the country for a game at any of our destinations as part of your membership."
Other racquet sports
In addition to pickleball, Life Time is also the largest operator of indoor tennis courts. With nearly 300 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and dozens of squash courts, Life Time is a top destination for multiple national tournaments annually. Under the leadership of Ajay Pant, one of only a handful of Master Professionals in the world and past recipient of the prestigious Alex Gordon Tennis Professional of the Year Award, the company provides the best facilities, professionals, leagues, and programming, including Play Learn Love® for adults and SMART for juniors.
About Life Time®
Life Time (NYSE: LTH) empowers people to live healthy, happy lives through its portfolio of nearly 160 athletic country clubs across the United States and Canada. The company's healthy way of life communities and ecosystem address all aspects of healthy living, healthy aging, and healthy entertainment for people 90 days to 90+ years old. Supported by a team of more than 30,000 dedicated professionals, Life Time is committed to providing the best programs and experiences through its clubs, iconic athletic events, and comprehensive digital platform.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities regulations, including with respect to plans to build pickleball courts and grow services. Generally, statements that are not historical facts, including statements concerning the Company's possible or assumed future actions, business strategies, events or results of operations, are forward-looking statements. These statements may be preceded by, followed by or include the words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "estimate" or similar expressions. In addition, any statements or information that refer to expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, performance or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Additional information concerning these factors is discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on March 10, 2022 (File No. 001-40887), as such factors may be updated from time to time in the Company's other filings with the SEC, which are accessible on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statement that the Company makes in this press release speaks only as of the date of such statement. Except as required by law, the Company does not have any obligation to update or revise, or to publicly announce any update or revision to, any of the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Life Time, Inc.