As the fitness industry continues to fracture along divides of pricing, programming, and scale, there seems to be an effort among the new independents to re-invent core mandates, ideology if you will, and focus on those attributes which birthed the industry, that being - the benefits of fitness, wellness and health.
The precipitator of this phenomena is the rhetoric surrounding the gym chains (both low and mid price point) who make their "bank" as a factor of those members who don't participate in the facility's offerings.
Shrewd independent developers will see this model as an opportunity to shift their marketing platforms away from "price-centric" to "health and wellness" and provide prospects with evidence that "the chains are there to generate profit at all costs, including their failure at obtaining health and wellness".
The new independent facility's seem to be capitalizing on this concept and developing comprehensive marketing platforms tying brand identity, programming, design, equipment, and amenities to marketing campaigns based on fitness results rather than price.
In summary, The Rise of the Independent Gym is merely an idea whose time has come...."they'll be back"
Learn more about the design and branding element of this effort at:
Independent Success Model: Source Fitness