San Francisco has 16 gyms and wellness facilities per square mile — more than any other US city. It shows where millennials spend their money.

San Francisco has no shortage of places to work out.

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San Francisco has no shortage of places to work out.
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Shutterstock/Michael Vi

San Franciscans sure love their gyms.

The California city has more than 16 gyms and other wellness businesses per square mile, according to the 2020 Wellness Index released by Mindbody, a wellness technology platform.

Mindbody surveyed 20,000 adults in the 50 most populous US cities on their fitness and wellness habits, and also looked at data from the US Census and business listing services. The report ranked San Francisco the third-healthiest city in the US, largely thanks to its residents’ dedication to wellness businesses, which encompasses gyms and fitness studios, salons, spas, and integrative health businesses.

In addition to its whopping 16.2 wellness businesses per square mile, San Francisco has the highest percentage of people who frequent multiple types of these businesses of any top 50 city, according to the report.

The luxury gym chain Equinox has four locations in the City by the Bay. There are countless yoga studios, four Barry’s Bootcamps, three SoulCycle studios, three OrangeTheory Fitness centers, six Fitness SF locations – the list goes on. San Franciscans love dance fitness in particular, with more than 27% of residents attending classes like Pound or Zumba, according to Mindbody’s report.

Wealthy millennials would rather spend their money on boutique fitness classes than traditional brick-and-mortar shopping.

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Wealthy millennials would rather spend their money on boutique fitness classes than traditional brick-and-mortar shopping.
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Business Insider

San Francisco also has plenty of wellness-oriented businesses such as The Assembly, a women’s wellness club where members pay $2,700 a year to work, socialize, and get Reiki healings in a century-old church.

But while its gyms and other wellness facilities thrive, many of San Francisco’s traditional retailers are closing up shop as more and more people choose to shop online.

“It’s really representative of a cultural shift,” Matt Holmes, principal of brokerage Retail West, which works with fitness tenants, told The San Francisco Chronicle last year. “The millennials, for all their disdain for regular retail, they all go eat and work out like crazy. It’s all about community.”

Indeed, millennials have been called “the wellness generation,” and they don’t hesitate to shell out on pricey gym memberships and boutique fitness classes, Business Insider’s Hillary Hoffower reported.

Millennials have been dubbed

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Millennials have been dubbed “the wellness generation.”
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PeopleImages/Getty Images

And fitness brands are becoming increasingly entrenched in every aspect of their customers’ lives, as Business Insider’s Bethany Biron recently reported. Indoor cycling company SoulCycle has started offering wellness retreats, and luxury gym Equinox is expanding into travel with $6,000 hiking trips to Morocco and a $2,000 running trip through Italy.

“These fitness brands have become a gathering place – both a community gathering place and a social gathering place,” Josh Ginsberg, CEO and co-founder of Zignal Labs, told Biron.

Hanging out at these gathering places doesn’t come cheap. An Equinox membership in San Francisco starts at $240 a month, and a single SoulCycle class is $35.

But many San Francisco residents can afford pricey fitness classes and memberships. The Bay Area is home to more wealthy people than any other of the most populous metro areas in the US, according to the US Census. The median household income in San Francisco is $107,898 – about 74% more than the national median household income of $61,937.

And many of these affluent individuals are relatively young. About half of all millennial millionaires live in California.

As long as its wealthy residents keep shunning brick-and-mortar retail but shelling out on boutique fitness classes and luxury gym memberships, it looks like more and more of San Francisco’s storefronts may turn into luxury gyms.