July 27, 2010 // Franchising.com // DALLAS – After three days of powerful and unifying events, the Gold's Gym global family heads home from a historic convention in Las Vegas. By all accounts, the company's executive leadership, franchisees, ownership group, employees and partners are as energized as ever to carry on the company's rich tradition as the world's leading authority on health and fitness.
"There's an undeniable energy and spirit enveloping the brand that everyone in attendance is carrying back home with them," said Jim Snow, president of Gold's Gym International (GGI). "As we honor our 45-year heritage, the knowledge-sharing, innovations and camaraderie all came together beautifully during the convention, and we're heading home as tight as we've been as a Gold's Gym family."
More than 1,000 Gold's Gym owners, master franchisees, corporate executives, managers, staff and vendors representing more than 700 clubs in 43 states and 28 nations gathered at the Mandalay Bay for three days and nights to share business strategy and shed light on the fitness brand's immediate and long-term future. GGI and the Gold's Gym Franchise Association (GGFA) collaborated on the convention's seminar sessions and informational forums, keying the curriculum on membership sales and marketing.
"Undoubtedly, this convention goes down as one of the most powerful in recent memory for our company. The collaborative effort among GGI and GGFA resulted in a convention which will have long-lasting benefits for our business," said Mike Epstein, president of the GGFA and owner of Gold's Gym Paramus (N.J.). "There is a positive vibe we all feel and we're committed to working together to keep our brand at the top of the industry."
The talented collection of individuals on hand benefiting from the convention's offerings included a record number of representatives from the brand's international clubs. The topic of Gold's Gym's growing global presence, now at 180-plus facilities and 200 more in the development pipeline, was pervasive throughout the convention, including Snow's "Big Picture" forum. Additionally during this session, new technology advancements and analytical tools were introduced, and Epstein discussed the organization's ongoing support programs for Gold's Gym franchisees.
At the convention's annual Awards Dinner, Gold's Gym honored more than 25 well-deserved franchisee winners. Among the most notable (a full list is available upon request):
In addition, for the first time in the brand's 45 year history, Gold's Gym inducted two members into its newly created Hall of Fame. Company founder Joe Gold and Jerry McCall, a longtime influential figure in the Gold's Gym family who became a franchisee in 1981 in the San Jose, Calif. market, are the inaugural Hall of Fame honorees.
Gold's Gym also paid tribute to a select group of its gym members who have overcome some of life's most difficult obstacles to lose weight, get in shape or achieve remarkable personal gains. Those on hand voted for the annual Gold's Gym Know Your Own Strength ™ "Most Inspirational Member" award, crowning Jennifer Heideman, a member at Gold' Gym Peterborough (Ontario, Canada) with the title. Defying the odds, Heideman's success story includes surviving a childhood filled with alcohol and drug abuse, and eventually obesity as an adult and parent, to lose more than 130 pounds. Now a fit 135 pounds, she's actively competing in physique competitions.
"Everyone in the ballroom was touched," said Snow. "While we don't need to be reminded about the importance of personal health, seeing the members on stage and hearing their stories of triumph was an emotional charge that you couldn't help but feel."
Troy Hazard, renowned entrepreneurial expert and author of The Naked Entrepreneur: A Millionaire's Journey from Fear to True Wealth, delivered the convention's keynote speech. He hit on several timely business topics and offered strategic and tactical guidance for Gold's Gym owners and management to take back and implement in their own businesses.
Attendees also return to their gyms informed of several important product and service introductions announced at the convention, including:
More details on these exciting initiatives will be made public in the days ahead.
Established in Venice, Calif. in 1965, Gold's Gym is the largest full service gym chain in the world with more than 700 locations in 43 states and 28 countries. Gold's Gym offers the latest equipment and services, including group exercise, personal training, cardiovascular equipment, group cycle, Pilates and yoga. With nearly 3.5 million members worldwide, Gold's Gym helps all kinds of people achieve their individual potential through fitness.