Gold’s Gym Acquires 17 Fitness First Facilities

« News |

June 25, 2013 – Last week, Texas-based Gold’s Gym International acquired all but one of the 18 fitness facilities owned by Fitness First in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. region. According to the news outlet Club Industry, the acquisition price was in the $30 to $40 million range, and the deal will be closed by the end of this week.
“We love the clubs because of the distribution in the D.C. area in relation to our current clubs,” Gold’s Gym CEO and president Jim Snow told Club Industry. “…It takes us to 50 clubs, both corporate and franchise, in that DC market, giving us a strong, clear competitive advantage, so this is a really nice acquisition from that perspective.”
Fitness First will continue to own and operate one club, in Bethesda, MD, because of the structure of the lease with that club’s landlord. The owner of Fitness First, Peter Harvey, told Club Industry that he was ready for a change. “I think it was a great opportunity for all sides,” he said. “It was great for me, personally, and I think it’s a great move for Gold’s.”
Hugh McEvoy, Director of Sales and Operations for EZFacility, a gym management software provider in Bethpage, NY, noted that the move seems beneficial for all involved parties, including Gold’s, Fitness First, and the members of both clubs. “Any change on this scale is going to involve a lot of transition,” he said, “but it sounds as if the customer’s concerns are a high priority in this deal, and the change is sure to be a positive one. It’s always significant,” he added, “when a major gym chain grows in such a way.”
The Fitness First clubs acquired by Gold’s will be rebranded under the Gold’s Gym name over the next six months. Gold’s will honor all current Fitness First memberships and will offer former Fitness First members access to additional Gold’s Gyms. Also, current Gold’s Gym members will be offered options granting them access to former Fitness First clubs.
Last year, Gold’s Gym made another big acquisition, taking on 11 San Antonio-area Spectrum Athletic Clubs. In total, the company has about 100 corporate-owned clubs and 675 franchised clubs.