Thars Gold's in Them Thar Hills!

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I had a good chat with Joel Tallman of Gold's Gym about the company's recent signing of a master franchise agreement that could become the largest in the company's history.

The recent Gold's agreement calls for expansion of the brand into four Arab Gulf states—the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar and Bahrain—with more countries potentially in the fold. A total of 92 clubs in all could be under the direction of the Al Ahli Holding Group, based in the UAE.

Tallman has a rather long title, so here goes: senior vice president of franchising and global operations. He spoke about the deal and about international clubs in general for a feature we're working on for our June issue. For all the changes at Gold's Gym in recent years, Tallman has weathered the storms. He's remained with the company for the past 10 years.

Two caveats: One, expect to see more announcements from Gold's about further global expansion (if there are any countries left). Two, rather than making Jim Snow, who came aboard last fall, as Gold's new CEO (as James Weaver and David Schnabel were before him), Snow is simply president of Gold's. The CEO title now belongs to James Caldwell, president of Gold's parent company, TRT Holdings.

Interesting. I guess we won't expect a change in Gold's CEOs any time soon.

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