IRVING, TX -- Last year, Keith Albright, senior vice president of franchising at Gold’s Gym International, said the company planned to open about a half dozen Gold’s Gyms in Hawaii over the next few years. Those plans will not include the last remaining Gold’s Gym in Hawaii, which will close on Aug. 31.

Dave Reiseman, director of communications for Gold’s Gym, says the closing club in Honolulu is an older, corporate-owned facility.

“We are constantly working to upgrade our portfolio, and this didn’t meet the standards we’ve set for ourselves or our members,” says Reiseman, who adds that Gold’s plans to come back to the Hawaii market “in a bigger way.”

The 1,500 members at the Gold’s Gym in Honolulu will be transferred to nearby Powerhouse, a comparable-size gym that opened in July 2007 that currently has about 2,000 members, according to media reports.

The news of the closing of the lone remaining Hawaii Gold’s came at the same time the company made several announcements that outlined the company’s strategic move to grow the company with new locations in the United States and worldwide.

Gold’s hired Marc Eisman as director of franchise development and support, Asia-Pacific. Eisman will be responsible for developing Gold’s Gym franchise opportunities in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Eisman, who will report to Albright, is a licensed chiropractor and formerly a Gold’s Gym franchisee who introduced the brand in Australia and the South Pacific 11 years ago.

Gold’s also has hired Durham, N.C.-based advertising agency McKinney to handle the company’s advertising and marketing communications. McKinney succeeds independent Riester in Phoenix, which handled Gold’s for about three years, according to a report in Adweek.

Adweek estimated that billings on the Gold’s Gym account would amount to $15 million a year. Major ad spending on Gold’s totaled nearly $4 million last year and $2 million through May 2008, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“[Gold’s Gym] is the No. 1 gym brand in the world,” McKinney CEO Brad Brinegar said in the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer. “We think it’s a terrific opportunity.”

Lisa Zoellner, chief marketing officer for Gold’s Gym, told the News & Observer that McKinney “appreciated the great heritage of the brand but also understood we need to move it forward—and put together a plan to do it.”

The process of McKinney’s hiring, first announced at the Gold’s Gym convention last month in Las Vegas, was hailed as a success by both the corporate office and Gold’s Gym franchisees. McKinney will focus the theme of the advertising campaign, scheduled to debut this fall, on the commitment of Gold’s Gym, from its franchisees to their staff to their members.

Gold’s also announced the hiring of MWW Group as its public relations agency. MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J., will develop and implement a national communications program for Gold’s, including media relations, internal communications, event marketing, partnership development and franchise support. Fishman Public Relations, Deerfield, IL, will continue to perform public relations for Gold’s Gym related to the company’s franchising efforts, a Fishman account executive said.

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