CULPEPER, VA -- Gold’s Gym franchisee Eddie Dail, who in July won the Visionary Award and the Bravo Award at the Gold’s Gym convention in Las Vegas, died of a heart attack last Friday. He was 44.

Dail owned 12 Gold’s Gyms between Virginia and Wisconsin and had plans to open 10 to 15 more clubs in the next two years.

According to a report in the Culpeper (VA) Star-Exponent, Dail had just returned from a business trip in Boston and was sleeping in a hotel near Washington Dulles International Airport when he died. He had planned to return to his Culpeper home in the morning.

The Visionary Award was presented to Dail by Gold’s Gym International, Irving, TX. The Bravo Award was presented by the Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association. Both are among the most prestigious awards given annually to the company’s franchisees.

Dail, who opened his first Gold’s Gym 19 years ago, served on four Gold’s Gym Franchise Association committees and the D.C. Alliance, a group of Gold’s Gym owners in the Washington, DC, market that provides ongoing support to local gyms. One Gold’s franchisee told the newspaper that Dail “bled black and gold,” which are Gold’s colors.

Upon receiving the Visionary Award, Dail said, “I am thrilled to be recognized as one of the leading gym owners within the Gold’s Gym family. There are so many strong Gold’s Gym owners and I am thankful to many of them for helping me grow my business over the years. Without the support of others, I could not be where I am today.”

Dail, who had had two heart attacks earlier in the decade, is survived by his wife of six years, Rebecca, their son, Dylan, 3, and a daughter, Ashley, 17.

In a statement, Gold’s Gym International President and CEO James Weaver said: “Eddie Dail was one of the true visionaries of the Gold’s Gym brand, and he will be dearly missed. In addition to his incredible work as a multi-club operator, Eddie was a selfless person who always took time to help his fellow gym owners throughout the years. He was a devoted friend to many and gave an incredible amount of his time and energy in an effort to better the future of everyone in the Gold’s Gym family. The entire Gold’s Gym brand owes Eddie a debt of gratitude. He was one of the pioneers of our brand, and his work will have a lasting legacy on Gold’s Gym for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Eddie’s family, including his wife and children.”