IRVING, TX -- Gold’s Gym International (GGI), Irving, TX, has made some key announcements since the company held its annual convention in July.

Earlier this month, Gold’s announced its new Gold’s Gym Global Vendor Program, designed to help Gold’s franchisees and vendor partners strengthen their businesses through large group purchases. The program will deliver vendors exclusive access to GGI’s network of franchisees, communication vehicles, franchisee training, and many other special events, including the company’s 45th anniversary celebration in 2010.

GGI and its ownership group also will be making a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment in new equipment and improvements for its 62 corporate-owned facilities.

“Even in these difficult economic times, by working together as a team, we can and will strengthen our leadership position in the fitness industry,” Gold’s CEO James Weaver said in a statement. “We are committed to our members, franchisees, vendors and associates to leverage our brand, strengthen our relationships, grow our business and change lives around the world.”

In a separate announcement, GGI signed a master franchise agreement to develop a minimum of 26 Gold’s Gyms in the Philippines. Earlier this year, Gold’s signed a 20-year contract extension covering the India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives markets.

At the Gold’s convention in Las Vegas, Gold’s franchisee Eddie Dail, who died of a heart attack last week, took home both the Visionary Award and the Bravo Award. Dail had been a partner in opening more Gold’s Gyms in the United State in the past 12 months than any other Gold’s franchisee, earning Dail the Visionary Award from GGI. He and his partners opened five Gold’s Gyms in Virginia and Wisconsin. Dail owned 12 Gold’s between the two states and had plans to open 10 to 15 more clubs in the next two years.

The Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association also honored Dail with its Bravo Award for making the most significant contribution to the Gold’s Gym brand and its franchisees during the year.

“Eddie has been selfless in so many ways during the past year,” Joel Tallman, senior vice president of franchising and global operations for GGI, said in a statement shortly after the convention. “He is constantly working with other owners to help them grow and improve their businesses. Plus, his gyms are model facilities for our entire system.”

Other awards presented by GGI at the convention included:

  • Best New U.S. Gym -- Grand Junction, CO
  • Best Revitalized U.S. Gym -- Richmond, VA (Arboretum)
  • Best Member Onboarding Process -- Colorado Springs, CO (Briargate)
  • Best Group Exercise Program -- Poughkeepsie, NY (LaGrange)
  • Best Personal Training Program -- Redmond, WA
  • Most Inspirational Member -- Mike O’Connell, Pawtucket, RI
  • Equipment Vendor of the Year -- Matrix Fitness Systems
  • Non-equipment Vendor of the Year -- Les Mills International
  • Product Licensee of the Year -- X-treme Activewear