Irving, TX — The bond between Gold's Gym International and its franchisees appears to be strengthening after several years of what some in the franchisee group would call a strained relationship.

Gold's Gym and the Gold's Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA) announced last month that they have formed a task force to create a group purchasing program that will replace the current national vendor program. Both organizations also are working together to plan and host the 2009 Gold's Gym Convention this summer in Las Vegas.

“Unifying these efforts makes Gold's Gym better prepared to maintain its position as the world's leading authority on health and fitness,” James Weaver, president and CEO of Gold's Gym International, said in a statement released by the company. “Working together ensures that we incorporate the viewpoints of all Gold's Gym stakeholders for these important programs.”

Weaver became CEO of Gold's Gym last fall.

The task force will consider how procurement processes and systems should function. The task force also will lay out the purchasing arm's organizational structure and will make personnel decisions.

GGFA President Blair McHaney said the purchasing program creates a market advantage for all Gold's Gym operators.

Gold's Gym and the GGFA will share authority, costs and revenues generated through the convention.

“The fitness industry is highly competitive. By working together, we are helping protect our futures,” McHaney said in a company statement. “Gold's Gym has been a leader in health and fitness for more than 40 years, and our new initiatives strengthen our position in the industry.”