WILBRAHAM, MA -- Multinational Brands, Wilbraham, MA, is launching a new franchise called Muscle Beach, which encompasses tanning salons, massage studios, sports beverage bars, sandwich shops, a sports nutrition center, fitness equipment stores and fitness clubs, according to founder Daniel Tschirret, who started up Fitness Forum in Worcester, MA, and Chic Physique in Brookline, MA, in the 1980s.

The Muscle Beach brand is structured as a dealership, rather than a franchise. In an e-mail to Club Industry’s Fitness Business Pro, Tschirret says that Muscle Beach is combining the success of the Gold’s Gym licensing model with the added support of franchising but without the heavy-handed regulation, which will result in lower capital investment, shorter-term contracts, lower fees and fewer fees. He says it will also require less costly décor and equipment.

Tschirret says he’s been contacted by several people interested in the brand.

“Of those who have responded to our initial marketing campaign, some have been franchisees of other brands who have expressed interest in joining us upon the expiration of their contracts,” he says. The company also has several letters of intent from independents.

“Based on a steady flow of respondents, verbal commitments and letters of intent, we realistically expect to have as many as 10 units in operation, both domestically and internationally, by the end of the year,” he said. “With personal training studios and compact fitness centers representing just two of our 23 different operating formats, we’re confident that by 2015 we can achieve the number of units necessary to make us No. 1 worldwide in fitness.”

Because none of the agreements have been signed, Tschirret could not reveal which companies and individuals had expressed interest in converting or opening under the brand.

Tschirret does not intend to open corporate facilities, saying, “We are not in the business of owning fitness businesses. Our primary focus is on assisting those who either currently own or would like to own their own fitness business, and who would like to do so under the umbrella of our legendary and prestigious brand.”

The company is interviewing single-unit and multi-unit operators, as well as area and master developers on an international basis.