It appears Gold's Gym International, Dallas, is putting the expansion of its Gold's Gym Express model on hold. The Express gyms, with memberships as low as $9.99 a month, were introduced in 2011, representing the company's venture into the high-volume, low-price sector of the industry.
According to the Gold's Gym Express website, Gold's has 18 Express gyms in seven states: Texas (seven), Oklahoma (four); Illinois (two); Utah (two); Colorado (one), Missouri (one) and Ohio (one). The last known announcement of a new Gold's Gym Express was last July for its Columbia, MO, location.
David Reiseman, vice president of communications at Gold's Gym, tells Club Industry that the company is focused more on opportunities for its full-service gyms.
"We developed our first round of Express gyms in a variety of market situations to intentionally test the concept in these differing markets," Reiseman says. "Our current plan is to let these clubs mature before fine-tuning the model."
In his year-end email to Gold's staff in December, Gold's Gym President Aaron Watkins said the company expects to exceed 750 locations worldwide this year with plans to open in new markets such as New Orleans and Cleveland. Watkins did not address, however, the state of the Gold's Gym Express model.
In other Gold's Gym news, Tim Keightley, who was promoted to executive vice president of operations at Gold's Gym International last July, is no longer with the company. Watkins announced the departure to Gold's staff members on Wednesday.
In a statement obtained by Club Industry, Watkins thanked Keightley for his contributions to the company and wished him well in the future. Watkins added that all departments will now report to David Fowler, who also serves as executive vice president of operations at Gold's.
Keightley was promoted from vice president of fitness as part of organizational changes at Gold's in the wake of the departures of CEO Jim Snow and COO Todd Scartozzi. In his latest role, Keightley oversaw day-to-day management of Gold's corporate field operations. He arrived at Gold's Gym in 2011 after serving executive roles at Les Mills International, Auckland, New Zealand; Town Sports International (TSI), New York; and Fitness First in the UK.
Gold's Gym also is in the process of searching for a new CFO after Watkins' promotion to president. Gold's joins TSI and Life Time Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, as major club companies searching for new CFOs this year.