VENICE, CA — Gold's Gym has signed a master franchise agreement for their expansion into the Ecuador market, choosing Ian A. Rondon's company, Fitness Franchising, as its partner. Rondon's company holds the master franchising agreement for Puerto Rico and Central America as well.

“Ecuador fits into our company's long term strategy for developing gyms in Central America and the northern region of South America,” said Ian A. Rondon, President, Fitness Franchising. “The Gold's Gym brand will rule in Ecuador; we are very excited to be the company chosen to make this happen.”

According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), even during the last few months of 2001, the health club industry showed it resilience growing by 1.5 percent. A total of 869 new clubs opened during the past year worldwide.

Gold's Gym International grew from 555 gyms to 607 gyms during 2001 — representing more than a 9-percent increase. Gold's growth has continued to accelerate this year, adding another 26 more gyms during the first two months.

“Our alliance with Fitness Franchising will bring the leverage of the Gold's Gym brand to an area of South America that we wish to dominate,” said Ben Amante, senior vice president of franchising, Gold's Gym International. “Mr. Rondon's successful experience in the fitness industry and his team's strong operational skills will ensure that his company will roll out a successful franchise program in Ecuador.”

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