Internet search-engine giant Google has acquired the lease for the iconic Gold’s Gym in Venice, CA, considered the “Mecca” of bodybuilding.
Dave Reiseman, vice president of communications for Gold’s Gym International, Irving, TX, refuted a report by Los Angeles media outlet myFoxla.com that Google planned to transform the Gold’s Gym into a walled-in campus.
“The Mecca isn’t going anywhere,” Reiseman said in an email to Club Industry.
Jordan Newman, manager of corporate communications and public affairs for Google, told TV station NBCLA that Google has no plans to expand into Gold’s Gym’s space and that Google is working with Gold’s to extend its lease, which expires June 30, 2014.
Reiseman also referred to remarks made Tuesday by Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who also said that Google wants the Gold’s Gym to stay in its current location in Venice.
“Google America’s real estate group confirmed that Google has acquired the lease for a number of properties in the area near its Venice campus, including the property occupied by Gold’s Gym,” Rosendahl said in a statement.
Rosendahl added that Google is currently negotiating with TRT Holdings Inc., the parent company of Gold’s, and hopes to come to an agreement that will keep Gold’s Gym where it is for 10 more years.
“I anticipate Google and TRT Holdings will make their own public statements when negotiations conclude,” Rosendahl said. “But in the meantime, Gold’s Gym is staying put, in the heart of Venice, as a landmark, and as the world capital of bodybuilding.”
The original “Mecca” was founded by Joe Gold in 1965 in Venice Beach, CA. The “Mecca” moved to Santa Monica, CA, in 1976 before moving back to its current location in 1980.
The Gold’s Gym in Venice gained notoriety after being featured in the 1977 film “Pumping Iron” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno.