The concentration of growth for the next wave of Goldâ€™s Gyms will be in Texas and Oklahoma.
Goldâ€™s expects to have more than 100 Express clubs by the end of this year. The first two clubs are under construction in Victoria, TX, and Brownsville, TX. Another eight Express clubs are under letter of intent or in lease in Texas and Oklahoma, all within range of Goldâ€™s headquarters in Irving, TX.
Although Goldâ€™s hinted late last year that it was working on a low-price model similar to Planet Fitness, the Crunch franchise clubs, ZX Fitness and Equinoxâ€™s Blink clubs, the company made it official in March.
â€śThe new Goldâ€™s Gym Express will allow us to expand the Goldâ€™s Gym brand in ways not possible before,â€ť said Jim Snow, president of GGI. â€śIt will provide Goldâ€™s Gym International and our new and existing franchisees with another option to grow. From city centers to small towns, this concept is nimble enough to thrive in any setting, and the incredible value combined with Goldâ€™s Gym expertise will help us attract more members than ever.â€ť
Membership dues for the Goldâ€™s Gym Express clubs are expected to start at $9.99 a month and go up to $19.99 for an upgraded membership. The clubs will be between 10,000 and 25,000 square feet, smaller than a typical Goldâ€™s club. The lower cost structure, according to GGI, will allow expansion into rural and urban areas that might not otherwise support a full-amenity Goldâ€™s Gym.
Opening new concept clubs near company headquarters is not uncommon in the industry. The first Crunch franchise clubs last year opened on the West Coast, more specifically, in the San Francisco Bay Area, not far from the Lafayette, CA, headquarters of parent company New Evolution Ventures. Likewise, New York-based Equinox opened its first three Blink clubs in the New York City area.
In addition to the Goldâ€™s Gym Express model, GGI also announced the formation of a new financing arm called Goldâ€™s Gym Capital, created to help existing and future franchisees secure financing for both Goldâ€™s Gym Express and full-amenity Goldâ€™s clubs.
Chuck Lemar joined the company as senior vice president of Goldâ€™s Gym Capital. Lemar spent more than 10 years at Cybex International, Medway, MA, most recently as a senior vice president at Cybex and president of Cybex Capital.
In Oklahoma City, GGI has plans to open two new clubs in addition to the two Aspen Athletic Clubs it acquired in that market. The new clubs are expected to have a soft open this spring and a grand opening in June.
â€śWe are bullish on the Oklahoma City market and see this as the first of many moves we plan to make long term,â€ť Snow said.
As part of the move to Oklahoma City, Goldâ€™s has reached a partnership with Mayor Mick Cornett to join the This City Is Going on a Diet campaign to improve the cityâ€™s physical fitness levels and help the city lose a combined one million pounds.
â€śOur goal is to help make Oklahoma City one of the healthiest cities in the United States, and we look forward to working with residents, partners and the mayorâ€™s office to make it happen,â€ť Snow said.