Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur-Rank no. 192 – Gold’s Gym – US
Products & Services: Gym & fitness center
Number of Locations: 660
Total Investment: $1.02M – 3.96M
Began Franchising: 1980
About Gold’s Gym
Bodybuilders training outside on Muscle Beach were the first customers for the original Gold’s Gym when it opened in Venice, California, in 1965. With its intense, no-frills atmosphere, the gym soon became known as the “Mecca of Bodybuilding.” Arnold Schwarznegger’s movie “Pumping Iron” focused on Gold’s Gym, propelling it into the spotlight in 1975.
Gold’s Gym has been franchising since 1980, and franchises account for more than 90 percent of its locations. In addition to running the health club facilities, franchisees sell Gold’s Gym licensed apparel through their Pro Shops.
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units worldwide.
Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing
Total Investment: $1,033,000 – $3,957,000
Franchise Fee: $40,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 3%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable
Net Worth: $1,000,000
Liquid Cash Available: $400,000
30% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (70% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
How This Franchise Supports Franchisees
Training: Available at headquarters: 1 week. Advanced training & staffing training : 1 week.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Regional advertising,
Other marketing support: Marketing campaign & vendor program
Franchise Ranking History
Franchise 500®: #192 (2013), #192 (2012), #72 (2011), #109 (2010), #112 (2009),
America’s Top Global: #65 (2013), #150 (2012), #62 (2011), #89 (2010), #88 (2009),
Gold’s Gym International, Inc. is an American chain of international co-ed fitness centers (commonly referred to as “gyms”) originally started in California by Joe Gold. Each gym features a wide array of exercise equipment, group exercise classes and personal trainers to assist clients. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas.
The first Gold’s Gym opened in fall 1965 in Venice Beach, California. Dubbed “the Mecca of bodybuilding”, it was frequented by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dave Draper and featured in the 1977 movie Pumping Iron. The movie brought attention not only to the gym itself, but also to the world of bodybuilding and physique in general. Jim Morrison of The Doors was also a frequent visitor to the Gold’s Gym in Venice. To this day, it is considered a landmark in the bodybuilding subculture and has achieved cult status In 1970, Joe Gold sold the chain.
Today, Gold’s Gym claims to be the largest chain of mixed gender gyms in the world, with more than 700 locations in 42 states and 30 countries. Gold’s Gym has a membership of more than three and a half million, split almost equally between male and female patrons. Gold’s Gym locations are equipped with cardiovascular and strength training equipment and offer group exercise classes such as group cycling, pilates, Latin dance, yoga and stretching through the company GGX (Gold’s Group Exercise) program. Many gyms also offer basketball, swimming pools and boxing studios.
The company also licenses its name to products such as fitness equipment and clothing. The famous original Gold’s Gym logo, a bald-headed weightlifter holding a barbell, was designed in 1973 by Ric Drasin, who was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s training partner for four years. Gold’s Gym members have included such celebrities as Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, The Rock, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Tiger Woods and Jessica Alba. To this day, the original Gold’s Gym in Venice is considered a sports landmark and is recognized by ESPN.com on its list of the 100 most important sports venues.