As part of the acquisition, the eight Aspen Athletic Clubs will be rebranded as Gold's Gym. The rebranding is expected to take two to three months, and the clubs will remain open during the conversion, Gold's Gym said. All current Aspen memberships will automatically transition to Gold's Gym memberships, and all existing membership agreements will be honored, according to the company.
"We are thrilled to welcome these eight Aspen Athletic Clubs into the Gold's Gym family and are making the transition as seamless as possible for members," Gold's Gym President Aaron Watkins said in a statement. "There will be no interruption to membership dues or changes to our hours of operations or amenities. We are also joining forces with Aspen associates to provide a higher level of service than ever before."
Gold's Gym is acquiring the four Aspen Athletic Clubs in the Kansas City, MO, metro area—three on the Missouri side and one in Kansas—as well as two of the three Aspen Athletic Clubs in the Omaha, NE area, and the two in Lincoln, NE. The only Aspen Athletic Club in Nebraska that Gold's Gym is not acquiring is the club on Welch Plaza in Omaha.
"When discussions surrounding the acquisition began, we knew it would be a natural fit," Watkins said.
The Aspen Athletic Clubs are affiliates of Tru Fit Athletic Clubs, which has clubs in Colorado and Texas. Those clubs are not part of the acquisition.
The acquired Aspen Athletic Clubs and the one remaining Aspen club in Omaha were founded by Tony Dahmen, a former regional vice president at 24 Hour Fitness.
"There is no fitness company with more credibility, knowledge or expertise than Gold's Gym, and I am so pleased to be able to offer the privileges of the Gold's Gym membership to our members," Dahmen said in a statement. "Gold's Gym has a stellar management team and a like-minded philosophy of placing its members first. I expect that these gyms will continue to thrive and grow as a part of the Gold's family."
The acquired clubs are not affiliated with the six Aspen Athletic Clubs in Iowa, five of which are in the Des Moines area. They also are not affiliated with The Aspen Club in Aspen, CO, nor are they affiliated with the four Aspen Athletic Clubs in upstate New York or the Aspen Fitness Center in Heath, OH. The Aspen (CO) Club is in a trademark infringement lawsuit with the New York Aspen Athletic Clubs and the Ohio Aspen club.
Currently, the Kansas City, MO, area has three Gold's Gyms that are owned by franchisees. The four new Gold's Gyms acquired in the Kansas City area will be corporately owned.
The acquisition serves as a re-entry for Gold's Gym in the state of Nebraska. The Omaha and Lincoln markets previously had franchisee-owned Gold's Gyms, the company said.
This marks the third consecutive year that Gold's Gym has acquired part of or most of a regional fitness club chain. In 2012, Gold's Gym acquired the 11 Spectrum Athletic Clubs in the San Antonio area. Last year, the company acquired 17 of the 18 Fitness First clubs in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC, areas.