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A Gold Visit in Dallas

Mapquest is great--that is, as long as construction doesn‘t render it useless! That‘s what happened on my way to the headquarters of Gold‘s Gym International in Dallas. I tried to access the North Central Expressway from the exit Mapquest had mapped for me, but construction in the area made that impossible. Although it was my first visit to Dallas, I am an “expert” map reader (or so I like to think), so I figured I could “map” my way onto the expressway. Unfortunately, I just kept getting more turned around in the downtown area. In fact, I got so turned around that I ended up driving on what I thought was a nice brick road, only to realize it was the tracks for DART--the light rail system. I quickly veered off that road once I spied the two trains sitting at stops about 200 yards away. After I caught my breath and admitted to myself that I was officially lost, I tried to find a spot to pull over so I could call Dave Reiseman, the communications director at Gold‘s Gym, to let him know that I would be late and to get directions. Unfortunately, my search for a place to pull over led me onto Highway 75 north.

I was then able to reach Dave and he turned the phone over to a woman in the office who gave me very clear and precise directions. Unfortunately, I had gone far enough on Highway 75 north that I ended up being an hour late for the meeting with David Schnabel, CEO of Gold‘s Gym. He was very polite in accepting my apologies and in staying late to accommodate the interview.

I‘m glad he did, as the interview turned out to be a good one that we‘ll feature in our April issue in our Executive Insights column. David talked about growth plans for the company, the company‘s new Legacy II agreements for franchisees, how the company is working with franchisees more closely through the Gold‘s Franchise Council, partnerships the company has entered and licensing plans for the Gold‘s brand. To find out more, stay tuned for our April issue, where we will feature a shortened version of the interview. A longer version will appear online in mid-April.

At the end of the interview, the two Daves were nice enough to review my Mapquest directions to my hotel and, through the windows of David Schnabel‘s corner office, point out the streets I needed to take to get onto the correct highway. Their guidance was right on target, as I had no problem getting onto the highway and to my hotel.

Despite Mapquest failing me just once on this trip, I think all of my future rental cars will be equipped with GPS. --Pam

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