Gold’s Gym buying The Rush Fitness Complex

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Gold’s Gym is pumping up its local presence in a big way with plans to buy The Rush Fitness Complex chain, which has eight sites in the Triad.

The companies declined to say Monday how much Gold’s is paying for Rush, which has 23 gyms in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. The deal is expected to be completed in August, with the Rush gyms converting to the Gold’s brand by year’s end.

Gold’s currently has one Triad location, a franchisee-run gym at 3300 Reynolda Road in Winston-Salem.

If the deal is completed, Gold’s would gain Rush’s Winston-Salem gyms at 420 Jonestown Road and 400 W. Fourth St., along with three locations in Greensboro and one each in Burlington, High Point and Jamestown.

Rush opened the downtown Winston-Salem gym in the fall of 2008 and the Jonestown gym in the spring of 2010.

Aaron Watkins, president of Gold’s Gym, said in a statement “there were obvious synergies” between what the gyms offered members, “which is why this deal was attractive to us”

The Rush gyms would be corporate owned by Gold’s. That would expand Gold’s corporate-owned gym portfolio to 146, an increase of 40 percent from a year ago and up 80 percent from July 2012.

The companies said that existing memberships will be honored at the new locations — automatically converting to Gold's Gym memberships. Members will be given the option to gain travel privileges to Gold's network of more than 700 locations in 38 states and 28 countries.

“We share a similar operating philosophy with Gold's Gym,” David Carney, president and chief executive of Rush, said in a statement. “Our members and employees will now be part of one of the strongest brands in the industry.”

-Richard Craver