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Fitness Entrepreneur Hits Payday with Snap Purchase


When did entrepreneur Steele Smiley know he’d made it? “About two months ago, when Peter bought the company,” Smiley said when interviewed for a story in the January issue of Franchise Times.

He’s referring to Peter Taunton, the founder of Snap Fitness of suburban Minneapolis, who bought Smiley’s company with cash in the fall, and brought Smiley on board to oversee the rollout of Steele 365, as the new high-end, 24-hour fitness clubs will be called. Smiley will also oversee the design and branding of all the brands under Snap’s umbrella.

The prototype store, with $79 a month promotional membership fees in the beginning, just opened, and will be perfected and tested in other markets before a national rollout.

Taunton is the unusual franchisor executive who is acting like a private equity firm, only one who buys brands with cash generated from the 10-year-old Snap Fitness. Taunton’s vision is to buy or create many brands in the fitness space, each with a different niche. 9Round, Kosama and now Steele 365 all are part of the pattern.

See the full article in the January print edition.


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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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