Using data gleaned from Form 990s reported for 2015 and 2016, the Houston Business Journal published a report on “Houston’s Wealthiest Non-Profit Country Clubs,” followed by one headlined “Here’s How Much Local Nonprofit Country Clubs Pay Their General Managers.”
The Houston Business Journal has published a series of reports, based on research into Form 990s filed for 2015 and 2016, on revenues and General Manager compensation for clubs in Texas’ largest city.
The publication’s series began with a report using data collected by American City Business Journals, the Houston Business Journal’s parent company, which showed that “thanks to Houston’s business-friendly climate, [Houston] is home to three of the nation’s 20 wealthiest nonprofit country clubs.”
Those clubs, the Business Journal reported, citing figures from the organizations’ 2015 Form 990s, were River Oaks Country Club, at No. 6 (on the list of 20 in the U.S.) with $29.2 million in revenue; Houston Country Club. at No. 14 with $20.7 million; and Lakeside Country Club, at No. 19 with $18.6 million.
The Business Journal’s first report also noted that the greater Houston area is home to over 50 country clubs and golf courses, but that many of them are struggling, according to the data collected by American City Business Journals. Of the top 11 nonprofit clubs in the area, only four experienced an increase in revenue from 2014 to 2015, the Business Journal reported: Royal Oaks Country Club, The Coronado Club, The Forest Club and the Bayou Club, which saw the largest jump (17 percent) in revenue growth.
The timeframe that was studied, the Business Journal noted, corresponded with the oil slump that affected the Houston-area economy during that period.
The nonprofit club that saw the greatest decline in revenue during that period—a decrease of 55 percent—was the Petroleum Club of Houston, the Business Journal reported. Its revenue was $12.1 million in 2014, which dropped to $5.4 million the next year. Most of this decline came from member dues and assessments, the Business Journal reported. According to the club’s 2014 Form 990, it collected $7.7 million in this category, but the following year, it recorded only about $2 million.
In an effort to stay relevant and attract the next generation of members, the Business Journal reported, several country clubs were scheduled to soon begin updating and renovating their facilities and properties.Houston Country Club’s voting members recently approved an $80 million renovation project that will add a new wing to the club and a new fitness center, as well as change the configuration of the kitchen, the Business Journal reported. And Lakeside Country Club will soon break ground on its $32 million rebuild and renovation after sustaining significant damage after Hurricane Harvey, as C&RB reported in its January 2018 cover story (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/2018/02/lessons-challenging-year/).
The Business Journal then followed its first report on how Houston clubs fit into the national scene with a more detailed report on “Houston’s Wealthiest Non-Profit Country Clubs” that included a slideshow (https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/07/02/here-are-houston-s-wealthiest-nonprofit-country.html) that included property acreage, the number of employees, General Managers’ names, and revenue figures for 2015 and 2014, along with a percentage change, for 11 clubs in the city.
The Business Journal then followed that report with one headlined, “Here’s How Much Local Nonprofit Country Clubs Pay Their General Managers” (https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/07/06/here-s-how-much-local-nonprofit-country-clubs-pay.html)
“Country clubs around the nation—including in Houston—may be struggling to stay open and relevant to changing demographics, but local clubs are paying their general mangers a pretty penny to oversee their properties,” this report began.
In addition to a new slideshow for the same “11 wealthiest nonprofit country clubs” covered in its previous report, this time showing 2016 base salaries and total compensation for the General Managers of each club, the Business Journal’s salary report included commentary that the highest base salary shown ($348,402) was “more than double the Houston average of $150,530 for general and operations managers, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
The report also noted that two of the local club GMs have salaries lower than the Houston metro average.
The Houston Business Journal previously published reports titled “Maintaining the Greens: How Houston’s wealthiest country clubs are faring in a rough time for golf” (https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/06/28/maintaining-the-greens-how-houstons-wealthiest.html) and “Golf’s Challenges Have Country Clubs in the Rough” (https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/04/17/golfs-challenges-have-country-clubs-in-the-rough.html)