Claremont Club has a business plan not to be overlooked…
Today the fitness components of the Claremont club are housed in the main clubhouse, which is approximately 60,000 sq. ft. In this building members enjoy seven racquetball/handball courts; three squash courts; two Pilates studios; a yoga studio; large spinning studio; 2,200 sq. ft. of Group Exercise; a 4,000 sq. ft. weight room; cardio room with 84 pieces of cardio equipment and cardio theater; junior fitness room; full-service day spa & salon; executive locker rooms with steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi; pro shop; café and juice bar; conference room; as well as a Kinesis and Spinal Cord Injury studio. In addition to the main clubhouse the Club also has a 50 meter Olympic Pool; a smaller recreational pool; three areas of childcare; the Stone Clubhouse and two equipment rooms.
It wasn’t always so grand though. When Alpert came on board in ‘97, the club was in a state of financial disarray. Growth wasn’t on the top of anyone’s mind…yet.
“The Business Office was spending much of their time working out payment plans to vendors and trying to determine who to pay first. Our aged AR was large and members basically decided when they paid dues and in many cases how much dues they would pay,” he says. “We had dozens of billing codes and trades that were causing a billing nightmare for us. Our cash flow was in serious shape and it was a challenge getting vendors to come to the Club to fix things as many of them were owed money which was many times late getting to them.”
More money was going out than was coming in.
“Basic business procedures were lacking, but we could see the potential in our club” says Alpert. “We set to work organizing and streamlining operations. Next we re-wrote all job descriptions, safety manuals, human resource manuals, operating manuals, employee and member handbooks, personal action forms, cash flash and sales flash reports, staff and management reviews, upward feedback reviews, sales agreement forms, and personal action forms.”
Once that side of the business had been organized, Alpert began coaching and working to build teamwork within the management team. “It all starts with an understanding that at The Claremont Club, our staff come first before our members and that we love and respect each other first and foremost,” says Alpert. “How we take care of each other determines how we treat our members.”
The numbers speak to their efforts. By the end of 1997, Claremont marked a positive membership growth of 128. And now that membership was back in the black, it was time for the club to begin planning for the future.