It is incumbent on boards and management to know what it costs to maintain members’ expectations of quality, and then to have the guts to have dues that are realistic to cover those costs.
Many private clubs now tout how a driving goal behind a recent renovation was to create a more “resort-like” feel; at the same time, traditional resorts are creating club components for those who want to access and use their facilities and amenities on a more frequent basis.
When I meet a GM whose business card also carries the COO title, it is pretty much a lock that he or she is affiliated with a successful club.
As one GM who had done nothing but distinguish himself (and his club) in his career wrote in letting me know about his sudden resignation: “As you might surmise, this is a political reaction on my part having to do with my current President, who feels so strongly he can run the club that I intend to give him every opportunity to do so.”
If a club needs new members, it should be approached like any other business marketing plan. Figure out how many new members you want and where they are, and employ strategies to get them.
I’ve often been shocked, when sitting in general managers’ offices or taking tours through clubhouses, to see how some of the best parts of clubs’ stories have been relegated to piles on the floor or dusty boxes in the basement.