Members of the Detroit Athletic Club and Forest Lake County Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., will vote later this year on what’s being billed as a proposed merger that would make the golf course a club-within-a-club for the DAC.
According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the downtown athletic club and the suburban country club on Oct. 21 signed a nonbinding letter of intent that would have the DAC buy out the equity memberships of Forest Lake’s golf members.
The deal would give the DAC’s 2,410 resident members access to the country club’s dining and social options, but there would be premiums, still to be determined, for pool and tennis access and for golf. Forest Lake members would get access to the DAC.
Both Forest Lake and the DAC, which say they are profitable despite recession-fueled membership declines, are expected to retain their own brand identities, but the country club may operate with the DAC name somehow involved.
Forest Lake’s current equity golf memberships require a $15,000 initiation fee (up from a recent discount in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, but down from $45,000 a few years ago) and $550 monthly dues.Meanwhile, DAC memberships start with a $2,500 entrance fee (discounted earlier this year from $5,000) and cost $300 monthly for its largest membership category but do not provide equity.
A single board operating under one charter would oversee both clubs and a single general manager would oversee both clubs.
Talks between the clubs have been under way for eight months.