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Still Much Work to be Done

While many clubs continue to enjoy full member- ships and full-capacity use of the activities they offer, club leaders remain well aware of the need to focus on a wide range of management and operational areas as they strive to improve their clubs’ value propositions.

Respondents to the Outlook 2024 Pulse Survey said they plan to give these areas of their club operations the greatest attention and special emphasis in the year ahead (more than one response could be given):

Some respondents expanded the list by using the “Other” option to cite these specific additional areas of upcoming emphasis:

  • Adding parking.
  • Culture.
  • Data analytics and reporting.
  • Grounds maintenance facility.
  • Marina expansion and property insurance.
  • Renovations after Hurricane Ian.
  • Spa services.

The Outlook 2024 Pulse Survey also asked, “What are some capital improvements you feel are important for your club that have not been addressed?”

Leading responses included (image right):

One respondent noted that based on the results of an upcoming membership survey, items may be added or removed from that club’s planned areas of attention and emphasis.

Finally, the Outlook 2024 Pulse Survey asked, “If money was not an issue, what’s one new amenity, service or program you would love to add to your club?”

The responses revealed that many clubs may still be looking to catch up in areas that are now widely seen as must-have compo- nents of a full member experience. Most notably, many responses indicated that their wish lists still include a desire for these types of additions:

  • A wider range of sports/recreational activities, including bocce, basketball, sporting clays, rock climbing, ice rinks, and a running track; one respondent’s wish is for a “family-oriented sports campus.”
  • Arts-and crafts centers and community rooms.
  • Dedicated social spaces for children and teens.
  • Employee breakrooms/spaces/housing.
  • Expanded facilities for a wider variety of racquets options (including padel and squash, along with more tennis, pickleball and platform courts).
  • Fitness and health/wellness offerings, including spa services.
  • Golf-related performance, training and practice facilities, including simulators and par-3 short courses, along with golf course improvements, including maintenance facilities.
  • Lodging for members and guests.
  • Outdoor and casual dining venues, including patios, coffee bars, rooftop bars and pergolas, along with improved halfway houses and warming huts.
  • Pool upgrades, with many citing the desire to create resort-style settings with features including more shade, lap pools, splash pads or even an indoor/outdoor waterpark.
  • Upgraded technology for on-site meetings, member apps and member charges/accounting.

All told, responses to the Pulse Survey’s “wish list” question showed that the outlook for the club business remains healthy enough that its leaders and managers still have plenty of big ambitions for future achievements. One respondent listed wanting “a Sphere like the one in Vegas to hold events,” and several others mentioned wanting to acquire more land, private beaches or lake/river access, or even other clubs, to pursue their objectives for growth and expansion.

At the same time, other responses showed that parts of the industry are still looking to break away from their adherence to tradition to achieve current and future relevance—with one respondent expressing a wish to simply eliminate that club’s men’s grill and finally have all of its facilities be gender-neutral.