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January 16, 2013
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News for the private club industry

  Industry Update 
  • Florida's luxury clubs see rebound after recession
    Several luxury country clubs that debuted during the housing boom in southwest Florida are experiencing a growth in sales after several years of dwindling membership. To lure new members and prevent others from leaving, fees were cut, flexible memberships were offered and more social activities were crafted. "It's to get the members on the fence," says Hugh O'Donnell, manager of The Founders Golf and Social Club in Sarasota. "We have exercise classes, yoga and a tennis program. None of that existed three years ago." Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Fla.) (1/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trend Watch 
  • Survey: Restaurant spending expected to drop to Feb. 2009 levels
    After a strong jump in fine dining spending in December, consumers are expected to tighten their wallets in the next 90 days, planning to visit restaurants as rarely as they did in February 2009, according to a MillerPulse survey. "The consumer giveth and the consumer taketh away," says Larry Miller, creator of the monthly surveys. "The large drop in consumer spending plans was the other big shocker in December." Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Affluent customers tend to buck widespread trends
    Using the latest social media outlet or hyping the next big luxury product is not likely to attract wealthy customers, says Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center. These consumers are more likely to have consistent spending behaviors, live within their means and are looking for value in a product or service. “These have been the basic priorities and values of the wealthy and affluent for decades. This is not new,” he says. “Quality, value, good service: these are the things that are always important to the affluent and the luxury market.” National Jeweler (1/8), Luxury Society (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  On the Green 
  • Stormwater runoff to be used as irrigation for 2 Minn. golf courses
    A construction project set to be complete this fall will siphon water from rain and snow away from lakes and ponds in Woodbury, Minn., and reroute it to two golf courses, saving an estimated 40 million gallons of water a year. "Golf gets a bad rap" for using water, says Prestwick Golf Club superintendent Dave Kazmierczak. "We are stewards of the environment. It's refreshing to work with a government agency to do something that makes sense." Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) (1/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Operations & Membership Management 
  • Club members book tee times on smartphones
    The upgraded technology at the Vermont National Country Club in South Burlington, Vt., is just as big a draw for members as is the Jack Nicklaus championship course and the stately clubhouse. Members can view billing statements online, book tee times on their smartphones and see what's for dinner that night on Twitter. “We’re always looking to stay ahead of the technology curve,” says Christopher Barron, the club's general manager. (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How spending in hard times can improve a club's future
    Shelling out money to repave cart paths or upgrade kitchen equipment can be downright painful in tough times, but leaving parts of a club in disrepair can be a severe detriment to sales and membership levels. “It’s a vicious cycle, but you have to do the right thing or your member retention numbers are just going to go down,” says Tim Dunlap, operational vice president of Sequoia Golf Management. “It’s hard to tell this owner that you need to spend $500,000 on clubhouse improvements or bunker renovations or greens conversions when they’re looking at revenue trend lines that have been cratering for months if not years. But you have to do it to stop the bleeding.” Golf Business (1/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  NCA News 
  • Webinar tomorrow: Fiduciary Role of the Audit Committee
    Join Daniel Condon and James J. Hankowski of Condon O'Meara McGinty & Donnelly for the next session in our popular webinar series on Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. This program will summarize audit committee responsibilities in the private club industry, providing a basic understanding of how the audit committee functions and its fiduciary responsibilities including common risk areas, the committee’s role in review of internal controls, requirements under Sarbanes Oxley, industry benchmarking, and more.

    Find out more about the webinar or register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Save the date: 2013 National Club Conference, April 28 to 30
    NCA's annual National Club Conference is an unparalleled opportunity to network with private club leaders and to put your club at the forefront of the industry through educational seminars conducted by our experts. Our landmark tenth annual conference will take place April 28 to 30 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in beautiful Boca Raton, Fla. Stay tuned for more details!

    For updates, visit the NCA website. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat."
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
American poet and educator

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