Publisher's Perspective

What should private club boards and management focus on and how can private clubs handle their board orien­tation in the year of the coronavirus?


These are two central questions facing private clubs during a year that's been unlike any other. So, we've asked industry leaders for their opinions and suggestions. Survival, of course, is the number one objective for private clubs and it's a matter of how clubs deal with the chaos of COVID-019 ... points emphasized by Kevin Reilly of PB Mares. "The main focus needs to be on the club's survival and the impact of COVID on the finances of the club," Reilly said. "How can the club highlight its relevance in this time when members may not be able to use it the same way as they have in the past? Members need to see the value of remaining a member despite the reduced offerings. Boards, and more particularly management, must highlight the ways the club can and are reaching out to the members," he added. "Since March, the club industry has been brought to a crossroads of sorts," explained Jim Butler, CEO of Club Benchmarking. "Some club leaders will cling to the status quo and kick tough decisions down the road to future boards. Others will seize the opportunity for meaningful change and innovation, facing head on the tough decisions necessary to put their clubs on the path to long-term sustainable financial health. MANY CHALLENGES "Lessons learned through the COVID-19 crisis have been painful, but the fact is, the industry has survived more than its share of depressions, recessions and natural disasters over the last 150 years. Invariably, clubs that addressed the challenges by taking a long­term view gained market share in the years that fol­lowed," he added. This year, Butler says, "has presented unimaginable challenges, but there have also been many valuable lessons learned and opportunities presented. When shutdowns began in the middle of March, many clubs experienced an immediate wake-up call about the sensi­tivity of their business model. Over the last five months, those most dependent on outings, banquets and guest fees as funding sources for the club's operation have suffered significantly more damage than those with a more dues-centric business model...Full Article


Cover Story

Sustainability: The Time Has Come

Take your pick of these definitions but the bottom line is this: Sustainability means doing the right thing for future generations and our planet. And it's becoming an even greater focus for private clubs because what's good for the private club is also good for our environment, our communities and our people. "Sustainable development ideals (leaving a better world, than the one we are in, to future generations) were set in 1987 but it wasn't until 1997 when John Elkington, an English author and strategist, coined the term 'Tri­ple Bottom Line of Profit, People and Planet in his book, Cannibals with Forks, that businesses were offered a very simple, yet extremely efficient, sustainable strategy model," said Herve Houdre, principal with H2 Sustain­ability Consulting. Houdre has taken his passion for sustainable development and 40 years' experience in the luxury hospitality industry and focuses on helping the hospitality industry, cities, groups and organizations integrate and imple­ment profitable, sustainable strategies. "Originally the triple bottom line was seen as a cost rather than an opportunity to develop more profit. Now­adays we realize that focusing on energy efficiency, water consumption and waste management, while develop­ing partnerships with local or international organizations, helps companies reduce their expenses and improve their image and revenue," Houdre explained. ...Full Article