The H. Chambers Company

Perspectives from the Other Side:
Identifying Niches Within Your Private Club Membership


Last month, I addressed many different methods that can enhance your private club events and make them a success year-round. In that column, I briefly touched upon the importance of targeting niches within your membership; however, I think it’s important to delve a little deeper into this topic.

Targeting niches within a larger audience has become a leading marketing trend over the last decade within the private club industry and beyond—and for good reason. This technique has continuously proved itself to be one of the most effective marketing methods available. This is doubly true for private clubs. In fact, I would argue that it’s one of the most overlooked yet effective ways to increase overall member engagement at your club. Want to know why member niches are important and how you can use them to your advantage? Keep reading for a quick crash course!

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Strategic Planning: Is it Really Worth It?
Establishing a Strategic Direction


The private club industry is abuzz with talk of the continuous need to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of members. New programs, reimagined spaces, inventive services—there are numerous ways to brighten the appeal of a club membership for today’s modern member while continuing to respect history and traditions of the past.

But where are we going, exactly? What is the purpose or driving force behind these decisions? As clubs continue to brainstorm new activities and reinvent the traditional private club experience, club leaders must first take pause to think about the bigger picture. What is our mission as a club? What do we hope the club will “be” in the future? And how do we get there?

Many would say there is a clear-cut answer: strategic planning. But isn’t that for businesses and corporate entities? Can clubs really benefit from applying the same practices to the Chef’s dining program or the club’s membership categories? Keep reading to find out!


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Splash into Summer with these Poolside Necessities

With the unofficial start of summer behind us and plenty of warm, sunny days just around the corner, many clubs across the country are gearing up for families to spend much of their time at one area of the club in particular—the pool!

Today, pool facilities play an important role in enhancing membership value and are one of the top reasons families decide to join a private club. While there are many (often costly) ways clubs can improve the pool area, there are also several opportunities to implement cost-effective elements that can drastically improve the overall poolside experience without breaking the bank. Let’s dive right in!

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New Age Health & Wellness:
Ensuring Your Facility Wins the Race Against Its Competition

As fitness and wellness trends continue to evolve across the globe, conversations around these amenities in private clubs do as well. Many club leaders often grapple with whether or not they should incorporate a fitness facility into their private club offerings—some are skeptical about whether their members will ever utilize the facilities; others fear there is too much competition from local area gyms and fitness clubs; and some feel the task is too daunting and it’s just not the right time for their club.

These are all valid considerations and concerns—but today’s private club fitness facilities aren’t like those of the past. To learn more, we spoke with Steve Alvezi, Manager of the North American Country Club division at Precor—a leading brand in the fitness equipment space that’s dedicated to creating personalized fitness experiences. With over seven years of experience in the private club fitness sector, Alvezi offers a great perspective into the world of health and wellness and valuable insight into what today’s active private club member is looking for in a fitness facility (Hint: it’s not just fitness anymore!).

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Your Bar Talks—What is it Saying?
Choosing the Right Shape for Your Bar

It’s a decade after the Great Recession and the private club industry is looking vastly different than it did ten (or even just five) years ago. As a club leader, you’ve come to the realization that lifestyles have evolved but your club’s dining experience hasn’t quite done the same—specifically, the atmosphere of your bar/lounge space. It just feels a little lackluster—but why? Maybe the décor is somewhat outdated or the seating arrangements could be more inviting. Or could it be…the shape of your bar?

Yes, you read that correctly—the shape of your bar. While there are many design details that come together to create a desired aesthetic, bar shape is extremely important when it comes to the general flow of a particular bar, lounge, or dining space. And with bars becoming the epicenter of club activity—a true ‘must-have’ in facilities planning in today’s private clubs—it’s important to understand how a bar’s shape is directly correlated to its utilization. Here, we break down the pros and cons of the most common shapes—Straight, U-shaped, Circular, and Square. Keep reading to see which may be appropriate for certain areas of your club!

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Breaking Down the GM/COO Model of Management:
With Insights from Industry Expert Dick Kopplin

As the dynamic of private clubs continue to evolve, so too has the thought process on how to lead and manage them successfully. Certainly, traditional management methods have worked well in the past, as evidenced by the industry’s longevity and evolution over the last several decades. In recent years, however, the industry has recognized that the changing landscape may lend itself to a different type of management style—the General Manager and Chief Operating Officer (GM/COO) model.

So, what exactly is the GM/COO model and how is it affecting governance in private clubs across the country? For more insight, we spoke with two industry veterans—Dick Kopplin, Partner at Kopplin Kuebler & Wallace with over 45 years of experience in the club industry, and Chambers’ Executive Vice President Skip Avery, a club manager himself for over 30 years and Past President of CMAA. Here, we discuss the benefits of this management style, why clubs are embracing it, and the challenges clubs may encounter when trying to make the transition. Keep reading to learn more!


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