Input from industry leaders on key trends over next ten years reveals an expected increase in environmental sustainability and greater use of technology.
Several hundred private club general managers, chief operating officers, directors and Board members from across the country helped to predict what the industry will look like in ten years through participation in “Club ’22 – The Club of the Future,” a survey conducted by Chambers, the Baltimore-based planning, architecture and interior design firm.
Some of the more significant findings from the survey, conducted in the first two months of 2012, include widespread support for clubs becoming full-service social and/or fitness “hubs”; likely increases in environmental sustainability efforts; a greater emphasis on retail and revenue-generating endeavors, and increased use of technology for member communication and support.
“We conducted this survey to ensure we’re continuing to serve the best long-term interests of our clients,” says Rick Snellinger, Chambers’ President & Chief Executive Officer, “and to provide the industry with a potential roadmap for navigating what are likely to be even greater opportunities over the coming decades.”
The survey questionnaire covered facilities and design, sustainability, dining and event programming, and membership recruitment, retention and marketing.
The survey also found that fitness ranks as the biggest area for growth and opportunity development, and that dining options will improve, including increased emphasis on locally sourced foods.
“Private clubs have long been pretty traditional and slow to change in their approach,” says Snellinger. “But it’s clear that ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ isn’t likely to sustain clubs going forward,” he adds, echoing a comment from one survey respondent.
“We’re already seeing the most visionary club leaders steer members toward more competitive offerings in virtually every facet of operations,” Snellinger notes. “We think there’s tremendous opportunity to grow the value of club membership, if clubs face the future with an open mind.”