By Wayne Krachun
Had lunch with my Hilton Head buddy. He asked if The Club was doing all it could to increase revenues.
I replied that membership was growing.
“You don’t bank members,” he said, “You bank revenues. Are the membership fees at market price?”
“Well, The Club offered a wonderful promotion rate for a year” I said.
“Nice. How do the full paying members feel about that?”
“They’re likely feeling like suckers, but don’t you have to start somewhere?”
“Why don’t they try closing 9 or 18 holes, to reduce costs,” he asked?
“Because they would likely face lawsuits from owners abutting the course.”
“But didn’t you mention that if your HOA buys the land, The Club could then close 9 or 18 holes, and you’re obligated to maintain it until the Board decides what to do with it?”
“Yes” I replied, “but then we get sued! Pretty sweet deal for The Club, huh?”
“And what if your Board gets stacked with FOA sympathizers or investors? It could saddle owners with maintaining the closed course for quite a while, Wayne. Tell me, has The Club considered opening golf, the bar and restaurant to the public to augment revenues?”
“Certainly not. Members would never stand for that. It compromises the panache; the appeal; the brand. The whole idea of a Club is snobbishness, is it not? It’s PRIVATE.”
“If being PRIVATE is so dear to The Club, doesn’t seem disingenuous of them to expect the PUBLIC to subsidize them,” he asked?
To which I replied, “I’m losing my appetite, Joe.”