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Just Damn Good Architecture

Five Highly Profitable Clubhouse Redesign Strategies

By Daniel T. Nicholas

After years of focusing on mere ‘survival,’ clubs have the opportunity for ‘revival’ by addressing the contemporary realities of declining corporate membership support and increased competition. Redesigning the clubhouse is a major investment in a club’s future.

Using a revenue-based redesign approach can turn a profit-draining clubhouse into a profitable revenue generator – and can reposition the whole club for growth.

1. Redesign with a ‘Function-First’ Mindset

While the visible signs of outdated colors and furnishings may prompt the need, redesigning entails much more than a cosmetic ‘makeover,’ such as considering alternative programming for ineffective, underutilized rooms. In fact, redesigning allows the opportunity to think about the entire clubhouse space in a completely new (revenue-based) way – considering function first before form. 

2. Redesign for broader demographic appeal

Targeting diverse demographic profiles means appealing to a broader spectrum of lifestyle preferences and needs beyond belonging and prestige, such as the need for safety, convenience, stress relief, healthy-living, or family participation.

3. Redesign to offer a variety of activities

With so much competing for members’ disposable income and scarce ‘free time,’ the club must strive to become one of their favorite ‘go-to’ fun places. Programming the space for a variety of dining, relaxation, exercise and entertainment options will get them through the door more often and keep them on-site longer.

4. Redesign for operational efficiency

The redesign process should include a holistic assessment of the current and future programming planned for the clubhouse. The redesign should make rooms and spaces independently successful – as well as consider how they are interdependent. An effective layout will provide the best flow from both a user experience and a ‘behind-the-scenes’ operational efficiency point of view.

5. Redesign for non-member use

A parallel use and source of revenue for a clubhouse is to host gatherings, such as business events, fundraising dinners and wedding receptions. But these uses have distinct needs and functional issues that must be considered when redesigning. Planning logical circulation paths will allow member and guest functions to continue during non-member events with minimal overlap in interaction. Ideally without members even knowing the event is happening outside of the parking lot being fuller.

For more club design insight or to schedule a ‘first impression analysis,’ contact Dan Nicholas, and visit our Club Design Studio.

About the Author

Daniel T. Nicholas — AIA

Market Leader - Club Design — Chicago

Dan Nicholas helps organizations fully realize their dreams for structured environments where people can entertain, relax and play.