Memberships Levels in U. S. Private Clubs During the 2008–2010 Economic Downturn
DOI: 10.1080/15256480.2014.872893
Title: Memberships Levels in U. S. Private Clubs During the 2008–2010 Economic Downturn
Journal Title: International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Volume: Volume 15
Issue: Issue 1
Publication Date: January 2014
Start Page: 38
End Page: 59
Published online: 21 Feb 2014
ISSN: 1525-6480
Author: Raymond R. Ferreiraa* & Catherine M. Gustafsonb
a Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration , Georgia State University , Atlanta , Georgia , USA
b School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management , University of South Carolina , Columbia , South Carolina , USA
Abstract: This study measured membership changes in private clubs in the United States during the economic downturn from 2008 to 2010. Specifically examined were the changes clubs experienced with their number of members, waiting lists, and attrition rates. A letter was sent via e-mail to the same 1,000 private clubs that were sent a survey in a similar study conducted by Ferreira and Gustafson (200629. Ferreira , R. R. and Gustafson , C. M. 2006. Declining memberships during an economic downturn in U.S. private clubs. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 7(2/3): 3–18.
[Taylor & Francis Online]
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) The managers of these clubs were members of the Club Managers Association of America. The majority of respondents managed country clubs and member-owned clubs, representing different areas of the United States. An overall response rate of 53% was achieved. Most clubs experienced a decrease in the overall number of members and an increase in annual attrition rate. Fewer clubs reported having a waiting list of members wanting to join. The clubs without waiting lists reported a larger number of membership openings in their clubs. The results of this study suggest the levels of memberships in many private clubs are heavily influenced by economic conditions. An implication from this study is that clubs need to implement membership development strategies during economic downturns because of the decline in the number of members, candidates proposed, and waiting lists during these periods.
Accepted: 4 Nov 2011

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