Reaching for New Heights at Red Ledges

It might be worth looking into arranging to take a group of members to clubs built around concepts and activities like race-track driving or archery or poker, rather than another excursion to a golf or tennis property.

New club concepts and reports of popular new activities continue to pop up by the day, it seems, and they all bear taking note of—either to be aware of what might be emerging as alternative membership options for your prospects, or to consider some additional amenities you might want to add to the mix at your property. Or, maybe it would be worth looking into arranging to take a group of your members to one of these types of places for a change, rather than another excursion to a golf or tennis property.

Here’s a sampling of reports about specialty clubs that caught our attention:

  • The Robb Report reported on the growing popularity (“the trend is accelerating”) of exclusive clubs for motor enthusiasts that “trade fairways for straightaways.” Trappings at these clubs also include lodging, spas, good food and post-event drinks. Clubs featured in the report included:
    • Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club, in Pahrump, Nev., with 350 members ($60,000 initiation and $6,000 annual dues).
    • Motorsports, in Tamworth, N.H., with 240 members ($25,000 initiation and $2,500 annual dues).
    • Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., with almost 300 members ($3,000 initiation and $3,200 annual dues).
    • Monticello (N.Y.) Motor Club, with more than 475 members ($90,000 initiation and $13,700 annual dues).
    • Atlanta Motorsports Park, in Dawsonville, Va., with 450 members ($37,500 initiation and $150 in monthly fees)
    • Palmer (Mass.) Motorsports Park, with 50 members ($22,500 initiation, $2,500 dues)
    • The Thermal Club, Thermal, Calif., with 100 members ($85,000 initiation, $14,000 annual dues, plus a property-purchase requirement.)
  • The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore. reported on Cascadian Bowmen, a private, nonprofit archery club with facilities in Noti, Ore. Members get 24/7, 365-day-a-year access to the club and range through a gate that they unlock with a code. The facility has an indoor 20-yard practice range and an outdoor 100-yard practice field range, with hay bales set up for targets, as well as four separate trails totaling about two miles. One trail is ADA-accessible for wheelchairs. The range holds public shoots in February and March, and a “3-D” shoot (with animal-shaped targets) every month through August. The range has a five-star rating from the U.S. National Field Archery Association.
  • Private poker clubs continue to proliferate in Texas, reported Top 10, a website dedicated to poker news, with more than 40 now spread across the state. (Texas does not allow casino operations or regular poker rooms.) The private clubs have growing memberships, Top 10 reported, because “they do their best to offer their patrons a cool, casino-like experience.” The poker clubs are allowed to operate, as one explained, because of “three things we have in place that keep us as a legal operation: we’re a private membership-based club, there is no rake taken off the table, and everyone has the same advantages of winning and losing.”
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