DOL Withdraws Independent Contractor Guidance

CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 12 June 2017
On Wednesday, June 7, Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the independent contractor guidance first issued in July 2015.  The July 2015 guidance offered an expanded application of the multi factor

How to Use Instagram Stories to Increase Visibility of your Club

Private Club Marketing - 11 June 2017
Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets users post a series of photos and videos that play as a slideshow and disappear after 24 hours, has revolutionized online marketing for all brands—private clubs included. Zack Bates, CEO at Private Club Marketing, walks membership and marketing directors through the 10 steps of establishing an effective Instagram Stories strategy that keeps them relevant, gets them noticed, and earns them engaged members.

The CCM: A Global Brand

CMAA CEO's Perspective - 9 June 2017
Since joining CMAA just under three years ago, I have been part of club management events in several countries. Our core focus areas of CMAA – professional development, peer-to-peer interaction, and information sharing – are each a global focus for club management professionals. The value of CMAA around the world, specifically the value of holding the Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation, is a strong anchor worldwide.

Congratulations! You've lost your job!

Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) Blog - 6 June 2017
In 2003 CMAA asked me to start a coaching program to support its members. This is one of the first articles I ever submitted. It seems like I have been sending it out to a lot of people lately. If you have recently lost a job please read it, if you haven’t recently lost a job, please read it so you don’t.

What Makes Walk-In Gym Membership Prospects Walk-In?

Gym Insight Blog - 1 June 2017
Someone recently made a very excellent comment on the Gym Insight Blog. The commenter posted that, while walk-ins are great, they don’t just materialize out of thin air, clubs have to work for them.

A Taste of Reality

Club & Resort Business - Industry Commentary - 30 May 2017
Unfortunately, in this case the barrage of brutal food criticisms was not just delivered to a club or resort manager, but to the million or so people who read The Washington Post each day. Imagine if you opened your e-mail in-box one day, or found a letter on your desk, and someone had written this to you about the food at your property:

Steve Graves, Creative Golf Marketing

Private Club Radio - 29 May 2017
In this episode, we’re joined by Steve Graves, President of Creative Golf Marketing. Steve discusses four of the false narratives that plague the private club industry. He’ll show you what those are and how you can combat them in your club. Steve has a wealth of insight to bring from his experience working with over 1,100 clubs.

Terra Waldron, Desert Highlands Association

Private Club Radio - 29 May 2017
This episode of Private Club Radio is sponsored by the National Club Association. In this episode, Terra Waldon, COO of the Desert Highlands Association, discusses what it was like to receive the Club Executive of the Year Award. She was only the second woman in history to receive the honor.

Running a Member-Owned Private Club What Are the Challenges?

BoardRoom Magazine - 29 May 2017
The art of governing, or leadership, is as old as society itself. It’s the exercise of authority by an individual or group of individuals or organizations in what it does, and how and why decisions are made. Still private clubs are a quite separate segment of both the service and hospitality industries, and what works for one, might or might not work for the other.

Risk Management Update - Drones and the Club Industry

CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 23 May 2017
As clubs continue to seek new ways to market their products and amenities, and to gain efficiency in the services they provide, more and more they are relying on innovative technologies such as drones. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have gained in popularity in a variety of industries over the past several years and have developed some very useful applications for the club industry.
Article by Robert Mandelbaum

Paying the Intermediaries: An Analysis of Hotel Commissions

CBRE Hotels - 19 May 2017
Per the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI), payments to intermediaries are classified as commissions. In recognition of the rise in intermediaries, the 11th edition of the USALI stipulates two commission expense categories within the rooms department; one for commissions paid for the booking of transient business, and one for commissions paid for the booking of group business. The commissions paid within the rooms department cover sales made for not only guest room rentals, but for any other ancillary revenue associated with those guests. If, however, an intermediary secures business solely for the benefit of the food and beverage department (i.e. local catering business without guest room rentals), then the commission payment is recorded within the food and beverage department.Not included in the rooms department commission expense category are payments made to agents for the rental of commercial space within a hotel. These commission payments are recorded as professional fees within the administrative and general department.In recognition of the rise in intermediaries, CBRE Hotels' Americas Research began to track commission payments within the rooms department starting in 2015. Our firm's Trends(r) in the Hotel Industry database captures the combined commissions paid for both transient and group business. The following paragraphs summarize the magnitude of rooms department commission payments in 2015 for U.S. hotels.A Significant ExpenseOn average, commission payments are the second largest expense within the rooms department, behind labor costs. This ranking does vary by property type. At limited-service and extended-stay hotels, the cost of providing complimentary meals exceeds commission payments. At resort properties, more money is spent on the laundry, linen, and supplies provided in the guest rooms.Measured as a percent of revenue, commission payments averaged 3.0 percent of total rooms revenue in 2015. Unfortunately the metric we do not have access to is the percentage of rooms revenue subject to a commission payment. Therefore, we are unable to calculate the average commission rate charged by travel agents and other intermediaries.Commissions calculated as a percent of rooms revenue were greatest at convention hotels (4.5%). This confirms the increased use of housing companies and other agencies by meeting planners. Historically, hotels would deal directly with the meeting planner, and for the most part not have to pay a commission.Commissions paid as a percent of rooms revenue were lowest at extended-stay properties (2.1%). In this segment, it appears that hotel sales managers are still able to deal directly with the corporate travel executives booking the long-term stays. Given recent trends in the convention segment, extended-stay hotel owners and operators should monitor intermediary activity in their segment going forward. The Dollar AmountBecause of the differences in room rates, the dollar value of the commission paid by a hotel is influenced by the average daily rate (ADR). Therefore, it is not surprising that commission payments measured on a dollar per occupied room (POR) basis tend to follow the ADRs achieved by the various property types and chain-scales.In 2015, convention hotels recorded the highest commission POR payments among all the property types ($8.14), followed by resort hotels ($6.22). When analyzing commissions POR by chain-scale, luxury properties paid the most ($10.25). Not only do luxury hotels and resorts achieve high ADRs, their guests are most likely to use the services of a travel agent.At the low end of commission POR payments are extended-stay ($2.13) and limited-service ($3.35) properties. These hotels achieve relatively low ADRs, and their guests may not be using intermediaries as much as other travelers.Looking ForwardIn an effort to measure the impact of intermediaries on the financial performance of hotels, the American Hotel and Lodging Association's Consumer Innovation Forum is working with several hotel franchising, ownership and management companies to establish metrics that measure the "total acquisition cost" of hotel revenue. Commissions are just one component of this equation. Other components include reservation fees, marketing costs, and other expense incurred to secure revenue.At CBRE, going forward we will be able to monitor annual changes in the commissions paid to intermediaries. This will shed some light on the ability of hotels to control this cost by negotiating more favorable contracts with the intermediaries, or increasing the frequency of guests booking directly with the hotel.tO purchase a copy of Trends(r) in the Hotel Industry, please visit, or call (855) 223-1200. This article was published in the April 2017 edition of Lodging.

Handling the Upcoming July 1 OSHA Reporting Deadline

CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 17 May 2017
For clubs with 250 or more employees, the first reporting deadline for the updated OSHA reporting requirements is coming up on July 1, 2017. Under the final rule published in May 2016, businesses with 250 or more employees will now be required to electronically report injury and illness information to OSHA. This is the type of information that is currently maintained on OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301.

Fairways to Heaven

Club & Resort Business - Management - 10 May 2017
A pair of new hybrid mowers is helping Sahalee Country Club keep its course in top condition with fuel-saving, environmentally friendly practices.

Dr. Matthew J. Samel, Johnson & Wales Univ.

Private Club Radio - 9 May 2017
Dr. Matthew J Samel is the faculty advisor for Johnson & Wales University chapter of the CMAA and gives us some interesting insights into the wants and needs of the next generation of hospitality professionals. We’ll discuss what clubs can do to attract this new generation of talent. In addition, you’ll discover some ideas the students had to create profit centers at private clubs without the need for a large capital expenditure.

Active Interest

Club & Resort Business - Design & Renovation - 9 May 2017
Careful execution of a two-phase master plan to revamp dining venues and create a new stand-alone Family Activity Center at Cape Fear CC has boosted F&B sales, sparked a new membership wave, and brought the generations together at North Carolina’s oldest private club.

Passes Health Care Overhaul Repealing Employer Mandate

CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 8 May 2017
On Thursday, May 4, the House of Representatives passed HR 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017 by a vote of 217 to 213. This measure eliminates several of the unpopular tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) including the individual mandate penalties to have insurance and the employer mandate.

Congress Expands H-2B Availability Through FY2017 Spending Package

CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 5 May 2017
The FY2017 spending package will provide much-needed relief to clubs and other seasonal employers who rely on H-2B visas to fill peak season jobs at their businesses. A provision included in the measure would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to adjust the annual limit of 66,000 visas. The increase would be limited to no more than the maximum number of visas issued in years when the returning worker exemption was in effect. It is estimated the new cap could be approximately 84,000.

House Passes Bill to Alter Overtime

CMAA Legislative Report Blog - 5 May 2017
On Tuesday, May 2, the US House of Representatives passed HR 1180, the “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017.” The measure amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to allow private employers, including clubs, to utilize compensatory time in lieu of providing overtime pay.

Next-Generation Golfers

Hotel Interactive - 4 May 2017
Golf is a game for all age groups, but like most sports it’s best learned at a young age when good habits and good techniques can take hold before bad habits have a chance to win out. As such, the next generation of golfers—and golf resort guests—must have quality instruction and quality facilities. Golf resorts that have top-level junior camps and academies not only are creating future golfers, but future customers.

Leader, Don't Forget to Lead!

Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) Blog - 2 May 2017
In the year 2000 we started coaching leaders in the club management industry. We have coached leaders who have just lost their jobs, we have coached leaders who are being interviewed for new jobs, we have coached leaders who are at the top of their game and we have coached leaders who are facing some inevitable challenges that arise in an exciting and very personal profession. When we look at the successes and failures of people in the industry, we believe that it is probably a very small percentage that does either with a lack of knowledge of how to lead. We have observed that it is more likely people fail, slow down or limit their success when they or someone critical to the organization forgets to lead.

PGA Golf Club Comes Out Swinging

Club & Resort Business - Feature Articles - 27 April 2017
After it became clear that a high-profile name wasn’t enough on its own to ensure a top-notch club operation, a new management team was turned loose to revitalize the Port St. Lucie, Fla., property—and in the process, add new luster to the brand.

Hitting Some Nerves

Club & Resort Business - Industry Commentary - 26 April 2017
There have been strong reactions to the subject of a Board’s involvement (although many choose to substitute “interference”) with club management.

Why I Hate Girl Scout Cookies

Club & Resort Business - Industry Commentary - 25 April 2017
It is incumbent on boards and management to know what it costs to maintain members’ expectations of quality, and then to have the guts to have dues that are realistic to cover those costs. The headline above may sound like sacrilege—who doesn’t like the whole concept of Girl Scout cookies? You have delightful little girls, using the concept of network marketing, mostly to family members, selling something everyone likes (cookies) to help support a great organization. What I dislike is the execution, not the concept.

5 Steps to Start Marketing Your Summer Pipeline

Private Club Marketing - 25 April 2017
I had two membership director conversations already this week reminding them to ensure they are focused on building their summer membership and marketing pipeline. In one case, the club was excited about the event they just completed and the opportunities they found, yet they had no events scheduled for May or June!

Going For Greener Pastures

Hotel Interactive - 21 April 2017
Resorts and hotels, it seems, each are in constant “renovation” mode. Whether it’s public spaces, guest rooms or F&B outlets, properties always are upgrading to meet the demands of today’s savvy travelers. The same should be true for resort golf courses. Today’s golfers want what they see on TV—lush fairways, immaculate greens and pristine bunkers. Anything short creates the perception that the course, regardless of its fame and layout, is less than perfect. It’s imperative, therefore, that a golf resort keep its course (or courses) in top notch condition. Sometimes that means spending millions of dollars on a total transformation; or a few million dollars less by re-shaping and re-grassing tee boxes and greens.

The Private Club Industry and Affiliated Associations Where Are We Now? What Does the Future Hold? Who Benefits?

BoardRoom Magazine - 21 April 2017
The private club industry, for better or worse, is in a world of change. And how the industry and associations who play a major role in the life of private clubs deal with evolutionary change will have a significant impact on the future of the industry.


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