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Frank Vain


Mr. Vain provides consulting and planning services to private clubs throughout North America and Asia. Through use of specialized services including membership surveys, strategic planning, operational analysis and facility long range planning, Frank assists clubs in developing individualized strategies for their unique situations.

Mr. Vain joined McMahon Group in 1988 and has more than forty years of experience in the management and development of hospitality properties including private clubs, athletic clubs, resorts and restaurants. Frank is a Past President of The Country Club of St. Albans, an 800-member, 36-hole country club located in Missouri and he is the former owner of Concord Sports Club, a 1,700-member family athletic club in St. Louis. Frank was elected to the Board of the National Club Association in 2011 and served as Chairman in 2018-19.

Mr. Vain is a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is a featured speaker at the annual Club Managers Association of America World Conference, National Club Association National and Regional Conferences, Major Golf Associations and at regional chapter meetings of club managers and leaders.

He has written numerous articles that have been published in Club ManagementClub Director andBoardRoom magazines. Frank was named the Gary Player Club Educator of the Year for 2012 and 2015 by BoardRoom magazine. He is the co-author of McMahon’s Club Trends®, a recognized industry benchmark on the trends and issues affecting private clubs.

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Posts by Frank Vain

Trend Three: The Ladies of the Club

Recommending that your club increase membership and participation by women might be as simple as saying, “It’s the right thing to do.” These modern times demand nothing less; but, in case we need more ammunition, here are a few compelling stats for your consideration.

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Trend Two: Health & Fitness

The road to developing a fitness center at your club is often blocked by strawmen. In reaction to a suggestion that he consider adding fitness to his prestigious club, a club president once told me he opposed it because, “It would lead to people eating in the dining room with their hats on backwards.” He…

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Trend One: Time & the Re-Invention of Golf

Time. It is precious, of course, and increasingly in short supply. This should be a concern for private clubs, which need people with both the resources to enjoy membership and sufficient leisure time to derive value from the experience. The decline in available leisure time is especially pronounced among the rising 35 to 45-year-olds, where…

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Pools: The Gateway Amenity

The amount of money country clubs spend to rebuild or renovate their pools can be staggering these days. Multimillion dollar projects are common with recent reports of a club in the southeast hitting the $10 million mark. While the budgets might be eye-popping, most of the clubs that have completed their improvement programs will tell…

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Filling Buckets

The process of developing a Strategic Plan for your club will go through two distinct phases. The initial part of the program will be to establish the club’s vision, or direction for the future. This will be the result of studying your environment through tools like a marketplace and competitive analysis and member survey research,…

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Know Your Members, Know Your Strategy

The amount of change in society is so significant, it is essential that leaders develop an individualized strategy for their club. The starting point for this process is often a comprehensive survey of the members. They are the owners and primary users, so it is important to have a great understanding of their needs and…

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Value Your Values

When developing their Strategic Plans, most club leaders quickly tune into the process of developing their Mission and Vision. It is a long recognized part of the direction-setting process and generally gets the thoughtful attention that it deserves. Ok, some directors still have to be pulled kicking and screaming into the discussion, but that is…

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Holistic View to Gated Community Revitalization

One of the biggest challenges facing gated residential communities today is outdated housing stock. Many of these communities were built at least 30 years ago; and, when their members age in place, they let their houses age with them. When it comes time to move on, they drop an old and outdated property on the…

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Who’s Doing What?

Experience trumps theory and what works in one industry does not in another, even if both appear similar in the face. You learn a lot over the years. Notably, experience trumps theory and what works in one industry does not in another, even if both appear similar in the face. In our experience developing strategic plans for member-owned private clubs, we’ve found…

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