New Thinking in Facilities: Recap of CMAA World Conference

Casual Club Members

The attitudes and discussions coming from the 91st CMAA World Conference in San Francisco were very positive.

The best in many years. Club leaders are looking for new ways to enhance the member experience to remain relevant in their marketplace. They are looking to develop innovative programs and provide facilities to attract the next generation.

McMahon Group participated in three education sessions during the Conference discussing a variety of issues from the economics of facility improvements to a city club roundtable, to understanding the new thinking in club facilities – from the traditional to those outside the box that could impact our industry in the future.

As club leaders looking to design facilities for your members, you must first understand what things are impacting their lives. Some things to consider when thinking about planning facilities:

  • Clubs must become a lifestyle center for members, making your club the Third Place in members’ lives.
  • Need to offer a full-service recreation offering.
  • Provide year-round access to the club to enhance the value proposition of membership.
  • Incorporate a health and wellness culture in all that you do.
  • Become family centric (we must evolve from being just family friendly).
  • Keep up-to-date on laws and other things that could impact members’ lives. Think outside the box.

An item that garnered a lot of buzz was the legalization of marijuana occurring across the country and what that could mean, long term, for clubs. It’s not too farfetched. Denver recently passed a proposition to allow consumption in restaurants and bars. What kind of impact will this have in clubs? Will we need a special type of bar in clubs? It is something to keep an eye on as the issue rages across the nation. Remember to keep abreast on what laws, activities, etc. could impact your members. Clubs must look to remain relevant to current and future members by changing with the times.

If you would like a copy of our presentations from the Conference, please click here to let me know.

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About Bill McMahon

Vice President

Bill is a private club planner providing strategic planning, member research analysis and facility planning services for private clubs across North America. Bill joined McMahon Group in 1999 and has worked with over 200 clubs helping to solve their strategic and facility needs.

Bill is Co-Editor of Club Trends, a quarterly report published with the National Club Association (NCA). He has written for many private club publications like The BoardRoom Magazine, Club Director and more, and has been a featured speaker at national conferences, local chapters and other associations serving the private club industry. He is also on the NCA’s Communications Committee.

Bill has been instrumental in developing and enhancing the McMahon Group online presence. He created and runs Clubtopia® ( – an online business directory of firms and companies serving the club industry.

Bill’s club memberships have included Bellerive Country Club (St. Louis), Glen Echo Country Club (St. Louis) and the Missouri Athletic Club (St. Louis). He proudly serves on the Board of Cinema St. Louis ( and is Second Vice President on the Board of the Tennessee Society of St. Louis.


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