21 Jan 2004 13:26:45
Cary
Racquetball (and Squash) Profitability

Looking for some help to estimate racquetball (and squash)
profitability at a health club. I'd like to present realistic
profitability numbers to the health club manager. The club has
20,000+ members, 3 racquetball courts, 1 squash court, and is open
24/7. Currently there are minimal programming efforts in place and
hence little or no profit. I feel like the club is overlooking a
significant profit opportunity. Please break down the profit
opportunities if possible (private lessons, clinics, leagues, mixers,
tournaments, stringing services, equipment sales, other). Thank you
for your help.

Cary


22 Jan 2004 05:41:40
Jordan Kahn
Re: Racquetball (and Squash) Profitability

Hi Cary!

You will be better received if you show a list of other clubs and the type of
programs they offer, including actual numbers of participants.

Telling someone in business how to do their job better will usually get you
no-where, especially if you do not have a good relationship with them.

Because most racquetball facilities are NOW mainly fitness centers, it is
important to understand the policies and procedures, since one break in policy
can effect dozens of employees and hundreds of non-employees and non-members.

Most facilities do not have any management with racquetball backgrounds or the
slightest knowledge of racquetball.

This is very common since racquetball now plays a minor role in generating
income, compared to space used.

Most clubs want a quick turn-over (member workout time) since parking, locker
room and equipment space and usage is always at a premium during peak business
hours.

Racquetball (and tennis) do not follow these high income generating programs as
well as a 20-30 minute workout.

The above is how most, if not all facility management perceive racquetball
courts.

The only management that applies energy and time, are those facilities that
have racquetball staff or have income producing racquetball programs.

Cary, instead of creating a list of showing different programs and how much
income can be generated, you will have better luck with actual facility income
generating programs from actual facilities.

Contact IHRSA (or Otto) and inquire about some of the more active racquetball
facilities.

Gear a list of clubs like L.A. Fitness, Life Time Fitness, YMCA’s, Park
Districts and other larger facilities with just a few courts.

Stay away from the few (mostly) racquetball facilities, since they do not
represent the typical members at the facility you will be talking to.

Allowing someone in a business to find out what their industry and competition
does- better will probably create a interest to at least try these programs.

Lastly, put your money where your mouth is.

If these programs are as effective as you believe, offer to do them for free
until a profit is made!

The less work, time and risk will have better results in any facility trying
new programs.

Talk to the manager, find out how you can help, whom you need to work with and
receive approval from and what in-house management policies and procedures you
need to follow.

Allowing one department to offer a special program may upset a different
department head who wants to do the same thing, but was rejected by management
in the past.

Although some departmental programs may make more money, management sometimes
likes to keep policies and procedures standard- just so they don’t rock the
boat with several different department heads.

Good luck- Jordan!
----

Subject: Racquetball (and Squash) Profitability
From: [email protected]  (Cary)
Date: 1/21/2004 1:26 PM Pacific Standard Time
Message-id: <[email protected] >

Looking for some help to estimate racquetball (and squash)
profitability at a health club.  I'd like to present realistic
profitability numbers to the health club manager.  The club has
20,000+ members, 3 racquetball courts, 1 squash court, and is open
24/7.  Currently there are minimal programming efforts in place and
hence little or no profit.  I feel like the club is overlooking a
significant profit opportunity.  Please break down the profit
opportunities if possible (private lessons, clinics, leagues, mixers,
tournaments, stringing services, equipment sales, other).  Thank you
for your help.

Cary






22 Jan 2004 09:34:50
Dave
Re: Racquetball (and Squash) Profitability

[email protected] (Cary) wrote in message news:<[email protected] >...
> Looking for some help to estimate racquetball (and squash)
> profitability at a health club. I'd like to present realistic
> profitability numbers to the health club manager. The club has
> 20,000+ members, 3 racquetball courts, 1 squash court, and is open
> 24/7. Currently there are minimal programming efforts in place and
> hence little or no profit. I feel like the club is overlooking a
> significant profit opportunity. Please break down the profit
> opportunities if possible (private lessons, clinics, leagues, mixers,
> tournaments, stringing services, equipment sales, other). Thank you
> for your help.
>
> Cary

Jordan answered this much gooder than me. But a small thought...

The success/failure of a racquetball program at a club can sometimes
hinge on the "teaching pro". Are they personable, skilled, good at
teaching etc? Can they work the tie in to local high schools to
generate membership for the clubs and future adult (read: spending)
members? Etc.

Agreed on your observations about the income potential being missed.

equipment sales probably aren't going to be a big thing (lotsa people
buy on the internet these days), but stringing services might, lessons
definitely are, leagues don't really generate income, etc.)

I'm no business person but have been visiting local clubs for the
first time (playing tourneys) and *WOW* the differences...

Take care,

Dave


22 Jan 2004 21:22:24
Otto Dietrich
Re: Racquetball (and Squash) Profitability

Hi Cary

I'd recommend that you check out the information available on this page at
the USRA's website:

http://www.usra.org/usra/programs/01clubprofit.html

Good luck,

Otto

OTTO E. DIETRICH
National Rules Commissioner
USA Racquetball
"Play by the Rules" http://www.usra.org/usra/pub&ref/Rulebook.htm


"Cary" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Looking for some help to estimate racquetball (and squash)
> profitability at a health club. I'd like to present realistic
> profitability numbers to the health club manager. The club has
> 20,000+ members, 3 racquetball courts, 1 squash court, and is open
> 24/7. Currently there are minimal programming efforts in place and
> hence little or no profit. I feel like the club is overlooking a
> significant profit opportunity. Please break down the profit
> opportunities if possible (private lessons, clinics, leagues, mixers,
> tournaments, stringing services, equipment sales, other). Thank you
> for your help.
>
> Cary




24 Jan 2004 07:53:22
Ray Davis
Re: Racquetball (and Squash) Profitability

"Otto Dietrich" <[email protected] > wrote in message news:<yv%[email protected]>...
> Hi Cary
>
> I'd recommend that you check out the information available on this page at
> the USRA's website:
>
> http://www.usra.org/usra/programs/01clubprofit.html
>
> Good luck,
>
> Otto
>
> OTTO E. DIETRICH
> National Rules Commissioner
> USA Racquetball
> "Play by the Rules" http://www.usra.org/usra/pub&ref/Rulebook.htm
>


For true return per square footage projections, this formula needs to
be updated.

You're accounting for all of a racquetball players membership dollars
to the courts. This is misleading (unintentionally I'm sure) and a
club manager who's paying attention would punch holes in it to prove
you wrong.

Maybe in the 80's all of a racquetball players time was spent on a
court, but these days, racquetball players are using other parts of
the club to assist in their conditioning .... aerobics, weight
lifting, treadmills, bikes, etc. So to account for 100% of their
membership to racquetball would not be accurate.

As well as the flip side, you'd need to see how many other members of
the club who are not primarily racquetball players use the courts. A
percentage of their membership dollars should be added as well.

Have you had any discussions with the manager to see how THEY would
like you to present things ??

I'd hate to see you put out a ton of effort only to have the manager
leave it in their "to-do" pile because it wasn't presented in a manner
they were looking for.

Good luck !!

Ray Davis
Racquetball Roundtable
WNJC 1360AM
www.racquetballroundtable.com

PS > They're open 24/7 .. imagine a 2AM racquetball league !!! I'm
There !!!