Monthly Archives: December 2006

ClubCorp Sale: FINAL, But where is the Plan?

 

OK, I let the KSL PRESS RELEASE they sent out on the 26th mull for awhile giving everyone there a chance to take a deep breath and then jump in to let the over 200,000 dues paying members know what they are going to do to get things at most of the over 100 private country clubs they own going to improve the properties.  Yes, many of these facilites need major renovation, if not overhauls, just to get up to the standard of the membership fees the members pay each month.

Here it is, New Year’s Eve, a perfect time to tell all what they plan to do. But NO!, Still no word, just speculations.  Like…..

Are they going to ‘Flip-It’?

Are they selling off the properties that have large capital needs?

Are they going to change the add-on fees or do away with the member privileges?

Are they going to invest in the renovations so to shore up their investments?

Are they going to raise the membership dues?

Are they going to assess the member’s for large amount of cash to have the facilities overhauled?

Are they going to bring in innovative club managers who know how to treat all members (Yes, this means the ladies also), and want to do what the members want to make them happy and loyal?

 

OR, are they just going to sit tight while the good ship CCA slowly sinks with its $1.6 Billon on board?

My bet, they are going to ‘flip-it’ and then that starts all of this all over again since whoever they ‘flip-it’ to is going to have to deal with the problems that get worst each day.

I am sure one of the solutions KSL will consider is to hope that some of the members who are concerned with their decisions (or lack of one) will leave so they can bring in younger, and hopefully stupider, memberships who don’t know they are getting screwed.  That could be in the plan and the smarter members, who also are not property owners, will probably take them up on that strategy.

But what about the ten’s of thousands of property owners who live or own property on these golf courses?  Some of whom are not members.  What takes place with the club affects their property value?  How does their decision affect these property owners?? 

Well by selling off the club to a Daily Fee management company or to a golf management company that has developed a negative cash flow process and drives the course into the ground, this could affect the image of the property surrounding the dilapidated club.  This results in cuts being made to quality and develops into a less desirable facility. 

All of this would result in lower property value.  If the property values go down, well then so does the Tax base.  When the Tax base goes down then the Cities these clubs are in are not able to keep up the infrastructures of the neighborhoods around the facilities and then there goes the neighborhood.   Who would want to be a member of a club that has shacks and run down homes along its fairways?  Even homeowner associations could not hold up to the pressure that this change in local economy would make. 

So, you see, the property owners hold HUGE interest in this venture that KSL and CCA seemingly are taking so lightly.  And not revealing their plan causes concern, speculation and negative assumptions which result in Real Estate Agents leading potential buyers away from property on the club’s courses because of the uncertainty in the outcome of the club’s management style.  This leads to stressed investments and reduced pricing to below the market to being buyers into the neighborhoods.

All of this keeps going on until there is so much negativity towards the owners of the club by the non-member property owners that….that…..well…on negative results could develop.  And this is an example of how things have gotten out of hand because the plan was not announced when the sale for ClubCorp to KSL was final.

And here it is New Years Eve and still no plan. 

Maybe KSL is hoping that once the headaches and hangovers from New Year’s are being felt they will cheer us due paying members up by telling us what they are going to do to this 50 year old company. 

 

 

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You Drink, You Drive: You Run A Real Good Chance of Going To Jail

I was driving home to Dallas from a long golf weekend in Austin and right after I hit the city limits of Big ‘D’ there they were…the nice clean shining White and Blue Dallas Police vehicles along the road…right over the hill or parked behind a bridge embankment…set up to pick off anyone who wants to test the speed limits around Dallas.  And with it being New Year’s Eve, I am sure it is going to be tested by someone.

But as I passed the half dozen or so I saw from the South of town to Far North Dallas, there was no police officers in the cars….and thinking back from when I saw the first one, they were placed in some really convenient places where if you were speeding when you came up on one you would be cleaning your britches out for the next few miles….  It was like someone had thought out the exact spot to sit a car where it would catch your attention.

Now,  I will have to applaud the new police chief of Dallas if this was his idea because it worked.  Instead of those cars sitting in the Police Garage, put them along the side of the road so it makes the drivers think…much better than some of the Colt Malt Liquor ads on the billboards. 

Those empty cars made for a real pleasant drive through South Dallas where if you are not driving at least 20 MPH over the speed limit you are going to get run over.  Not much better on the North tollway where with that road being so straight every BMW and Lamborghini in Dallas finally get to shift into their fancy ‘6th’ gear of those new transmissions and push the boundaries of ridiculous speeds while weaving in and out of bumper-to-bumper traffic…but this time, it was pleasant and a nice drive all the way into my driveway and into the garage.

So, thanks City of Dallas, for thinking innovatively and spending the Tax Payers Money’s wisely by placing empty patrol cars around town…I am sure it will come in handy in a car chance to be able to use those cars like the pony express…Oh, I forgot, that is Fort Worth style, not Dallas.

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Bradford HomeSuites-Austin: Not A Home away from HOME

 If you are reading this than you are either one of my faithful fans or wanted to know if the deal at the Bradford HomeSuites-North Austin, TX is a good deal.  Bottomline: NO!

I am sitting here at 6:30AM in the Bradford HomeSuites in the dark at what they call a desk.  I report it being dark because every light in this room is hooked to one switch, with the exception of the kitchen, or what I would call a galley.  Anyway if I cut the lights on it would wake up my wife who had a hard time getting to sleep due to the noise you hear going on in every room in this building. Plus the alarm clock that keeps going off in the room next to us where nobody is staying was really annoying.  I need to use the restroom, but noise the toilet makes is close to what a shuttle launch makes I did not want to wake everyone in North Austin and since the guy upstairs must had visited one of the local bars for the FREE Beer, I go to listen to his toilet launch every hour or so. 

Additionally, the room is so small that we barely could get all of luggage in here for the three nights we are staying…but back to why this place sucks….the size of the room.  The bed was advertised as being a queen, but I am not sure I know what queen it was measured for since this bed is really small.

Drawer space…well, there are two drawers to put you clothes in.  Bathroom: Yes, it was indoors, but very small.   For what was advertised as luxury stay, I would really hate to see the regular style hotel. 

I would say this was not a value and I would take it that since there are only four other guest in this building, which there are three buildings with the same number staying in eac (which is very odd since the surrounding hotels booked solid), I would say the status of the Bradford HomeSuites in North Austin near the Arboretum has been known for sometime…I just thought that I would provide a fresh report for those looking to stay here.

If it wasn’t for the other places being booked for some UT activity, we would ahe checked out…..and since we came to play golf…we stayed at the club moswt of the day…

So what do they need to do to improve this joint:  If Bradford is reading…guys, put some king size beds in here and you may maybe able to say it was Upscale.

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Austin, TX Golf: Good Year Around

I am down in Austin, TX for a few days playing golf, eating at my favorite resturants and taking a break before I get real busy from the announcements I am going to make on Tuesday.

One thing I can say about the golf in Austin is you can play here almost everyday of the year.  It rained while we played, but it was not too bad or kept us from playing…nothing some real good sushi would not fix.

Stay tuned for more on what is in store for business golf in 2007.

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Business Golf for 2007

Yes, it is still the 2006 Holiday Season and Santa has come and gone.  He left under my tree a lot of New Stuff for Business Golf.

I will be making some REAL BIG announcements next week on what will be going on in the Business Golf arena in 2007…so stay tuned, I’ll be back to fill you in on what you will be reading about next.

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ClubCorp Sale: UPDATE

 

Yes, I see all of you fans reading my thoughts on the sale of CCA to KSL… I guess you must be like me and want to know what the heck is going on and asking ‘when will the plan for this deal be told?’.

Well I have not seen anything and as the midnight hour comes for this year I can only guess that if there is a plan revealed it will be at the eleventh hour…not that there is anything the thousands of members of the hundreds of country clubs owned by CCA can do about it….or is there?

I know that the members I know are very concerned with the way this deal has gone down and the treatment they have been provided since the announcement back in May that ClubCorp was selling. The many property owners around the hundreds of country clubs affected are getting very concerned with who is managing this show. Both are combined in what is felt by all as a lack of respect in their investment in the deal…the true stakeholders in this deal…not stockholders, but stakeholders.

When someone is not treated with respect what happens to the trust? The trust there will be a golf club to enjoy. The trust that there will be a place left to take family, friends and business associates to be treated with respect. The trust KSL has hoping that the members will continue to be members and continue to fork over the bucks each month to keep their club and ClubCorp running? Well, the further the time spans between the latest news and when the truth is told, the lower the trust rating by the members towards the management of the deal.

We know that the Pink Slips have been issued as is the case in most deals where change for the worst is in the plan, but is that the plan? Is it going to be left up to rumor or speculation? I guess so…so let’s begin speculating.

I first feel that there will be properties sold off. Which ones? More likely the ones where the cost of bring the facility up to standard is going to cost more than the value. Smart business and could be good news…depending on who the new buyers will be.

I also feel that deal will be to raise the membership fees, which if the raise resulted in some equity in ownership and the facilities brought up to above standards and add a resort to the properties and other added value Member Only features could be a good deal if the membership fees were reflective of the service that was going to be given.

But the balance of current events still has to be weighted to speculate further. As in most cases, membership dues have gone up recently and still no better service, no better treatment, no better management and no better facilities…so what can you trust?

Right now all you can trust is that there is a change coming. What it is, well we are left to guessing and I guess it is not going to be to anyone’s liking. What can you do? Well, if you are dues paying members I guess that is up to you….

 

Scot Duke is President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC and author of How To Play Business Golf. Mr Duke uses his 32 years of business management experience to help businesses develop to be more successful and mentor business people on how powerful of a business tool Business Golf can be towards solving many business challenges. More information on Mr Duke and Business Golf can is available at the Innovative Business Golf Solutions web-site.

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George Lopez & I Dream of Jeannie

 

Not much is happening in the world of TV with Studio 60 on a break for another week.  ET reports that George Lopez and crew will be brining in Barbara Eden in for a short stint on the George Lopez Show and will play George’s housekeeper….  OK, yes, I grew up with I Dream of Jeannie, but come on…isn’t it time to retire?

ETONLINE.com

 

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