March 4, 2021

Tisch Center Course Spotlight: Management of Private Clubs and Resorts

Management of Private Clubs and Resorts is a concentration course in the BS in Hotel and Tourism Management program. Professor John Moser, the instructor, tells us more about his background and the course in this post.

What is your background?

I spent 30 years in hospitality as a general manager and CMO in the boutique hotel world.  I grew up as a “club rat” playing tennis every summer in my youth.  I have been on the Board of 9 clubs and President of 2.  I’ve spent much of my life enjoying clubs and resorts and the latter part of my life operating both.  I now consult clubs and resorts around the country. There is a uniqueness to the challenge of making sure your guests and members are satisfied and anticipating what will bring them back in the future.

At the Tisch Center, you teach the Managing Private Clubs and Resorts course. What are the objectives of the course?

To explore the challenges involved in operating clubs and resorts.  The art of ensuring your guests/club members are enjoying themselves is not an easy task!  Through interactive discussion the class will address, leadership, customer service, consumer trends, industry developments, staffing, budgeting, departmental communication, expense control, revenue strategies, fee structures, geographical influences, governmental regulations, long term growth, and strategic management.

Throughout the semester we visit clubs (virtually now but in person in the future) and resorts from around the world, and see the operation from the inside. We analyze the programming of a resort or club in terms of customer desires, facility use, and staffing patterns. We compare the operation of tennis, golf, yachting, and swimming clubs.  By the end of the semester, we will all know want makes some clubs and resorts great and why others fail.

Why is this an important and interesting subject area in our fields?

The resort and club industry have similar goals: to create a place for customers/members to relax and unwind.  How they get there and how they operate are quite different. That is the magic of this sector in hospitality.   The many people I know that work in the club and resort industry would never leave it.  It is in their blood.  Imagine getting to create memorable experiences for your customers every day.  A leader at Pinehurst resort once told me, “I never get tired of seeing all the smiles on guests’ faces at the end of the day.”

What impact do you hope to have on your students through this course?

If they are like me, they will never be able to step on the campus of a club or resort without wondering about how things are done and why they are done that way. By meeting industry leaders (guest speakers) they will also get a first-hand knowledge of the industry and whether it is something they would like to pursue as a career. The students in this class will feel the passion the leaders of Clubs and Resorts have for their business. This is really what makes this sector so great.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My favorite part of the semester is at the end, when each student creates their own resort/club based on the work we have done all semester.  The rest of the class hears about the club/resort idea as investors.  Is this a club/resort we would want to invest in?  These new club/resort ideas are creative and clever.  I marvel at the work and cannot wait to see one of them come to fruition!

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