Private pool club - how many members for a 6 table club?

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You read "the vibe" correctly.

Unlike a commercial public room, where the owner is trying to make as much money as possible in order to live off of, the concept we are working with a that the Equity Members of the Private Club assure the continuance and maintenance of the club for the enjoyment of it's member body; therefore, it only needs profitable enough to achieve that goal; plus about 5-10% to cover variable and infrequent costs as they arise without issuing an assessment to cover those costs.

So again, you are correct.

The concept we are looking at is maximum comfort with maximum pool, versus, maximum revenue with maximum people.

We are looking at our concept from the opposite of that of a for-profit commercial public room; and instead, our question is not: "How can we make the most money with this?"; but rather, "What is the absolute minimum number of members we can accommodate properly and keep the doors open in perpetuity?"

So the goal - in our case - is to actually sell the minimum number of memberships; and, have a solid waiting list of qualified prospective members waiting in the wings on a waiting list; just like your better Private Golf and Exclusive Country Clubs - albeit on a much smaller scale of economy.

Once the 'profit motive' for a private room has been reduced to minimum above operation costs, then you can get away with only 6 tables. How one could possibly make money with 6 tables only - no bar, no restaurant, etc - which is really a bar/restaurant business with 6 tables on the side - is unfathomable to me.

However, we are only looking at covering the costs of a club house with 6 tables in it, with, no one trying to make a living off the club, pay a home mortgage, buy a car, or put braces on a teenager. Once those goals are eliminated, the small, limited membership, private club model becomes feasible, in our estimation.

In our case, selling 'maximum number of memberships' would work directly against our goal; and, lead us down the familiar path of some private golf clubs which get too popular, allow too many members in, over-crowd the club and course, then the whole place gets a bad reputation as disgruntled members flee; and, the club begins to perpetually scramble for replacement members.

So, not disagreeing with anything in your post; but, your ideas, imho, are more properly suited to a 'for profit' commercial enterprise, and not a 6 table private-member owned/operated club - which exists for the pleasure of it's member-body; and not, to financially support a man operating a retail business.

One thing: There would be a small revenue contribution to the operating budget from the profit from things like cold drinks, cue locker fees, and, if a lathe is on-site for repairs with a qualified repairman who comes in twice a week, etc, then those things would be available to the dues paying members; but not at commercial/retail rates, but at a much lower mark-up over cost. After all, the members are the owner/partners; not retail customers. - GJ
I hear you. I think it’s too wishy washy though. No one works for free. If Tin Man is there all day, then that’s his job because he won’t have time to hold a dayjob.

He mentioned 2 silent partners. Are they going to put up their money, maybe 100k for a build out, equipment, etc, for pool players to hang out and put their feet up?

Cue repair man (I was one on the side for 10 years) aren’t going to come set up their machine for half price and give the other half to the room.

In a commercial room, bangers pay the bills so the serious players have good equipment. Limiting memberships to the bare minimum in a private club is akin to not letting bangers in the doors of a commercial room.

Also, the goals of good and fun and relaxing pool are only possible when the money is rolling in. If it’s not, the first thing to go is new cloth. Then new balls. Then the cleaning lady. Then there is piss all over the floor and the members leave.

Also as a pool player I want a jumping vibe. I don’t want a dead club. Does not matter if it’s private or commercial. Players bring in players. You want to belong to something on the way up, not on the way out. It needs energy. Warm bodies give out energy.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Well if you doing this even as private club, you better have ducks in tow.

Talk with Attorney in you State of operation to find out how to protect yourself if something mad happens.

Got to protect yourself from civil litigation.
 

mrpiper

Registered
You would do VERY WELL to contact Red Dragon Billiards Club in Massachusetts. They have been in business successfully doing sort of what you are thinking of and have done it right for quite a while. The owner is very kind and knowledgeable.

https://www.facebook.com/reddragonbilliards/

reddragonbilliards@gmail.com

Good luck to you. I wish you were opening near me. I would be the first to join. I own a table at home but would love the opportunity to go to a place that was not a bar and enjoy games with non smoking, non drunk enthusiasts with music not so loud I get a headache! You are doing a good thing.
 

GentlemanJames

Well-known member
I hear you. I think it’s too wishy washy though. No one works for free. If Tin Man is there all day, then that’s his job because he won’t have time to hold a dayjob.

He mentioned 2 silent partners. Are they going to put up their money, maybe 100k for a build out, equipment, etc, for pool players to hang out and put their feet up?

Cue repair man (I was one on the side for 10 years) aren’t going to come set up their machine for half price and give the other half to the room.

In a commercial room, bangers pay the bills so the serious players have good equipment. Limiting memberships to the bare minimum in a private club is akin to not letting bangers in the doors of a commercial room.

Also, the goals of good and fun and relaxing pool are only possible when the money is rolling in. If it’s not, the first thing to go is new cloth. Then new balls. Then the cleaning lady. Then there is piss all over the floor and the members leave.

Also as a pool player I want a jumping vibe. I don’t want a dead club. Does not matter if it’s private or commercial. Players bring in players. You want to belong to something on the way up, not on the way out. It needs energy. Warm bodies give out energy.
 

GentlemanJames

Well-known member
Regarding 'wishy-washy', if you go back and read my post above, you will find were I addressed the issues of club 'Houseman' duties, so that the principle member/President does not by default become the 'responsible employee' and ends-up working for free; as you point out.

I cannot comment on the specifics on TIN MAN's concept; only the one I am involved with.

I do not recall mentioning "half price". We do have a serviceable plan in place to accommodate the club with repair service which is good for the concept and good for the repair man.

The rest of you comments are quite valid to your tastes, your goals, ect; however, the member profile we are looking to attract and retain is looking for a more refined atmosphere akin to an exclusive country club; and not, a hopping night club with the sound-system pumping.

It's simply a matter of different strokes for different folks; that what makes it exclusive and private. Again, this is the same model as the private-member Golf Club; and, they perpetuate their membership by nominating prospect members for admission. So in that sense, yes, "players bring in players" - but, in our case, it isn't strangers off the street.

This phase of our conversation reminds me of that scene in The Hustler: "No Bar, No Pinball Machines, No Bowling Allies; just Pool, nothing else.........this is Ames, mister!" :LOL: - GJ
 
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CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
You would do VERY WELL to contact Red Dragon Billiards Club in Massachusetts. They have been in business successfully doing sort of what you are thinking of and have done it right for quite a while. The owner is very kind and knowledgeable.

https://www.facebook.com/reddragonbilliards/

reddragonbilliards@gmail.com

Good luck to you. I wish you were opening near me. I would be the first to join. I own a table at home but would love the opportunity to go to a place that was not a bar and enjoy games with non smoking, non drunk enthusiasts with music not so loud I get a headache! You are doing a good thing.


Sort of another private v cab luv is Arizona Snooker Academy, guy use to post here.


 

SBC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Income is easy to “define”… 😁

But with any business plan, the challenges lie in the assumptions you make going into it…
In the northeast...and other places....pool is very seasonal. October to April here.

If you are going to count on leagues for income...best to start your own national or house leagues. If you trust your business to a league operator, they will screw you sooner or later.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm opening up a private pool club with six 9' Diamond tables and a 7' Diamond bar table. Not open to the public. 24/7 key access, etc.

How many members do you think this club would support before table availability becomes a concern?

Also, what do you think a reasonable monthly fee would be? I'm in the Minneapolis, MN area. I'll also be running some guided training out of the club (it is going to be designed for people looking to train and improve). Not nightly classes like a dojo, but not just an anytime fitness. I have my plan and ultimately the market will decide, just curious on thoughts of others.
50 members, $200/month dues. A lot of stipulations would be needed in terms of guest regulations, maximums and fees, so that members always have priority table availability. I’m guessing at least a $25 per session guest fee, limits for guest visits and significantly higher guest fees for serious $ games involving guests, if that’s even permitted?

Although a great idea, sounds to me like a potential headache to operate / manage in dealing with all the issues that will invariably come up - alcohol / food allowed? priority table time for members? limits to table time for members and guests, etc?
 
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SBC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Get vending machines.....
Even people you have known 20 years will rob you blind if left to the honor system.
 
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Gmess3000

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
South Dade Billiard Academy in Miami, 50-60 members last I could recall. 24/7 access w/key fab, 5 tables (2 new predator tables) never an issue with tables (over crowded). $100 a month. Its a sweet deal. Good luck with your room, sounds like it'll be dope
 

RabbiHippie

"Look! A real hippie!"
Silver Member
Anytime Billiards in the Des Moines metro area has most of the private club features that @Tin Man describes. $65/month with a one-time fee of $130 when joining.

The concept works for them because they sell and install Diamond tables and the room serves a dual purpose as "showroom" for their main business.

Ping me in a PM, @Tin Man for their contact info.
 

WobblyStroke

Active member
I love this idea and I hope u crush it so hard I get copycat businesses near me.
Cpl of thoughts...
-I think either a lower fee plus a small flat rate per visit or just a moderate flat rate per visit will make more money.
- what about limited time meberships at different rates? Early birds, prime time, night owls.
- I would love a feature like golf clubs have so you can schedule a 4some of similar skilled players for example. Or even a 'looking for playing partners' board that members can post on and see what kind of game they are looking for and when. This is a feature that I would love to have. So easy for golf, yet nonexistent for pool....so far. make it happen and I'm moving to ur city.

best of luck
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yrs ago I heard of a club like this in IL that was in business for decades, I wonder if it's still going.
 
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