Discussion of the economy and the possibility of recession came up at dinner recently and it is on people’s minds.
If a recession does hit, I have no idea how bad it’s going to be, but with everything that’s going on in the United States and in Europe and the stock markets fluctuating so wildly, something’s got to give. The Canadian economy is fine right now, but you wonder how strong it can be in this type of environment.
You can usually get a good idea from your members’ spending habits and there is caution out there, at least compared to the beginning of the year. People are watching and waiting, especially with everything that’s happened the last few weeks.
I don’t even like picking up the paper anymore, but people are informed. They’re on the Internet, they read the papers and watch the news. They know what’s going on and they don’t want to get bit again, so they go into a protective mode.
All you can do is try to protect yourself, keep your inventories clean and make sure your departments are trying to get rid of what you have.
Even in a recession, there are things that some people won’t give up and for many, recreation is one of them. It’s one thing to have the recreation, but what’s your dollars per round? That’s where it starts to affect the golf industry.
Are they staying for dinner? Are they buying a set of golf clubs or a shirt or shoes? In our case, our members pay their dues, but what about all the other things that go with that?
You get some members who spend $15,000 to $20,000 over the course of a year, but all of a sudden, if that gets cut back drastically and you get a few people doing that, it’s going to affect your numbers and it’s going to affect that atmosphere of the club.
People might not be staying for dinner, or getting excited about nine and dines and other activities. They’ll be at home watching TV after a round.
The main thing about what you’re hearing in the news is that it prepares you for what might be ahead, but we can’t allow it to get us down and stop us from forging ahead.