View Full Version : Members Only Pool Room (exploratory)

04-08-2002, 12:31 AM
In order to address such things as Music Volume, Excess Smoke, Loudmouths and more a few in my area(Lower/Central Westchester) have begun to discuss a "members only-smoke free" Pool Room (with perhaps 3-4 tables) for like minded adults of reasonable means. Im sure it has been done before. Does anyone have any experience in this area? Regardless, I would appreciate hearing any intelligent thoughts, tips, ideas etc on the subject. Additionally if you think you might be interested in becoming a member, please Email me at OnthesnapO @aol.com

04-08-2002, 03:31 AM
Good morning:

While I have no first hand knowledge of any "Members" only Billiard Clubs, the concept does appeals to me. However, like any "Private" club or facility, the members must be ready, willing and able to pay for the cost and up keep of such a facility.

Dr. D.

Rich R.
04-08-2002, 06:16 AM
This tread brings a famous quote to mind. I believe it is from Groucho Marx and I hope I get it right.
"I would not join any club, that would have me as a member."
LMAO. Rich R.

04-08-2002, 08:09 AM
Not a new concept. Back in the 50's-60's there were a lot of social/athletic clubs that were strictly members only. Ours had a bar, with a bar table, and our own football team. Have no idea what kind of city ordinances/regulations you would run into nowadays. But it would most likely be an expensive undertaking. And be prepared to spend a lot of time to organize and run it. You can order 4 tables from Barry after the US Open is over for 4K each. (I think that is what he said the selling price will be.) Jake

04-08-2002, 09:26 AM
You can get oak tables from Diamond for $3675. $400 more for Dymondwood rails. Depends on which type of wood is at the open and if the lights are included whether you are getting a good deal or not.

I don't think 3 or 4 tables would bring in enough money to make expenses. You would do better with a non-smoking bar with a few tables. You have to make some money somewhere. I don't see why you have to be a private club to be non-smoking. You just have to be the owner-operator.

suppose you get 25 people to pay $100 a month. You might cover expenses but then you have 25 people expecting to play on 4 tables. That's great for the ones that are retired and can play during the day but there might be too much demand at night. So you limit the hours they can play and what if they want to bring friends in to play? You could impose a rate for non-members. You could allot times that could be traded. I think it could work but I wouldn't want to get involved with a liquor license. Bring your own might work. Then there's the problem of people dropping out. The rest would have to take up the slack.
Ken in CT

04-08-2002, 09:47 AM
The equipment is the easist thing. Im looking for ideas in other areas-Legal, BY-Laws, Pitfalls etc. As far as having a regular for profit room- Too much work plus the club members don't want to compete with the public for a table. What im thinking of here is along the lines of 20 members 4 tables, $500 initiation fee, $100 month dues.

04-08-2002, 10:20 AM
Woody Allen, not Groucho.

Rich R.
04-08-2002, 10:22 AM
Thank you Cuechick. Rich R.

04-08-2002, 11:06 AM
If you're going to be a priate organization I don't see a great deal of legal problems for this type of thing. You might look into the laws that apply to health clubs They take money up front and then set up a contract for monthly payments. Some of them go out of business and don't give the money back. Someone who moves is entitled to at least cancellation of the contract. You would probably not be subject to similar laws but might want to see how they are required to do business.

I assume the initiation fee would be earmarked for the equipment. So, these people should have partial ownership and be entitled to transfer that ownership or get bought out if they decide to stop participating. Let's say you have the operation going well and someone else wants to get in. Charge him $500? You might charge him $480 and give the others $24 refund. Just a thought how the original members might get some of their startup costs back.

It's a large financial commitment especially if there's no way to get something back along the way. If you allow members to bring guests in for a nominal rate maybe that could get split up somehow among the members.

$100 a month is almost what it would cost to put a Diamond table in my home and I would own it in 5 years. I know it's rare to have a room large enough to devote to a pool table and if I'm already paying around that to play in a public room the idea of a club sounds pretty good to me.

04-08-2002, 11:15 AM
Nope! Groucho is correct....ask an old fart!

Rich R.
04-08-2002, 11:27 AM
Thanks Jim, I thought I was correct, but was afraid I was having a "senior moment" and I was not about to argue. LMAO.
Rich R.~~~another old fart!

04-08-2002, 11:54 AM
How do you treat guests? Member shows up with three guests, table is taken for the night. I like the concept--just thinking out loud.

04-08-2002, 12:05 PM
Good afternoon:

A "Private" Billiard Club would operate in the same manner as a "Private" Golf or Country Club. Members are provided with certain specified services with their membership. Charges and costs would include annual membership fees and monthly food and beverage minimums. Guests, which are ususally restricted in number, would be required to be charged / pay a greens fee. This is not a difficult concept as long as all expenses and operational costs can be covered with the fewest number of members. Too many members could equate to insufficient resources and unhappy members.

Dr. D.

04-08-2002, 12:33 PM
I would require that guests pay something. Probably a low rate but enough to bring in some money that could be distributed to the members. Perhaps other family members should be free but you don't want someone bringing all his gambling buddies from the pool hall to play for free.

If you just consider the 4 prime hours on weekdays such as 7-11 PM there are enough hours and tables to give each member a 4 hour block of time once a week. You could plan ahead when to bring quests in and you could trade time with someone else if you need a certain day.

This could get complicated but 4 tables and 20 people would allow a lot of playing time apiece.

04-08-2002, 12:42 PM
Good afternoon:

Maybe, depending on how the organization would be structured, the "Member" could purchase a table which would be located with-in the facility and maintained by the organization. Monthly fees, to cover the cost of operations and maintenance and the like would be paid for by the member.

Dr. D.

04-08-2002, 12:49 PM
The only problem with the country club analogy is that the proposed club does not contain any provision for hiring a staff to enforce the rules. Just a bunch of people wanting to play pool in a pleasant atmosphere at a minimal expense. We need someone from the New York area with management experience to volunteer her time to run this operation.

04-08-2002, 12:50 PM
Yes those are 2 of the things I've thought of. 2 Members wanting to play would always have priority over member and guest or single practicing member when crowded. Member and guest would be required to give up table to 2 Members upon say 1/2 hr notice. Guest passes at $10 day, $5 if booted off in under two hours-Free under one. 3 Guests/week maximum at start up-one thereafter-None on Fri/Sat Nites.

Dues/Initiation to possibly be adjusted down with refunds to prior members making everything equal.

An even mix of Members would be sought relativee to day players/evening players and Night owls.

Non working/retired members would be required to give up table to working stiffs in the evenings and weekend days.

Rule violaters can be booted from club by simple majority vote-not 2/3 to keep everyone on their best behaviour. Cannot have friction in small club like this.

Naked Britney Spears look-alikes play free. Yes there are a lot of issues to think of.

Who gets to play when crowded could become sensitive issue so membership would be limited to avoid that.

Im thinking of getting space for 4 tables but only installing 3 and expanding when kinks are worked out.

I've also learned that new Diamond tables can be leased for $150 month.

Thanks for the tips- keep them coming but again, this is still very exploratory.

04-08-2002, 03:17 PM
Good afternoon:

Should I consider the statement / question as a solicitation? If it is, please E-Mail me directly to discuss in greater detail.

Dr. D.

04-08-2002, 03:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Ken:</font><hr> We need someone from the New York area with management experience to volunteer her time to run this operation. <hr></blockquote>

Dr D notwithstanding, normally you get what you pay for with free (volunteer) help.

Consideration must also be made for things like license, insurance, power, etc.


04-08-2002, 03:47 PM
all right I will relinquish to age over beauty on this one...maybe Woody was quoting Groucho?

04-08-2002, 03:53 PM
Good afternoon:

You are absolutely correct. The cost of operation; for rent, utilities, insurance, maintenance, utilities, staffing (yes even a minimal staff would be required), will prove to be a signficant monthly expense.

Dr. D.

04-08-2002, 04:33 PM
I dont think it can be done if paid staff is required. I was thinking more along the lines of volunteers or dues free membership for a person willing to hang around some and clean etc. Entry would have to be by some electronic card system where entries/exits are recorded. Also for additional security purposes i think it should be optimally located on 2nd floor or basement of an active building.

I have requested some "layout" help online but i dont know if it will be forthcoming. If anyone knows a simple formula or other help relative to Layout/Sq ft required for Multiple Tables, i'd like to hear it.

04-08-2002, 05:28 PM
I think there is such a room in Rockford IL.,which I believe has around 40 members. I believe that Carl Lebovich (not sure of spelling) has something to do with it
the last I heard it was doing alright. I think it was originally set up for 3c players but has expanded to pool players also. Maybe Jim S or Chris Cass can get some information about it as they are closer to that area than me. It can be made to work but everyone involved needs to contribute to help keep it running smoothly. Keep it simple and you can have good equipment to play on. Good used equipment can be kept in top playing condition if it is taken care of and not abused. JMHO

04-08-2002, 08:10 PM
There is an exclusive private billiards club forming in Brooklyn. Ownership/memberships are currently available for $50,000.00. Non-owner memberships will become available at a later date and are expected to cost about $10,000.00. Owners/members are likely to recover all of their investment through allowcation of follow-up revenue. Yearly dues are about $5,000. Plans call for smoking and totally smoke free pool areas, a bar, kitchen, and lounge with attendents and rooms for private entertaining, an outdoor swimming pool, barbeque area, and other amenities.

04-08-2002, 10:48 PM
Well that sounds nice but id rather start small and see how it goes. My place will have a fridge, a TV, Stereo and tables-not much more.