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The top eight questions about joining a private club- and the answers

June 20th, 2022 | 6 min. read

The top eight questions about joining a private club- and the answers

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Common questions about joining private clubs — and the answers 


Do you want to join a private club? Perhaps you are drawn to the friendly community, the great facility, or its proximity to your home or job. Do you also have misgivings? Common concerns are that private clubs are too expensive, that there are no programs available for children, and that it will be hard to make friends there. 


Our staff at Paseo Club has been helping people learn about private clubs for over 16 years. We know the top questions people have about joining them. 


In this article, we will answer those questions and more, so you can decide if joining a private club is the right choice for you and your family.

  1. Are private clubs exclusive?

It depends.

Some private clubs' primary selling point is their exclusivity. Clubs like these bring in members because it creates a peer community. Members join the club, in part, to spend time with other like-minded people. Members may have similar political and religious views and have comparable incomes and education.


Alternately, other private clubs prioritize inclusivity, diversity, and being a hub for their local community. These clubs often have members of different backgrounds and ages and are more family-focused.


In order to learn more about the private club you are interested in, ask about their club culture, their selection process for new members, and any other question pertaining to the club’s demographic.

  1. Are private clubs expensive? What about initiation and hidden fees?

Private clubs can be expensive and the fees vary depending on the facility. Members typically pay monthly or annual dues. In addition, some private clubs require initiation fees when a person signs up. The initiation fee can be as low as one month of membership or as high as five figures.


Additional fees that are common at private clubs are for:


  • Small-Group or Private Instruction
  • Dining
  • Work Space
  • Storage Services for Personal Belongings
  • Specialized Classes
  • Childcare
  • Camps
  • Kid’s Lessons/Programs


  1. Are there resources for kids at private clubs? What about senior citizens?

Most private clubs are geared towards an adult clientele. Some clubs have small, auxiliary programs for youth such as tennis lessons, family swimming at the pool, or senior fitness classes such as tai chi or senior yoga. Other private clubs are family-based and have a multi-age approach to their programming. If this is an important feature for you, look for kids’ camps, childcare, kids’ sports lessons, and other similar options.


  1. Who is responsible for club improvements?

Individuals, families, or corporations run private clubs. They manage the club, the staff, and the facilities. They determine when repairs and improvements are necessary and absorb the costs. 


There are a small fraction of private clubs that are also equity clubs. Equity clubs are a type of private club where members join as part-owners. They are awarded voting rights and assist in the oversight of the club. In equity clubs, the owner-members do shoulder the expense of any and all work done on the facility.


  1. What if I want to terminate my membership? Are there penalties?

If a person wants to end their membership, they must submit the request in writing so there is a physical record. Traditionally, once the request to terminate has been given to the club, a 30-day cancellation policy goes into effect. 


This is not immediate termination. What this means is that the member must pay a pro-rated fee for the following 30 days of membership. After the 30 days are up the membership is officially terminated.


  1. Can I take a break from the club but not give up my membership?

Sometimes you just can’t make it to the club. It could be that you have travel plans, an illness, or a new job that is taking all of your time and energy. In the case when you want to take a break from membership but plan to be back soon, you can ask for a hold.


Depending on the club, there can be different types of holds. 


Medical holds are for when you are ill or recovering from surgery or an injury. You simply need to get a note from your doctor explaining that you need a medical hold. Often medical hold lasts for the entire duration of your recovery, regardless of how long that takes. 


A regular hold is for when you need to take a break for non-medical reasons. Depending on the club, members may be asked to pay a small percentage of their regular dues to maintain the hold.


  1.  What if I am new to the area? Will I be able to meet new people?

Private clubs frequently host gatherings to introduce new members to one another. Look for:


  • New Member Mixers
  • Club Dinners
  • Wine Tastings 
  • Fundraisers 
  • Sporting Events or Competitions


Private clubs tend to be social in nature and it is usually pretty easy to strike up a conversation with other members in order to get to know one another. You can also join a small-group fitness class or find a partner for tennis. 

  1. Do private clubs have a lot of turnover among instructors?

Private clubs pride themselves on hiring qualified, professional instructors. A great instructor will provide personalized care and attention to the members. 


Since an instructor’s role is so important, a club under skilled management will take care of its staff. This is done by providing good wages and a healthy work environment which reduces staff turnover. You will find that at many private gyms they will have staff that has worked there for many years, even decades.


Want to join a private club but aren't sure what the next steps are?


In this article, we have covered many of the questions and concerns people express about joining a private club. You have learned about costs, membership, club culture, and more.


We, at Paseo Club, know how confusing it can be to weed through all of the options. If you are in the Santa Clarita Valley and are looking for a club, come visit Paseo. Paseo Club is the premier private social club in the Santa Clarita Valley. We offer tennis, pickleball, swimming, and fitness classes, creating a home away from home for our members. 


To learn more about social clubs and country clubs and how they are similar and how they differ, read this article. It will educate you further about the two most common private clubs available.

Are you interested in our facility and want to see what is all about? Sign up for a tour today. On a Paseo tour, you will see the courts, pool, and fitness areas, and meet instructors. It's a great way to learn about what the Paseo community is like and see if it is a good fit for you.