Episode:#37 Shaun Boyce & Bobby Schindler

In this episode we talk to Scott McCulloch, President and COO of Cliff Drysdale Tennis Management. CDT manages Chateau Elan, Standard Club, and two huge tennis facilities in Rome, GA. Scott tells us they manage 63 clubs in 13 countries.

For more: https://www.cliffdrysdale.com/locations

https://www.linkedin.com/company/cliffdrysdaletennis/

For more about Scott: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-mcculloch-107b15158/

Shaun Boyce USPTA: [email protected]

https://tennisforchildren.com/ 🎾

Bobby Schindler USPTA: [email protected]

https://windermerecommunity.net/ 🎾

Geovanna Boyce: [email protected]

https://regeovinate.com/ πŸ’ͺπŸΌπŸ‹οΈ

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Transcript
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(upbeat music)

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Welcome to the Atlanta Tennis Podcast.

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Every episode is titled, "It Starts With Tennis"

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and goes from there.

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We talk with coaches, club managers,

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industry business professionals, technology experts,

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and anyone else we find interesting.

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We wanna have a conversation as long as it starts with tennis.

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(soft music)

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- Hey, hey, this is Shaun with the Atlanta Tennis Podcast,

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powered by GoTennis!

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Check out our calendar of Metro Atlanta Tennis events

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at LetsGoTennis.com,

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where you can also find deals on equipment, apparel,

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and members get 10% off our shop.

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So go get yourself an Atlanta Tennis Monsters shirt.

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I've got mine and I wear it all the time.

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In this episode, we talked to Scott McCulloch,

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who is president and COO of Cliff Dryasdale Tennis Management,

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a group which manages Chateau Elan,

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Standard Club, and two huge facilities in Rome, Georgia.

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Have a listen and let us know what you think.

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(soft music)

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- Let's start with that one,

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because that's more of the, obviously,

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that's a resort to me.

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That's, you know, I always felt like,

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why aren't they doing more weekend getaway type things?

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- I think it's sort of changed over the years.

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I'd say early on in the early years,

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there was normally, you got the call,

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not after the ban a year,

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it was normally there was an issue,

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there was some exchange need to be made,

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or a direction change,

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and that's where you were brought in.

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So I think that was a lot of the early routes for us

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as we picked up a lot of contracts.

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But then as years have gone on,

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and we've gotten bigger with more resources, more support,

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sometimes it's coming into a good operation,

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and then enhancing what's already there,

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taking what's already good,

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and then just putting,

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for lack of better words, putting it on steroids,

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putting more people around it,

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more resources connecting it to more other properties.

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So there's an enhanced value proposition for the membership,

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because by being a member here,

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have access to these clubs,

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and these resulting in different parts of the country as well.

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Shatouwala initially started

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because it's a true managed club on the both side.

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So that's how the introduction came

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through the engagement there.

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But yes, I mean, not much had happened in years,

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they put a bunch of money into the property.

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So we actually do a lot of hemp business there.

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That's the majority of the business.

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At Shatouwala, we have penicent wine weekends,

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pickable wine weekends.

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We're going through a resurface project right now,

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so that'll sort of turn into some more beefing up

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of the membership and local offerings,

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but you're right, it's a little outside

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of the immediate scope of what is known

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as the juggernaut of Atlanta tennis.

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- So, and I guess we have making an assumption, Shank,

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'cause we're in the business.

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We know who Scott is and who he works for,

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but should we start there?

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What is Cliff Dries down?

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And Peter Burwas and the National,

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what is your mission statement?

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What do you try, what do you provide to, what is your service?

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- So you want me to just share my name

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and a little bit of myself.

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- Yeah, this way everybody knows you.

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And then, like I said, my apologize,

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we jumped in, assuming everybody knows you,

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like me and we can't do that.

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- My name is Scott McCallock,

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I'm the president and chief operating officer

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of Cliff Dries down management.

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And Cliff Dries down management

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has sort of grown over the years.

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Cliff Dries down tennis was purchased by Trune,

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who's the largest golf management company in the world,

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about five years ago coming up in a couple of weeks from now.

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And then in December of 2021,

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Trune then also acquired PBI,

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which is known as PDAB Washington National.

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So, Trune purchased over the last five years,

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the two largest tennis management companies in the world.

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So that's all now both brands are serviced

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under our Cliff Dries' del headquarters.

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And we support both those brands,

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also white label brands and also Trune clubs,

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within all the scope of record sports,

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from private clubs, city contracts, resorts, seasonal clubs.

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And we serve as 63 clubs over 13 countries

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to the globe.

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And they look at different shapes and sizes,

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some are one-man operations,

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some are large operations with tennis, front-ass maintenance,

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membership, all facets of operations.

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So whatever is within the club management world,

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we really dive into that.

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And then in addition, we have a travel business,

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which does signature events and camp events

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to all of our resorts throughout the globe,

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as well, more so domestically,

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and sort of expanding more into the international scope as well.

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So we sort of live all in that.

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We, our roots were tennis for many, many years,

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which is indicated in our name,

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still Cliff Guised, del tennis,

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and PBI and the national tennis specialist,

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but we've definitely mentioned

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into record sports as well,

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and support where I am right now at Key to Skane,

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we have a large pedal operation,

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and then also a lot of pickable

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that's morphed into a lot of our other properties as well.

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So we definitely live in record sports,

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but how hot has always been in the tennis field?

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- I think we're all going through that.

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But your pickable is such a great opportunity,

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and in Florida, Padault as well.

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I mean, you know, so, you know,

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and especially in Atlanta,

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and this, you know, again, we always,

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we ask, we'd love to hear your insight

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because we always feel Atlanta is so different,

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that Atlanta, unfortunately,

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for those involved in the industry,

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it has been historically more at a amenity.

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It's cheap, the, you know,

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because most of these neighborhoods,

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culturally because of Alta have been built

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with tennis courts, lights,

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and a lot of things that are clubs,

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other places are neighborhoods here,

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so so much is taken for granted.

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So Atlanta is always a bit of a challenge.

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Curios, now, Trune,

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I always, you guys were more of a management,

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Trune owns some of these facilities as well,

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so you're kind of going into the same spaces,

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invited formerly club court.

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- Sure, now, Trune is third party management as well.

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- Yeah, as well.

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- Of the, yeah, as the, of the 750 plus properties,

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they obviously, they probably have ownership

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in two to three of them.

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So it's, yeah, primarily third party management.

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- So they're staying out of the real estate game,

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probably good for them.

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- A little less complete.

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- Yes, exactly.

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Very good.

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So that, that, that certainly helps, I think everybody,

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because it's, it's fascinating.

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Obviously, I had a friend partner starting off,

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who was a PBI alumni and was out in Hawaii

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and got, we started the idea of management company,

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20 some years ago, and always left scalability, so difficult,

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because either, you know, tennis especially in Atlanta,

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there's no overhead, so your majority of your revenue,

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is being paid out, it's labor and tension.

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So I, I loved what you said earlier about, you know,

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we take our margins and through obviously size,

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we can grow our margins that way,

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'cause it's a tough business.

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I mean, you know, you guys do it very well

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and you, I come from a great, but it's a tough business.

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It's not easy.

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- It's a, it's a grueling business

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and it's always, particularly in the early,

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is there's a, there's a challenge with scale

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because as you take on more properties,

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the not all properties are where their potential are,

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they maybe starting out and there's a, there's a slow turn

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to get a club really under, under the rails.

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But then to add value to that,

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you've got to have experts and support staff

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that support those teams and that's sort of then a balance

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of how many, where's the horse before,

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you know, they're out before the horse

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because you get the support staff to then go out

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and get clubs or as you get clubs,

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how do you send scale up the supporters well?

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And there's, raise it in margins in it because like you said,

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everything is really within the revenue

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that you can charge for tennis and then all the,

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you've got all the costs and the payroll and the overhead

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and the business operations that it's a very thin margin

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business that you've got to be very on point

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and very detailed and accurate.

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You can't take too many swings without some good

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bought process behind it and sort of how you're going to

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approach it and how you approach galing

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because you're going to do it within the right step

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because if you're not taking care of home base,

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where you are, then you can't go out and get it

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get five or 10 more because those are going to collapse on you.

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So you've always got to have an eye for growing

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but also growing the sustainability of what you've got

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as well and making sure there's quality in them.

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- Well, within a business you want to grow

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but at a single club, if you want to talk

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Shatohalon or Atlanta specific Shatohalon or Standard Club,

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they don't care about you growing.

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They don't actually want you to grow.

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They want everybody else to go away

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and they only care about themselves

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and what are you going to do for my club?

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So how do you, from your position, it's kind of a tied in question

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of kind of improving tennis in general in Atlanta.

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So you're this big conglomerate that comes down

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to help manage a facility rather than a Bobby Shindler type

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who runs his facility and doesn't have all the other clubs

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to worry about.

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He can focus on his one club.

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How do you still have that personal touch

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that not getting too big to care about a Shatohalon

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or Standard Club specifically?

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- Sure, I think this piece is in that.

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I mean, there's always the perception

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that you're this big corporate office.

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We actually pull out office HQ

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because we feel like it's more relatable to be head photos

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rather than corporate.

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And we just try to break down stereotypes.

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I turn up to work every day in tennis clothes.

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So we're at the root of it all where guys and girls

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that we have accompany because we take a tennis court every day.

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I think one of the big goals that we aim at when we approach

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a property or engage with a property is,

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what are the goals of ownership

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and what does success look like for them?

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And that may look like engagement,

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growing a program, events, membership,

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experience, value proposition of getting access

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to other properties.

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So I think you've got to define that because you're right.

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If you come in with your goals that may not match up

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with their goals, that creates friction

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because it looks like the business within the business.

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So seemingly with our team as we engage,

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we try to really get on that same page.

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So we define success early on.

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And then we really leave it up to the club as well.

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We have no ego where the brand sits.

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They can put it out in front.

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They can co-brand it or they can white label it.

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We be the engine under the hood

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and it'll all be about the club brand.

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So I think when you establish that early on,

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then you can work out the landscape of how you're going to operate it

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and see if there's going to be success there.

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If there's not going to be a number that works for everyone,

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then that's a pretty easy piece to sort of revisit

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conversation later on.

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But if you can achieve what they want

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and then also think a lot of clubs as well,

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they don't understand the opportunity of the value of what you can add

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and especially racquet sports right now.

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I mean, the pickable numbers are all over the place.

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So we won't get into that.

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I mean, how they're value and how many people there are.

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But if you put pickable and tennis,

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there's 40 million players roughly.

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That's going to continue to year-over-year growth,

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both at about 25 million.

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So I think more clubs are realizing that racquet sports

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is going to be a lot of the sustainability of their membership.

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So a lot of their focus is going to turn to retention,

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experience, and value out and how you put more on there.

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So I think to your question there as well with Bobby,

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it's he could have an amazing operation.

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I'm sure it's first class in every sense.

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And nothing changes there.

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But then whatever you can bolt on to the side of that

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of adding additional pieces, not changing.

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I think that's a perception that a lot of people

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have that we come in and we change a lot.

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In some instances, yes, because there's just need to be

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change flat out.

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But in a lot, there's a lot of good stuff there.

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So how do you bolt onto that and put more experiences,

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access to other clubs, other amenities?

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And then also say, hey, Bobby, you're doing amazing.

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But let us give you some more time to focus on what you do

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really great and put some other experts around you

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because you've got the ability to do this,

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but you don't have to do this.

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Let's have some other people support that value

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problem as well.

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And then the experience starts to live

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with what they can do because I think a lot of directors

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are put in tough positions.

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They've got great skill sets, but they're

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asked to do too many things.

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So they can only do things to a certain level.

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They can't really not things out of the path

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because you get pulled between on court, off court, and time.

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That's interesting.

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Bobby, you said the same thing to me yesterday.

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So I think this is one of the values that they bring is what

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Bobby and I are doing on a more local scale, which is he's

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got his club and his expertise.

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I've got an expertise and they fit together.

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Can we figure out how to add something

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into his club to bring value, that value add on kind of thing?

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And it's interesting in such a low margin business,

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as Bobby calls it labor intensive, it's just

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got to be tough to come in and be able to help and say,

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OK, we really are, whether you're

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turning a club around, you come in because things aren't great,

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and you really do need to help with maybe a culture change or not.

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But if you've got those extra expertise,

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expertise is what's plural of expertise.

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Those extra expertise, that you can help us with,

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that's really a cool way to be able to come in.

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And like you said, not completely flip everything on its head,

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but really give it an extra boost.

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Exactly, exactly.

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And I think that's a goal, because--

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and I think a lot of the time clubs don't also

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necessarily understand how to structure their rackets

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to pop, and they just go off a budget from the year before,

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rather than looking at the engagement.

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If participation is growing, we're keeping more members.

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Or if residents are engaging at the amenity center,

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there's more people playing.

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That's how we help them justify where they may establish the budget,

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not just for us, but for keeping quality people and quality staff,

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so that you've got the right staffing models to service the community.

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Quick example I give is I just recently spent some time with a club,

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that it's a thousand-home community.

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And right now, they've got 53% of their tennis community

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touch rackets for it's on a monthly basis.

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But yet, rackets for it's made 2% of their operating budget

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for their amenity package.

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So looking at it, adding more pickable courts and tennis courts now,

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it's helping them with the staffing model

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that you need more leadership, which will increase the budget,

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but you're now going to service 75% of your community

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for 4% of your total operating budget.

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So don't just look at the year-to-year numbers,

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sort of helping understand how to put success in there,

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because now their team is going to be able to achieve more success

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for the community that they serve.

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So it's sort of putting the round peg in the round hole,

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not the round peg in the square hole.

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And I think that's a lot of the value that we bring,

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not just certain necessarily to the pros,

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but also to clubs and understanding how they navigate

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this landscape going forward.

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Because if you put those economics of 4% to service 75%

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of your population, I think most people would take those every day of the week.

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And I love you.

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The fact that your background is all encompassing.

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You started pumping balls in, you went in the operations,

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and everything you said, I said, they're going,

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obviously having some familiar with PBI and Cliff Drieswell,

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doing it just as long, just as well.

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So much of it is, like tennis, we know our foundation.

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This is what we're good at.

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So now we take what we're good at into a situation.

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And I love Atlanta.

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My gosh, you got three facilities that are completely different.

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So you're wearing three different hats.

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You got a wrong that is, you know, tournament driven juniors.

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You got chateau alone that is a community,

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but a very high end community, more of a resort.

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And you have standard club that historically has been a private club.

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So, you know, just here in Atlanta,

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you have three different hats you're wearing.

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Exactly.

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I think that's the fun part.

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And that's where we cover the scope of it all.

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It's, we don't have someone that is the subject matter expert on everything.

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It's, we have all throughout our company, throughout our network,

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we've got all these great people that we've got the subject matter experts

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on different pieces of it.

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So every club gets a senior director within our scope.

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And so chateau alone has a senior director

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that is like a regional director for the director that's in place there.

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And he runs one of the biggest operations at Amelia Island,

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which is a big resort community as well.

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And then likewise, we have someone to chateau alone.

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So the person who works at Chateau alone is very skilled in the membership,

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whoo.

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And then same thing, I'm very engaged with the city of Rome.

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That's got a different set of economics to it,

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because the city of Rome built this beautiful facility.

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And also the downtown facility to be an economic driver for it's driving ornaments and events.

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So it's, you start to put this whole community together.

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And I think that's what has sort of made the versatility for us over the years

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that whatever the landscape, someone in tennis or racket sports is in,

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we've got it covered, not from one person, but from a multiple of people

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that have multiple different skill sets.

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And you can tap into this network at any time.

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And I think that's one of the things that we've possible in our culture.

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We connect our directors on a weekly basis.

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They're sent out a coffee chat.

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So you get paired up each week with a different director,

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the different club, maybe in Dubai, maybe in Nevis,

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that maybe in California, or Atlanta.

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And they sort of chat about what the challenges are, what's coming up.

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And whether having success and they've got the,

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that whole network just pick the brain on and see how they can see.

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And not that we want anything to do with what you're doing, but we, we, we feel that.

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And it, you know, we have, obviously more teaching pros than most cities

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just because of the sheer abundance of, which is good and bad.

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You have a lot of guys who have a hopper and they're trunk in, okay,

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now I'm a teaching professional.

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And we're, we're trying really hard to show the value of the,

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why you want to certify professional, why are you, you know,

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the fact that we have to take continuing education.

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We have to stay engaged in it and try to change that perception.

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I always used to left the story.

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The only reason people knew I was certified is that once a year,

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the GPTA would take out an ad in net news,

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the Out-of-magazine saying, celebrating our certified professionals.

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And they'd be like, oh, you're certified?

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Yeah.

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What does that mean?

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And I always felt that golf, you know, golf does a much better job with the PGA card

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than tennis does with the USPTA or USPTR certification.

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It just doesn't hold that same carplage.

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And even what you go through, and I love what you're saying as far as,

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it's great to be able to speak to different people.

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You know, everything you said, I'm laughing because I've experienced it.

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Like you said, you hire somebody good for a community.

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Well, then the community says, do I really need the management company?

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I can hire this person.

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And we had a development here in Atlanta, St. Marlow.

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We put the girl in, they love the girl, they hired the girl.

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So essentially getting rid of us, then one of the guys called,

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so she's not putting on the parties that you used to put on.

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I'm like, well, you dismissed us.

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She's one person.

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We were a company that was able to help her with the things that,

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now you've got one person trying to do the role of three.

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And well, that's what happens, you know.

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And again, especially in Atlanta, unfortunately,

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because they have a little bit of a playing background,

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they think they have more knowledge.

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And it makes it tough.

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And you don't want to hear one person.

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It's great to be able to talk to Scott,

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even though Scott can do everything for you,

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Scott's going to do what Scott does and then he's going to hand it off.

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And I think that's just, that creates a comfort level for people.

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Absolutely.

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I think there's a, when you have that person engaged with others around them,

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they're continually in more of a growth mindset,

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because then they've got others to pull on and others to support them.

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The, and I think you always look at as cost-first value.

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So if we can continue to bring more value,

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the cost will justify whatever I pay for my phone a month,

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I'll continue to pay because the value it brings to my life is higher.

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I don't want to go to a flip phone for $50 a month.

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And I think that way in records for too many times,

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we try to take the cost out of it rather than just adding more value.

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And if you've got someone there like the individual you're speaking about,

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she's got more support, more resources, she can bring more value to the community.

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She's the captain of the ship,

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but the captain of the ship has to have the engine behind it

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and the person constantly putting the fuel into it

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and bringing different ideas and different thoughts and what's happening.

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Because otherwise, they get very rooted into their community.

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It could be, in that community, could be the club.

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They're not hearing everything that's outside or exposed to everything that's outside.

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And that's also an education piece with pros as well,

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so that they're thinking as well, not just, "I could do this by myself."

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Well, you could do a caution of this,

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but then you're going to continue to get to a spot where you're operating,

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not where you're growing and operating.

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And you're not going to be able to attract people,

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and when you get a pro,

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you're not going to have the time to really develop them and give them the tools

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so they can be successful or very few fans.

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And so I think it's sort of painting that bigger landscape

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for everyone of how that all works.

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Well, and again, I love what you're saying,

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because it's so much for you left on that side of it, as you described,

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you hire somebody that can work 40 hours a week on the court.

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Well, that's what they're good at,

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but they're not good at growing a program.

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They're still one pro there.

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If there's, that's not what their strengths are.

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I loved what you said about the clubs.

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I was at a country club that now is managed and was bought by invited.

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And I'd sit there and say the same thing.

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Look at my people, if you look at the numbers, 60% of my people have a direct correlation

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to the amenities process.

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Your golfers, 20% of the membership pay 80% of the rounds,

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yet as you said, the money is going to golf.

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You're making more people or more people participating on the tennis.

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And I thought it, look, we have more room for more courts.

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Now we don't need any more courts.

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Well, club court came in, they built more courts.

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So I'm gone now, but I look like a genius, but it's funny.

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It's tough.

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And as you said, you're not just dealing it from the standpoint of the bit,

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you got to get the business, which is one cell, then you got to convince the pro

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or the person you put in, you're now part of a team.

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We're not going to do it this way.

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We got it.

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It's a challenging business.

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And as we said, it's fun in Atlanta.

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Atlanta, we always laugh, you never want to be the first one out of the catastrophe.

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Because something happened at all these clubs that they finally say, or it's been a process

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where they finally realized through education and time, we don't know, we really know what

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we're doing.

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Let's call Peter Burwasch and let's call Cliff Drieswell because they know what they're

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doing.

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And you know, that's a good thing too, because it's almost like surrender.

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So they're coming to you saying, okay, we need to hear outside ideas.

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So that probably is your only saving grace in a lot of these circumstances is that they're

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admitting defeat at least in some capacity.

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I think in some instances, yes, but then in some, they're now looking going, we believe

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there's more that we can get out of the tank, but we like a professional, but they don't

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have that ability to take it to another level.

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You know, what are our options as well, particularly, I think in this landscape, as I think it's

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a good thing I've ever been on as many courses I haven't last year about clubs looking

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at ad sports to their forefri, because they're actually seen that in three, four years from

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now, there's going to be like 80 million rackets for players.

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That's one out of every four or five people in America catching rackets for.

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So clubs are starting to wise up to we've got to put more rackets, rackets for us in here,

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because that's going to be a bulk of our membership and where it sits on the survey every year,

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is now going to, it's starting to sit a lot higher as well.

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And that's going to change the incremental revenue producers as well.

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You know, that's going to give different point of purchase, which you hate to say, you know,

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a country club is more driven by point of purchase, because all the members know when

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the sales come.

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So they're not buying every day, they're waiting for Christmas.

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You're getting your point of purchase and if you do an outing, well, if I go to shot to

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a lawn, obviously, I want something that says shot to a lawn on it.

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So I'm more apt to buy a shirt as a visitor than the member.

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So the things you got to deal with it.

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And I love that we laugh though.

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The only thing we got to worry about with the rackets for its growth is it seems like hospitals

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are getting a big boom as well from the pickleball participation that we're half a billion dollars

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into healthcare costs in the last year because of emergency room visits.

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So that'll be a whole different diet.

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We'll all have hospital rooms, you know, part of our program.

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Why we, we got a doctor right here.

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I'm not sure if you're wondering.

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So, but they might stuff, but they might stuff building pickleball course next to E.I.

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So they can convene it for you.

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Yeah, putting in the parking lot.

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Absolutely.

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Great.

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That makes it a little bit easier.

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That's a good stuff.

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Good stuff.

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Should I not have an appleize this?

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Go ahead.

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Well, I wanted to, I wanted to focus on figuring out again from Scott while we've got him.

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We won't take, take up too much of your time, Scott, because I look at 63 clubs and would

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you say 13 countries.

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So you've probably got a few things to do today.

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And plenty of time.

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That's good to hear.

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That means things are going well, right?

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Well, we got to Scott.

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We'll bother you again.

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Don't worry.

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Good.

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Anytime.

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We can be tenacious.

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But from a, from a culture point of view, you talk about coming in and helping a club

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and either being the support structure or the brand out front.

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If you needed under new management sign, like that's usually there for a reason to let

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people know, hey, by the way, we got rid of the guy you didn't like.

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You know, that kind of thing.

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Or being the more under the hood, as you say, the engine type.

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Is that, is that cultural within Clifftrisedale?

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Is that your culture?

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Is that how it's always been?

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How do you guys, how do you guys make that part of the business?

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What do you think about the idea of the idea?

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I think that's always been the DNA.

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I mean, where I am today is the Ritz-Caltan and Key Viscayne.

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This was our number one club.

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And that was sort of the growth of Clifftrisedale.

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Clifft and his partner, Don Henderson, they started here and then the City of Western, which

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I'm based at a lot as well, those our second club, the city manager called and said, hey,

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we need some help.

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We're building this new tennis center.

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Some of it comes from new builds.

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So we come in early and we help with the design process and lane it out correctly because

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what we did here is we built a club that's got the clubhouse in the center and all the

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courts around.

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Too many times they build facilities where clubhouse is here and then the courts go all the way

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out of the back and so it's got a terrible, terrible environment.

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So we helped them with this and then we helped them with the City of Western and then that

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was just part of the DNA.

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It's sort of going in to see how we can help and assist.

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I think the misconception about both PBI and CDT is that they're the four headed monster

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come in to clear everyone out and move everyone around.

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I think it's sort of couldn't be further from the truth.

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I mean, there is a lot of instances where we come in and our goal is we try to work with

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what's there, providing the team that are there, I have got a mindset that is in line

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with winning for everyone, winning for the club, winning for the members, winning for themselves.

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Unfortunately, there's not always that mindset, so that's where it does create separation.

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So you need to put realign what success and what the goals are.

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So that's been our approach all the time.

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We tried not to tutor home too much and say it's all about us.

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Really it's more about the club and the brand of the club and what the club is doing and

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what the resort is doing.

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But however we can leverage our brand to an audience that we have to attract people.

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So if it's a resort when I started at Amelia Island before Scott came in, there really

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wasn't much coming in.

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Now where the largest wholesale of four room nights for Amelia Island, so we drive a lot

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of business through our camps there.

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So I think that same thing was shut down along.

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I mean, it's not the largest wholesale there, but we bring a lot of room nights in, but it's

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really putting the what can we do with our brand name, but try to be very respectful to

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the property and have it be about the community and the property and not about us and put

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the appropriate branding where it needs to be.

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And that's all it's just beyond the NA.

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I mean, I think at the end of the day we're all in hospitality.

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So you've got to have a service heart.

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And if you have a service heart and you come at everything from how do you serve others,

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you tend to figure a lot of things out and come at it with the right approach rather

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than the how do we take care of us as we come into a relationship because at the end of

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the day, we aim at everything to be a long term relationship, not a short term one.

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So you've got to come with the how do they get the 51% win and you get 49.

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But for, you know, not the other way around because that's probably going to grow when you

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find common alignment and ways that you can partner long term, which has been what led

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to most of our growth, it all came from organic referrals from, you know, someone was happy

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with what we were doing.

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So they told a friend as they heard about a club was there or GM moved from one hotel to

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another.

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So when he got there and he had tennis, he was like, at a great experience here, I want

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to bring these guys in here and what GM's talking with in private club world or, you know,

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the result world.

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Well, it's just, it's a little things again, but you said it makes me laugh.

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I mean, again, we all talk about and I'll say it out loud just the positioning of the course,

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you know, creating that heart.

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You know, we have a tournament here at Atlanta that we always laugh about and not to poop,

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but it's just, it's a tough facility and it's one of the few tournaments I've ever been

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to where you don't have to go through the sponsorship village to get to your seat.

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So every place else, they're, they're going to corral you into, you know, getting their sponsors

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value and just because of the configuration of the facility, that makes it difficult.

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It is, you know, something simple.

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How many times we laugh that they're believing in our guys, there is a way to position the

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court to minimize the sun and, you know, the developers, the, he's worrying about giving

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up the land that he's not going to make money off of a house or even just to start the process

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with you guys and say, I don't have this knowledge.

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You could, I'm sure you'd help because that, like you said, 10 years down the line when

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they hit that point, when they do realize, okay, I need help.

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These guys helped me out in the past.

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It would be so much easier.

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I'll use the, the, the infamous and I'd love it.

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I wish I could remember Sandy's last name when PBI took over the Olympic facility.

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You know, everybody was going, oh, who was going to get it?

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They give it to PBI and through nothing they did because again, Sandy was the greatest guy

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I've ever met.

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I love Sandy.

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I'd go over there, but it was just a horrible location.

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That was on the Olympic committee for creating that mess.

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It had nothing to do with PBI.

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They inherited the mess and now it's a ghost town and it's a ghost town.

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Unfortunately, they can't even implode because it's too expensive to implode it.

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You know, that's the ridiculousness of the industry and it, through no fault, excuse me,

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of the management company.

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So it's tough.

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I mean, like you said, you heard it, Landa, you got three completely different hatch

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you're wearing.

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It's, it's an interesting, you know, circumstance for, on top of that, you know,

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the top of the internal stuff, it's just wild.

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But the, the interesting is the fun part to it because you, you, you, you, you, you always

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say you always stay in some real life conversation of what's different.

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You don't get, you can't get complacent because you've also got to, and the funny thing

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as well is they can then each other to blend and mix as well because people can even be

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at standard club, which is a beautiful facility and take a little staycation over at Chateau

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a lot, or same thing, be it Rome or be it Chateau a lot and head down to Rome for tournament

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as well.

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So it's, it's nice that it is commonality that don't friction a lot.

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You can actually blend them in.

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So having diverse products actually has been, I think, part of our success and then probably

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in many ways economically help us survive some tough times in the early years because as

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one model is doing well with resort and if you're not doing so well at the club level

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vice versa.

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So just had a question because the one that always intrigues me because it's the idea of

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Chateau a lot just because it's so beautiful.

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And I don't know how familiar.

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Do you, is the majority of your business from this, like you said, the staycation's people

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locally within what you'd call Metro Atlanta just coming in and really getting this oasis

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in the middle of the city?

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Sure.

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A different times of the year would just be Atlanta weather patterns and things like that.

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But a lot of the business there is from, from staycation from the Atlanta area, but also

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we have a travel department as well that books camps.

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We have two wonderful ladies Katie and Megan that that's all they do all day every day.

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They book custom camps and signature camps at all about property.

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So we drive a lot of business and tennis and wine weekend pickable and wine weekends tennis

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weekends.

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That is a lot of it.

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And then we're going to a reset reset this project there right now.

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So hopefully looking to I think it's right that area to get more people in the tennis by tennis

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101 and pickable 101.

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I mean, get people engaged, not necessarily fight for the established market and have people

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come out and put inconvenience on them just take the people that are right there and get

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new play it.

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Right.

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And that's exciting point.

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I think that's what pickable really can help the tennis get that new player.

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Again, you said it in Atlanta, they're synonymous wine and tennis pickable and you got the wineries.

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We got half the battle.

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I mean, a lot of they get tempted by the beach, but I once they're at the beach, they go

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back to the wine.

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So now you can be local and get the wine.

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So why don't we just go right there?

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Scott, from your vantage point, you get to see all of those different aspects.

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Bobby and I are in an email earlier, you know, I said you're not really a guy in the trenches,

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meaning on court every day.

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Bobby and I were both probably on court this morning already before we talk and it's different

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from that administrative management role that says I'm guessing we can all remember the

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time when there was 40 hours a week on court.

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I think Bobby, you're still practically doing that.

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But at some point you look at it and you say, okay, I'm now looking at it from a president

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of a management company point of view.

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You can be able to see places like Rome, places like Chateau-A-Lon and Standard Club and

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the Ritz and the fancy places and the resorts.

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Where is all, do you have a magic eight ball?

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Do you have the ability to see from a vantage point?

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You got to get a little drone, a drone's eye view instead of bird's eye view.

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You know, I'll say drone's eye view, right?

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To be able to see, okay, here, Bobby sees, hey, you know what, here's the culture in my area

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and this is the Aranac total evidence.

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I've got my anecdotal evidence here.

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What do you have from that view that says, okay, I've got all the numbers, guys.

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Where's everything headed?

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I get everyone chipped in this shoulder when they come on board.

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That's all done.

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I think my history's always been in tennis.

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I taught my first lesson when I was 15 years old.

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I still remember the lesson.

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I mean, it was terrible because at the end of the lesson, I didn't know whether the kid

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was right handed or left handed.

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So I'm glad I got past the first one and stuck in there.

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But I came from playing competitively teaching stringing rackets on, you know, working in

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the pro shop on Sundays.

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So all of my roots have always been in tennis operations and running tennis clubs and

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taught all the way through then came over the states, traveled a bit and then taught for

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many years and as I initially came into the company, I was a director and then I just

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always had a fascination in the mindset I wanted to learn more and wanted to grow more.

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And then just as our company started to grow, it sort of worked in those paths were great.

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And I think we have a lot of great conversation.

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We don't steer our vision from what we know.

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We steer it from how we engage with all of our clubs and our communities and how we talk

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to people within our network and also with outside of our network.

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So you listen to a lot of the feedback.

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And I think there's always going to be two way conversation because your team can bring

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you a certain amount of information of what's happening.

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You can bring them a certain amount of industry and knowledge and data information as well.

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And it's finding that blend.

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Every club has a director of tennis, but also every club has a senior director that oversees

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that club.

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In some instances they are director of tennis of theirs as well and they tie into it as

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a few other clubs.

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So I think we've just got a very collaborative approach at it.

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We share within celebration where the successes are, but we also share in celebration where

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the challenges are because I'm all about creating a vulnerability that it's okay not to have

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the answers.

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But if you can talk with your other clubs about where you're having some challenges,

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you can tend to navigate it through and then they feel more supported.

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So I think that's my job is not going to trust the people that are around me, continue to

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make sure that they understand the decisions and the communication their team are making.

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So I can still stay at the drone as you say, but sort of zoom in, zoom out on a lot of different

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pieces and not try to get my fingers in too many of the operations at a granular level

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just sort of helps steer the conversation at a higher level and make sure the teams

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have got, I think the big thing there is the teams have got what they need to feel supported

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and what they need to succeed.

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It's, you know, you can't send in the build a house if you've only given them a screwdriver

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and a hammer.

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So I think a lot of tennis and racquet facilities don't have what they need to succeed and

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doing a lot of the time that's also in technology.

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This is an industry that's been too driven from feeling for too long.

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It's not being guided driven decisions and guided driven metrics that can sort of show

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where there's opportunity to grow and succeed as well.

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But that's what I want to know.

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I want to know what data you have.

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You're a god that has so much data that you should be able to go, okay, I'm starting to

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see that pickle balls are going to take over the world or whatever is coming back.

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I want to know what you have.

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Part of that comes in like POS and schedulers, we work with a great organization called

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PlayVipPoint so we can accumulate a lot of that data as well so that we can share and

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look at it.

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A lot of it's, we're very good with keeping historic numbers, whether it's in participation

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and metrics.

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Also it's industry trends.

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I talked to a lot of people in the industry all the time.

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I'm talking to a lot of our clubs and just it's, I think you've got to be curious all

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the time.

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You've got to trust your gut and I think as a business as well, we try to make good logical

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decisions but when we need to move, we move fast.

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But then the big piece that I think my role is through the data that we have is how can

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we build what our clubs are going to need in six months from now?

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So we're embarking on a big education project and a big operation project so that by the

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end of the year, all of our clubs will have universal systems throughout both CDT and PBI.

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So they've got more tools at their disposal and more data at their disposal so that they

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can be more armed to then forge forward.

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So I think the data that I look for is what I can be able to give them so they're more

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equipped.

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Like that, very, very political answer, Sean, I'm not telling you anything.

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I'm just going to really do that.

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I'm learning a lot too, Sean.

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I'll be honest because he said some great things with unbelievable humility that I'm like,

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well, you're essentially saying you're better.

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And if you're really, which is good, hey, I'm all for it.

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That's why you're hiring me is that of my knowledge.

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But Scott, you articulated very well.

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You make the person feel like whether it be the business side or the operations, the

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employee side, oh, you're a part of this.

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I know more than you, but you're definitely a part of it.

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And I have the proof because I have the numbers, which is culture, which is great.

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That's why they're calling you.

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And that's the part again.

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And as we try to do in the city of Atlanta, just trying to get the pros to understand what

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you're saying.

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I mean, again, we're not trying to fill this role, but there are a lot of facilities that

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need a half a pro.

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So if or a third of a pro, so if you find two other facilities, excuse me, like yourself

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that you can get a good person and get them the hours you need and build their career,

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it helps everybody.

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And it's tough to get people because we become too meopic about what we're doing.

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As you said, strengths and weaknesses.

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I loved it.

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I laughed because at the club that now has tennis courts, I was dismissed at.

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The question was, do you want more?

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Well, who's not going to answer?

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Do you want more?

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You can always have more when it gets down to his resources.

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How are you going to apply the resources?

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And are you going to give it time just to bear the fruit?

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I mean, we always used to, we went through more general managers because we were going to

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try to build the restaurant.

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And they would go in and try to do it for two months.

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And well, that didn't work.

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You gave it two months.

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We didn't really give it a chance to succeed.

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But again, I think the great part is when somebody goes to Scott, they're making an investment.

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They're saying, we're going after the top of the wrong because we want the expertise, which

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you succeed because you are going to the source who has all the information.

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What I'm dying to get him to admit to is, what is that resurfacing it, Chateau-Alan, really

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mean?

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That's what I know.

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He's not talking about redoing the courts.

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So I'm like, okay, what does he really mean there?

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That's, are we getting into our courts, Scott?

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That's what I want to know.

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No, no, no, no courts there.

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I wish we had them in the winter time, but they're going to resurface every doing all the

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pickable and the tennis courts.

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So hopefully they're investing some good, some good dollars there.

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The property is amazing to work with.

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And so I think that's going to be for a better experience.

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One thing I do probably want to circle back to maybe give a little more to you, Sean.

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There is, I think when you look at data as well, and I was talking to a director this morning

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about, I think there's been three directors.

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Over the course of time, there's the numbers director, there's the feeling director, and then

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there's director we want, which is the numbers in the feeling director.

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There's too many directors that I feel busy, it feels good, it feels whatever.

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Then there's a guy that looks at the numbers all the time, you need to be a blend.

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I think it's part of the education that we really focus on with directors is them understanding

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the data that they can pull them, getting curious with it and us building their literacy

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with financials and data so they can actually make something called but not look at it and

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it looks like a bunch of numbers.

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What does it spell out?

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And helping them with how they chart their course, so they don't pick a number that they

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want to get to, understanding how to chart the participation and driving the business to

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get to that.

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And I think sharing that information of not just looking at data, but how you sort of decipher

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it and see that it plays a very big role in every director and senior director, look at those

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numbers on a weekly basis.

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So we don't get too far away from it.

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We stay very close to it that I meet with every senior director on a weekly basis.

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We can stay very granular with them without getting to, you know, two into the weeds.

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Well, and that's really great advice because I think that's the thing, every coach, whether

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you're a director or not, you've spent a lot of independence here in Atlanta that we

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talk to and we say, guys, what are your numbers?

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I make a bow or maybe this, maybe more feelings guys because I met a few tennis pros that can't

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even do math.

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So we want to be able to make sure that just look at it and all of a sudden you'll have it

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in your head.

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Somebody asked me a number the other day and I said, I can give you to the penny what we've

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made here today in about 30 seconds.

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Like that, that is really good information, whether you're a feeling, like I'm a feeling

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guy feels busy, feel done, but the data really proves that maybe I am not feeling this right.

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And maybe I, maybe I need to change something here or there and that makes a big difference.

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If we, if we have all that data and we have all those, all those abilities to say, hey,

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I'm going to check it every week.

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I'm going to pay attention.

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That leads me into my last question and I'm going to segue, but then I'm going to pause

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and say, Bobby, you got anything else for Scott?

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I know we're running at a time.

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Just, we'll see you next week, Scott.

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I'm going to break up.

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Speaking of weekly, we're going to talk numbers.

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But Scott, we have our, my favorite question for sure, but it's our, we say our King of

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Tennis question.

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And I think you're, you're uniquely, uniquely qualified for this because you get in, in

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your drone, drones that I point of view, you get a lot of the data.

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You see where Racket Sports might be going and able to predict it, but you also are a tennis

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guy.

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You're an inherent tennis.

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You said it's in your DNA.

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So if you were King of tennis, is there anything, whether it's professional clubs in your

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business outside of it, social, any concept of tennis?

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If you were King of tennis for however long it took, is there anything you would do or change?

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Absolutely.

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The few things I would change.

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One thing that I would change is that, and I just shared this with my very good friends

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at the USDA that they build the biggest, most powerful robust, POS, schedule system possible

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and improves the technology and give it to every facility across the country for free.

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And that would be the best investment they could make in tennis right there.

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And they would get all the data and they'd mine all the data, but then you would give everyone

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the technology because tennis has been far too behind in technology.

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I would be self-admitted where we are here.

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I sit at the RIT, up until COVID.

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It's our largest operation that does millions of dollars in programming and we ran it off

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a cameo beauty book and up until a handful of years ago.

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So I put myself in the ring when that one is, well, I think that's technology.

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I would mandate that every tennis facility around the country has tennis 101 and a social

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component that went to it because I think too many of us go out there and teach to people

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were comfortable within, they're established.

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So it would be a mandate that everyone has tennis 101 for adults and a social component.

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Also it would be a mandate that we have education programs in schools for coaches, whether

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it's the tennis or other sports.

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So that more coaching positions are seen as very important positions in the American culture

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because if you want to be a tennis coach in Australia or England or France, it's held

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in very high regard.

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I don't think a lot of people enter the profession here because they don't see it in the same

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high regard.

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I see it as one of the most skilled professions out there because all the things that you do.

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So that would be something I would lift that elevation.

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I think that does come through education certification, but also the other thing I would put in there

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as well is I would put a, you've got to play nice in the sandbox together.

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Anyone who plays pickleball has to take a tennis 101 and anyone who plays tennis has to

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take a pickleball 101 because I think we're going to need each other to continue to grow

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and forward, racket sports forward.

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I think there's a lot of stickiness that can come for tennis from pickleball.

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My wife's a great example.

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She'll perfectly be in tennis 101 for many years, but she's playing a little pickleball

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but it's getting her started to come into tennis.

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And I think every club needs to have that mix because that's going to help them get more

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increased budgets for their racket performance.

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I think that's going to be crucial for us all.

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So those would be some of my immediate actions in my reign of King, however long that may

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last.

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Well, I love the subtlety and I think it's an awesome subtlety that's screened from the

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mouth, the difference and especially here in Atlanta history has said the difference between

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hiring the person because they're a good player as opposed to hiring the person because you're

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a coach and a profession.

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And again, and it's, you know, when we entered Sean and Sean and I literally met by getting

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certified 20 summer years ago together at the same time, it was, you weren't supposed

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to even think about getting certified until you'd been in the profession for five years

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and decided this was a career path.

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Now because of the need to get pros and historically moved away from that.

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And there's a big difference.

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There's a difference between the player, you know, look at professional sport, Bill Bale

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checked, played the cross for Beat Sates and he's going to go down potentially as the greatest

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football coach that ever lived.

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There's a difference between coaching and playing.

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There's a difference.

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How many times do we hire a good coach to be a director?

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There's a huge difference between a coach and a director and the skills that are necessary.

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And again, the beauty of what you guys do is you got all the hats and you have the resources

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to put the person involved and engaged with the person is going to most benefit everybody's

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experience.

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And like you said, I wish industry wide that whole mentality was shared better.

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Absolutely.

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I think, I think, Bobby, you're a new sales guy in Atlanta.

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That's what it sounds like.

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I'm in.

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I mean, I mean, I just, it's, and he's got power to you because you put on a great presentation.

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And you know, it gives people, there's a sense of knowledge and hey, I know what I'm

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talking about.

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And you get a lot of tennis instructors here in Atlanta.

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The biggest thing we always tell people is get there on time.

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You know, and that's, if you're starting late, you're starting with a bad impression.

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So, you know, first impressions are huge.

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You got to look the part.

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You don't have to be a Wimbledon champion, but you got to look the part.

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And you know, you do a great presentation.

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And those as we, we like to see you getting more involved on the bigger scale to help the

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entire industry.

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I know you have no burden.

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Yeah, it's impressive and good, good show for Cliff Driesdale and Peter Burwash to have you

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and hopefully it'll permeate continuously into the industry.

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I appreciate that.

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I mean, we're, we're big believers of all ships raised with the tide.

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So there's enough to all of us around.

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And I think if we can all share more and sort of swing for the fences, but also have

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good decisions with it and sort of share thoughts with each other, we should celebrate

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the success of everyone because that's how we're going to celebrate the success of brackets,

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folks and create more progression for everyone out there.

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And it, it's one, like you said, I mean, that's what I always laugh.

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That's why I love shut.

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It's social.

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Tennis is the commonality.

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And this is what we're trying to do.

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We start with tennis, but what, where's the commonality take us?

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As adults, it's harder to find individuals like my individuals.

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We're not all in school together.

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So tennis is the great opportunity here in Atlanta, but it's not, we should take it further.

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You know, there's a lot of other things that we do in our lives that tennis could be a great

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stepping off point from.

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And again, love what you do.

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We'd love, I don't know who we need to talk to about doing something directly with Chateau

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Alon, but I would love to make something available to my members and my club as well as

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other members.

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It's not a threat to me.

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I want you to go away to someplace else because your guys will introduce a slice back in, which

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I won't do, but if they get introduced to and come back to me and say, hey, the guy showed

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me, I want to learn it.

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Well, they just made my job easier.

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So you know, I'm all for it.

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I love the idea.

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So yeah, let's see what we can do together and throw some fish out there for the Atlanta

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market.

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This has been fantastic.

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We're only half-kitting about talking to you every week.

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We will definitely be in touch.

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I really appreciate everything you've done.

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Thank you so much.

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Thanks for having me on and I'd love to be back.

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Well, there you have it.

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We want to thank Rejovenate.com for use of the studio and be sure to hit that follow button.

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For more tennis-related content, you can go to AtlantaTennisPodcast.com and while you're

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there, check out our calendar of tennis events, deals on equipment, apparel, and more.

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You should feel good knowing that shopping at Let's Go Tennis.com helps support this show.

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You can also donate directly using links in the show notes.

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And with that, we're out.

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See you next time.

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