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Stating a SKI Club

m_pagsm_pags Posts: 90 Baller
I’m looking into starting a new ski club in Southwest Florida. The lake is new and will be operational this coming fall.
Located on 55 acres about 30 minutes from Punta Gorda. The 2200' lake was created by connecting 3 shell rock barrow pits.
Our plan is to have1club boat.

Here are a few basic questions:

• Insurance: Names of insurance companies that provide coverage for clubs.
• Membership/set fee: What works best?
• How far are you willing to drive to the lake?
• Does shared member boat driving work?
• What’s the maximum number of club member?
• Would you be interested if the club only operated Oct – May?
• How important is it to have the newest zero off boat?
• What other amenities are needed besides a boat, dock and bathroom?



  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,164 Mega Baller
    edited March 4
    I think you will have a lot of interest. Many folks ask about that area.
    • Start with Wayne Feinberg at Sports Insurance
    • I think a flat membership fee works best for the lake owner, but many will want a per set option. You may want a hybrid with a small flat fee and reduced per set fee as well.
    • I can't speak for others, but the clubs I belong to in Michigan are 38 minutes and 45 minutes one way. I previously drove 1 hour 45 minutes (too long). I think an hour is still doable.
    • Shared member boat driving can work, but I recommend having all members approved to drive by a rated driver via an on-the-water evaluation before you allow them to drive
    • To begin with, I would start with less than 15 members, unless they are not likely to be local during that entire time of Oct through May
    • I don't live in Florida, but I would certainly be OK with an October to May timeframe as a snowbird (which I hope to be someday and SW Florida is my frontrunner).
    • You probably don't need the newest ZO boat, but I would at least have it in the last 5 years and be upgraded to single puck Rev S
    • Regarding amenities, you've covered the basics. Maybe a pavilion to provide a shaded area to rest or stage equipment. If you are thinking about tournaments, you might want WiFi at the site, at least for scoring computers. Have a good pest management plan (gators, pythons, etc.). Peace of mind for optimum skiing performance.
    Good luck. I hope it can come to fruition and be successful.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • 1skinut1skinut Posts: 5 Baller
    How far is the lake from Fort Myers? I would be happy with any zero off boat, slalom course, and a bathroom if it isn’t too far from Fort Myers and priced competitively. I would be interested on a per set basis. I’m in Fort Myers a few weeks every winter
  • m_pagsm_pags Posts: 90 Baller
    @MISkier thanks your feedback! I appreciate it.

    @1skinut the lake is about 50 minutes North of RSW off of 31.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 203 Solid Baller
    A boat only costs the money spent for upkeep and the difference between purchase and resale value, most clubs I've spoken to, do a deal with their local dealer for a yearly boat turnover with a discounted initial purchase.

    If you're selling tows, then ZO will be expected as will a competent driver.
  • MichaelWiebeMichaelWiebe Posts: 116 Baller
    Great idea. Thanks a lot. (We've corresponded in the past.)
    We are currently in the Riverview FL area part time in the winter, and will become full time snowbirds in the future. Oct-May is great.
    We do like the Ft. Myers area, and toured the new Babcock Ranch / solar city development last month. There are several slalom courses in the Ft. Myers area, and I believe there is a healthy waterski community.
    I currently drive 25 minutes to McCormicks and 35 minutes to Mulberry. I've driven to Orlando for some lessons with Matt Rini too. No issues. All good.

    The newest boat or the latest and greatest Zero-off is not important. A reliable boat is important.
    Many clubs or slalom lakes have a comfortable covered resting / socializing area near the dock. Eden ski lake's is one of the most beautiful (screened, hot tub, couches, etc.). McGuiness, McCormick, McClintock, Matt Rini, Swiss are all very nice too.
    I'm not sure you'll need to worry about too many members. Getting enough active members may be the target.
    Shared driving is fine.

    Westend Slalom in Atlanta has a significant flat fee, and then pay for fuel.
    Haidweiher in Bavaria/Germany has a small flat fee, and then charges by minute of boat running time. They have Tennis on site, and have a Tennis membership only too, to help cover costs.

    My wife sometimes complains when she tags along with me. She would love to see a pool, gym, etc., so that the non-skiers can enjoy themselves more. Wishful thinking, I know.

    Good luck, and looking forward to meet.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,433 Crazy Baller
    edited March 5
    @m_pags I'm interested. I winter in Ft.Myers and Eden Lake is a little far (time) for me. Keep me in the loop as you progress via PM or email (see my profile)
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 809 Crazy Baller
    edited March 5
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • luckyosunluckyosun Posts: 1 Baller
    I sent you a PM with contact info, definitely interested
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 464 Crazy Baller
    A new ski club is great news. Too many around where I live are dying instead of starting or growing.
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