In post, "The Same Old Question", I mentioned that the evidence suggests that young adults reject old school nudism. In particular it seems they shy away from visiting traditional nudist landed clubs and resorts. Today I wanted to look at some suggestions that have been put forth for changing that.
Focus on the Clubs & Resorts
As Nikki Hoffman noted when she was interviewed for recent Wall Street Journal article on the decline of nudism & naturism, traditional nudist clubs & resorts simply aren't geared to attract the 18-35 demographic. I think it is hard to disagree with that since young adults seem to be staying away from traditional nudist venues in droves.
One suggestion frequently put forth in the interest of attracting more young adults to the clubs directly and nudism indirectly centers on changing the economic model. Most results charge annual membership fees as they always have. One club I have personal knowledge of allows a person only three visits before he or she must either purchase an annual membership or stop visiting. Tom Mulhall, who owns The Terra Cotta Inn resort with his wife Mary Clare, in a comment posted at Nudist Day, declared that landed clubs should stop charging annual membership dues and go to a charge per visit model.
Tom isn't the only one who believes that the high cost of annual memberships, which from personal experience run $300 or more per year, serves as a barrier to participation by young adults, many of whom simply can't afford them. The vast majority (90%) of the readers of this blog who participated in the most recent poll indicated that annual memberships should not be required but made an option. That way those who preferred to purchase them could but everyone would have the pay-as-you-go option of paying per visit.
It is true that younger adults, many of whom are just starting out in the workforce or only working part-time while attending college, likely find costly memberships unaffordable. At resorts where a person can visit only a few times without buying a membership, I agree that it could be a reason young adults might not visit. Yet it costs a good deal of money to operate clubs & resorts and seems reasonable to assume that those who sold fewer annual memberships would have to charge more in the way of per visit fees.
Day fees are already pretty pricey at many clubs in comparison to other recreational activities. Perhaps a change of economic models would then merely substitute one economic barrier for another. Yes, others have suggested offering discounted daily fees to young adults to counteract that, yet I am simply not convinced that the cost factor is really the reason why young adults don't find traditional nudist venues a major attraction. I tend to agree with Nikki Hoffman in that clubs & resorts simply don't offer what young adults are looking for.
Suggestions that have been put forth to attract younger adults that involve a change of focus on the part of club owners and managers to me make more sense than changing the way people pay for access. Some recommend that clubs establish specific areas devoted to young adults. I think it has to be accepted that many twenty to thirty year olds simply have no interest in hanging out nude with a group of people who are predominantly the age of their grandparents. As an alternative to segregation by age, another frequent suggestion is setting aside specific dates where the clubs are only open to those between the ages of 18-35. Some clubs already host annual weekends devoted to college age adults and have found success in attracting young adults for these events. Perhaps such events simply need to be offered on a more frequent basis.
Offering programs and activities aimed at young adults is another common suggestion. The traditional activities ─ potluck dinners, volleyball, themed dances, etc, simply aren't the kind of things younger adults find appealing. A little market research into the recreational likes and dislikes of the younger set might reveal things clubs could offer to enhance the appeal.
Certainly clubs could I think make some changes that might make the venues more appealing to the younger generation yet in my own opinion, the existing club model, even among clubs willing to incorporate major changes, simply is not the means by which nudism is going to attract younger adults in greater numbers. Rural-based clubs, often an hour or more from urban centers are I think the past not the future of nudism & naturism in this country.
Next time, we will take a look at some of the unconventional means used by some groups that have proven successful in attracting young adults to nudism.