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Dec. 11, 2020

Boca Raton Partner Michelle Tanzer Defines ‘Private’ Clubs

Private Club Advisor

In a recent National Club Association webinar and article in Private Club Advisor, club Michelle Tanzer provided a detailed explanation of the distinction between clubs that are truly private for legal purposes and those that are not.

A private club is defined by the law as a place where people with a common bond congregate that is not open to the general public. Its purpose is to serve its members who have been accepted for membership based on selective criteria. Other important factors include: no advertising for members, a mission of serving social and not business purposes, restrictive guest policies, control by its members, and the observing of governance formalities pursuant to written documents.

“The U.S. Constitution is interpreted to grant certain rights, and among them are the right to privacy and to freely associate,” Tanzer said. “The right to freely associate with certain people naturally includes the right to not associate with others.” The basis of these rights begins in our private homes, but does not extend to public accommodations. “So there are rights that extend to truly private clubs, just like they would your private home, but not to public accommodations,” she explained.

Tanzer is chair of the Firm’s Global Club and Branded Residences Group and co-chair of the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Team. She advises her developer, hotel operator, club, and community association clients with projects in the U.S. as well as the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Latin America, and Asia.

Reprinted with permission.

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