Detroit Athletic Club Membership

How Much Does a Detroit Athletic Club Membership Cost?

Last Updated on February 22, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Acquiring membership at the prestigious Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) offers access to exceptional amenities and a coveted social network, but joining this exclusive club comes at a substantial price.

This article breaks down the various costs associated with DAC membership, the benefits that make it worthwhile for many, and key considerations for those interested in joining.

The DAC commands steep fees, with initiation reaching $8,500 and monthly dues around $435 for standard memberships. However, members gain an unparalleled array of fitness, dining, and networking opportunities within the storied DAC clubhouse.

The club’s central location, first-class facilities, and air of exclusivity also enhance the value proposition.

While cost is unavoidably high, DAC membership may prove reasonable for individuals and families who plan to fully utilize the club’s diverse offerings. Understanding the complete breakdown of fees, incentives, and access privileges can inform prospective members.

How Much Does a Detroit Athletic Club Membership Cost?

The upfront and recurring expenses to join and remain in the DAC vary based on membership category. But across the board, the club demands a serious financial commitment.

Initiation Fees

The initiation fee is a one-time charge paid upon joining the DAC. This fee alone ranges from $3,000 for a young professional membership up to $8,500 for a standard individual membership. Initiation establishes a member’s permanent place in the club.

Monthly and Annual Dues

Monthly dues represent the regular fees a member pays to maintain their membership status. For a basic individual membership, monthly dues are approximately $435. Other membership types have dues ranging from $135-$500 per month.

Members also pay annual fees including capital assessments, food minimums, and more. For a single member, total fees exceed $6,500 annually.

Additional Costs

Beyond the base dues, members may accrue other charges like dining bills, spa services, athletic training, event tickets, and special amenities. Members should budget extra for à la carte offerings.

Overview of the Detroit Athletic Club

To understand the membership cost, it helps to know the DAC’s background and facilities. Founded in 1887, the The Detroit Athletic Club is Detroit’s oldest and most esteemed private social club.

The club’s iconic clubhouse occupies a full city block in Downtown Detroit. Amenities include multiple restaurants and bars, a luxury spa and pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, squash courts, business centers, banquet rooms, and more. The DAC also offers reciprocal access to hundreds of clubs worldwide.

You might also like our articles about the cost of membership at The Village Health Club, The TITLE Boxing Club, or OneLife Fitness Club.

With its central location and wealth of on-site amenities, the DAC provides extraordinary convenience and prestige. The club’s limited membership of just over 1,900 members enhances the appeal of exclusivity.

DAC Membership Types

The DAC offers individual, family, young professional, and corporate memberships, each with distinct costs and privileges.

Individual Membership – The basic individual membership covers a single member. It commands the highest initiation fee at $8,500 but provides full access to facilities. Monthly dues are $435.

Family Membership – For families, the DAC offers a special membership category encompassing spouse and children under 23. The initiation fee is $7,500, and monthly dues are $500 for access for up to 4 family members. Additional fees apply for extra family participants.

Young Professional Membership – For members under 36, the DAC offers a discounted membership with an $3,000 initiation fee and $135 monthly dues. Some restrictions apply.

Corporate Membership – The DAC permits businesses to purchase corporate memberships for employee access. Corporate memberships have customized fees based on company needs.

Member Benefits and Privileges

While costly, DAC membership comes with an array of advantages that make the expense worthwhile for many:

  • State-of-the-art fitness center with weights, pools, courts, classes, and training
  • Access to elite networking and social events for business and leisure
  • Reciprocal membership at other private clubs when traveling
  • Superb dining at multiple restaurants and bars on-site
  • Luxury spa and pool for relaxation and rejuvenation
  • Prime downtown location for convenience across Detroit
  • Concierge services to assist with reservations, tickets, and arrangements
  • Family programming including athletics, camps, and activities for kids

For frequent users, the DAC provides exceptional facilities and service worth the price of membership.

Applying for Membership at the DAC

Detroit Athletic Club BuildingGaining membership in the DAC involves an application process with strict entry requirements. All candidates undergo a thorough review.

The application itself includes personal information, professional background, financial disclosures, membership deposits, and more. Applicants must also provide member sponsors and club references.

The DAC Membership Committee carefully examines each application based on character, professional achievement, reputation, and other criteria. There is no guarantee of admission.

If approved, the new member must promptly pay their initiation fee and first month’s dues to activate their membership. The process from application to approval usually takes 2-3 months total.

Monthly Payment Plans and Incentives

Recognizing the lofty initiation costs, the DAC offers new members the option to finance their initiation fee over 12 or 24 monthly installments. Spreading payments out over 1-2 years makes joining more accessible.

The club also provides discounts and incentives at certain times. For example, a new member may receive 50% off their first month’s dues. The DAC offers occasional promotions to attract new members, though the cost remains high overall.

How DAC Membership Cost Compares

To gauge the value of DAC membership, it helps to look at prices at comparable private clubs:

  • Detroit Golf Club: $55,000 initiation, $675 monthly dues
  • Country Club of Detroit: $30,000 initiation, $850 monthly
  • Oakland Hills Country Club: $75,000 initiation, $1,200 monthly

While still costly, the DAC offers lower fees than many local alternatives while delivering outstanding amenities. The prime location, diverse facilities, and exclusive membership make it an attractive option.

Is the Cost of DAC Membership Worth It?

For prospective members debating whether the five-figure initiation fee and high monthly dues are justified, focus on your expected usage and priorities.

If you live locally and plan to take advantage of the dining, fitness, social offerings, and business privileges multiple times per week, the cost may prove reasonable in exchange for the convenience, luxury, and exclusivity of the DAC.

But if you anticipate only occasional usage or primarily need basic gym access, the substantial fees likely outweigh the benefits. Analyze your personal needs and budget carefully. For the right individual, joining the DAC can be well worth the expense.

Final Words

Becoming a member of the Detroit Athletic Club requires serious financial wherewithal. But for those who seek an unrivaled selection of fitness, social, and professional amenities in a premier setting, DAC membership represents the pinnacle of access.

Learning the complete costs and benefits can help prospective members evaluate if joining this elite club aligns with their lifestyle needs and budget priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you stay at the Detroit Athletic Club?

Yes, the Detroit Athletic Club offers overnight accommodations for both members and non-member guests. The DAC has 59 luxurious guest rooms and suites located within the clubhouse.

Amenities include plush bedding, marble bathrooms, robes and slippers, and room service. Guests have access to all club facilities during their stay. Members receive discounted room rates.

Non-members can also book rooms at standard hotel rates by contacting the DAC reservation desk. Staying overnight at the club is a great way for non-members to experience the DAC’s world-class hospitality and service.

Is the Detroit Club private?

Yes, the Detroit Club is an exclusive private membership club. Membership is by invitation only, and new applicants are carefully vetted and must be approved by the club’s membership committee.

The club screens all candidates based on professional achievement, reputation, and other criteria to maintain the caliber of its membership roster. Members value the club’s exclusivity, premier amenities, and extensive networking opportunities.

The strict membership policies keep the club exclusive and private. In addition to member access rules, the Detroit Club also maintains privacy around its membership list and internal proceedings and events. As a prestigious private city club, the Detroit Club prioritizes privacy and exclusivity.

Is there a dress code at the Detroit Athletic Club?

Yes, the Detroit Athletic Club enforces a dress code and standard of appropriate attire for members and guests in the clubhouse areas. The dress code maintains the upscale atmosphere of the club.

In public spaces like restaurants, bars, and lounges, standard club attire of business casual dress is required. This includes collared shirts and slacks or dresses for men and women. A jacket and tie are required at the Main Dining Room for dinner.

For athletic facilities, appropriate gym attire like t-shirts, shorts, or athletic wear is permitted. The DAC prohibits denim, swimwear, and other casual wear in non-fitness areas. With its premium amenities and services, the DAC dress code aligns with the refined club environment.

Proper attire preserves the club’s principles of decorum. Members appreciate the dress code for maintaining a sophisticated ambiance.

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