by John Cochran
With competition between clubs on the rise, there is a need for Management to develop ways to compete with the Club down the street. Therefore, clubs are working on ways to repurpose, renovate or find undiscovered real estate. It can sometimes be a struggle to find ways to turn areas of the clubhouse into profitable square footage.
Case in point is the Barton Creek Resort & Country Club. Management needed to come up with new ideas to separate them from the highly competitive area of Austin, Texas.
The club’s staff discovered an area behind a cinder block wall of the fitness center storage room that had been carved out of the limestone hill during club’s construction. Over that last 30 years the limestone wall with ever-present underground water had turned the limestone wall into cave like a sediment stalagmite wall.
The ideas of what to do with this wonderful find was eventually transform into the “Tranquility Lounge” where members can retreat after a soothing massage along with a nice glass of wine. As far as we know, there is no other lounge like it in this part of the country or anywhere in the U.S.
Another example at Barton Creek was the outdoor open air pavilion, a structure that was an eyesore and was unusable space during the hot days of the Texas summers.
With exposed structural I-beams, a space with no air conditioning and no architectural significance, it became a challenge to convert the outdoor “barn” into something special. But the old barn also offered a spectacular view of the Texas Hill Country.
So, with management’s feedback, programming and calculations for the return on investment, it was determined that the club needed to romance the view and transform this pavilion into something special. This area needed to accommodate large member functions and at the same time give the members a place where they could comfortably enjoy the hill country view. Therefore, with the task at hand the plan was mapped out to cover the I-beams with Austin stone, and create a warm and inviting fireplace for cold winter nights. Also, by adding sliding glass panels and HVAC the temperature can be controlled 360 days of the year.
Last, but not least, with the increase of younger members trying to find a club that can meet their casual needs and with the whole world easily accessed from your laptop or better yet, your smart phone, clubs need to cater to this demographic as well as every age group. A club needs to be, if possible, everything to every member.
By taking an area and converting it into an “all-day/everyday lounge”, you have an area that will be used from open to close. Community tables with USB ports and charging stations enable members, with their laptops, to work in the morning, have lunch middle of the day and finish the day with a cocktail or glass of wine.
With the ever-changing landscape of the club business…managers, members, club designers and architects need to constantly keep looking forward and find new and innovative ways to be competitive. BR
John Cochran is with Club Design Associates of Fort Worth, Palm Desert and Scottsdale. He can be reached at (817) 810-0333 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.clubdesignassociates.com