To put a permanent face on its 50th anniversary celebration, Mission Viejo CC now proudly and prominently displays a customized post clock near its clubhouse and first tee.
In an age when not only surviving, but thriving, in the club business for a half-century has become much more of a challenge, the members and staff of Mission Viejo (Calif.) Country Club were looking for a symbol to mark the club’s 50th anniversary that would combine style and significance.
What better way to salute the passage of time, the club’s leadership decided as it considered commemorative options, than with a clock?
“The reason we picked a clock is because that represents time,” says the club’s General Manager, Steve Vlahos. “When we took that idea to the Amenities Committee, it was probably one of the easiest decisions we’ve ever had.”
And if the concept of a customized post clock that would become a new, permanent and prominently displayed symbol of Mission Viejo CC’s enduring legacy was a natural fit, so too was the decision to have it manufactured by a company that has been around since 1842. Selecting The Verdin Company—a six-generation, Cincinnati, Ohio-based family business that has made cast-bronze bells, carillons, tower and street clocks, and other streetscape furnishings since John Tyler was serving as the tenth President of the U.S.—ensured full satisfaction with the development and installation of the striking clock, which is now enjoyed by members and guests as they enter Mission Viejo CC’s distinctive Spanish-architecture clubhouse or prepare to tee off on its Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed golf course.
Finding the Proper Fit
The decision to have Verdin provide Mission Viejo CC with its anniversary clock was not automatic, though, as Vlahos and the club made sure to establish a proper comfort zone as part of the due-diligence process before engaging the manufacturer.
“We had talked to other clubs who had done work with [Verdin] and they all said nice things,” Vlahos explains. “But $27,000 is a big chunk of change, and I didn’t feel comfortable committing the club to that with just a phone contact.”
But it didn’t take long for either party to soon realize this would be a strong and effective partnership.
“They flew out to meet with me, and they’ve just been incredible to work with,” Vlahos says. And Verdin Post Clock Product Manager Jeannie Caldwell, who flew out to meet with Vlahos from her home base in Denver, Colo., not only felt it was certainly understandable for the club to want a face-to-face meeting, but also helpful for Verdin as well.
“They just wanted to meet someone, because it had been all phone work,” says Caldwell. “We have salespeople all over the country, and we’re probably the only company that would be willing to do that.
“It was an absolutely amazing country club,” Caldwell adds. “It was immaculate, and the staff was friendly and welcoming.”
Being on site helped Caldwell arrange for the right combination of special touches for the Mission Viejo CC clock from among the wide range of customization alternatives that Verdin can provide.
“We went with a larger face, customized with our logo,” Vlahos says. “It was also customized on the top, and we selected a custom color to tie in with the railings on our property.”
Specifically, Caldwell reports, Mission Viejo CC selected “a Howard Replica Model 4K with Arabic numerals, a custom dial with the club’s logo, a custom header above the dial with the name of the club and the year it was established, and gold accent paints.”
The clock ordered by Mission Viejo CC is essentially maintenance-free, Caldwell adds, with a master clock controller automatically adjusting to time changes or power outages. The clock employs “green” technology, with light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting and a photo cell to turn lights on and off. It also has a UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listing.
After the finished clock arrived at the club, it was installed on September 23, 2017 on the foundation that was prepared for it near the clubhouse and the first tee.
“When we had our 50th [anniversary] celebration, there were some 400 members on hand, we unveiled the clock, and everyone loved it,” Vlahos reports.
And there is certainly every indication that Mission Viejo CC’s new clock will now stand proudly to oversee at least another half-century, and most likely a much longer period, of continued prosperity for the club. Mission Viejo now has 440 equity members (putting it at full-cap status) and a total of 784 members overall, and those figures were boosted by a net gain of 40 new members in the past year, Vlahos says. And now going forward, as all members and guests come and go, they will have a stylish and permanent reminder of not only what time it is currently, but also of how much time has passed in the club’s distinguished history.