A rideshare incentive program made parking congestion literally disappear at Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta.
Parking facilities that are strained due to high member-event turnout may seem like a good problem to have, but logistical issues can be a major concern for clubs located in cities or limited to a confined footprint.
|THE GOAL: Relieve parking congestion at Cherokee Town & Country Club’s Town Club location, especially during the holidays.
THE PLAN: Offer a rideshare incentive program on especially busy days at the club, through which members receive a $5 credit for using Uber or Lyft to go to and from the property.
THE PAYOFF: Over 100 members participated in the program during the 2016 holiday season, offering members safe and reliable transportation to the club while keeping the lawn and surrounding areas clear of vehicles.
When Cherokee Town & Country Club expanded the dining room at its Town Club location in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, parking at peak times became “a real issue,” says Michael S. Wheeler, MCM, CCE, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager.
Of course, the club enjoyed the increased usage by members, and didn’t want to deter member turnout for events due to parking headaches, especially during the busiest season in November and December. But there had to be a better way—and for Cherokee, the answer was a rideshare incentive program that literally made parking congestion disappear.
To participate in the program, members sign up on the club’s website and then download apps for either Uber or Lyft, two of the most popular rideshare services, on their smartphones. After catching rides to and from the club, members then forward their e-mailed receipts to the club’s accounting department, and for each round trip, the club issues a $5 credit to the member’s account.
Over the holidays in 2016, Wheeler reports, more than 100 members took advantage of the program (members are welcome to use the incentive program as often as they like). So far, the club only offers the program on designated days, when it anticipates having a high probability of cars carrying single drivers to the property. The club communicates the designated days through its monthly newsletter and on its website.
The program has been a win-win for the club, Wheeler says, offering members a safe and reliable means to use the club, while also increasing the efficiency of valet service and ensuring that the club’s lawns aren’t turned into chewed-up parking lots.
Even members who don’t use the incentive program are able to reap some advantages, Wheeler notes. “An unintended benefit is that even if members didn’t participate in the incentive program, they were aware of when there was to be high traffic at the club, and were able to adjust their schedules accordingly,” he says.
The rideshare incentive also reflects well on the club’s staff, Wheeler feels, by showing the members that the club is capable of working toward creative solutions for logistical problems. “It provided our members with an out-of-the-box solution for an issue that is not easily solved on the property,” he says. “It shows movement towards a solution from the management and members in governance.”
Going forward, the club is even preparing to incorporate the rideshare program into its master-planning efforts, by offering a designated lot or lane for rideshare users.