In hopes of pleasing current members while attracting new ones, the Olean, N.Y., club is installing an in-ground pool this summer before adding a fleet of golf carts, renovating the kitchen, and adding a new clubhouse. More than 100 members and a handful of nonmembers contributed $340,000 to pay for the pool project in full.
A new state-of-the-art in-ground pool is scheduled for installation by this summer at Bartlett Country Club, just one of several capital improvements that management hopes will please current members—and attract a few new ones—when the snow melts, the Olean (N.Y.) Times Herald reported.
Club President Frank Higgins unveiled a semi-new fleet of golf carts, a renovated kitchen, and a new clubhouse roof and boiler system as portions of a 20-year capital improvement plan to refresh the 110-year-old country club on March 6, the Times Herald reported.
“The membership is thrilled with all these improvements going forward. The old pool had become kind of an eyesore,” Higgins said, noting it was installed in 1953 and 60-plus years of winters had taken a toll. “We said, ‘Either we’re going to do this, or we’re not. We can’t put it on the finances of the club. We have to go to the members for voluntary donations.’”
More than 100 members and a handful of nonmembers contributed $340,000 to pay for the pool project in full. Bartlett officials hope for a July 1 grand opening of the new pool, which will feature five swimming lanes, a shallow kids’ area, geysers and a pipe shower, the Times Herald reported.
The new pool will boost the club’s leisurely, family-oriented atmosphere, Higgins said, but it will also cater to the competitive needs of Bartlett’s 17-and-under swimming team, the Times Herald reported.
But the harsh winter has pushed the project back. “The weather has us delayed a little bit in breaking the ground and getting the project underway, but in talking to the companies doing the work, we’re still on schedule,” Higgins said.
Bartlett was looking to draw as much life from the current pool as possible, with Higgins describing its maintenance process in recent years as “band-aiding,” the Times Herald reported.
“By the end of this last summer, it didn’t have anymore life to it. With a new facility up there, I’m encouraged,” Higgins said. “We’ll gain memberships by it, with people wanting to be a part of it and enjoy the pool, as well as the other capital improvements. They’re noticeable capital improvements, like carts and all that, and hopefully people want to be a part of it.”
The semi-new collection of 2013-model E-Z-GO golf carts have already seen some use. Like the other upgrades, they were funded by member donations, which amounted to roughly $160,000, the Times Herald reported.
“With the financials here, we’ve turned a corner and we’re doing some positive things,” Higgins said. “All these other expensive repairs, we’ve basically had to go to the membership for voluntary donations. And the incredible passion of this membership has come through full steam.”
Member-driven golf tournaments and other functions have contributed more than $100,000 for local charities and community development last year, Higgins said, noting that each year at Bartlett usually yields sizable sums for charity, the Times Herald reported.
“As a piece of this community, we have a lot of exciting things going on here,” Higgins said. “For a few years, we were struggling a bit, but now the membership has responded. We want this place, and we’re willing to pitch in to make it better and make sure it’s here for generations to come.
“Bartlett provides kind of an outlet for business people looking to recruit other business people and families into this area. They want a family place they can go, and a swimming pool is key to that.”
Bartlett’s outdated tennis courts are on the docket for renovation in the next several years. The club has invested $10,000 in new golf course cart paths, some of which will see completion this summer. Additionally, the clubhouse’s aged air conditioning system is slated for replacement, and officials hope to soon renovate the bar area, the Times Herald reported.
“I basically grew up here, and I have a lot of childhood memories,” Higgins said. “That has created my passion toward this place. A lot of people have, and that’s why I’m excited the membership responded. We want these memories moving forward.”