After more than 1,000 members of the Richmond, Va. club attended the complex’s grand opening in September, the new Fitness Center saw a 56 percent increase in visits and programs in the new Pilates Center drew 35 percent participation. The popularity of a new fast-casual café and Youth Lounge are also contributing to what General Manager Phil Kiester calls a level of response that has been “nothing short of overwhelming.”
The Country Club of Virginia (CCV) in Richmond, Va. has closed out the year with tremendous member response to its new $19.6 million Fitness/Racquet Sports Complex. More than 1,000 members attended the facility’s grand opening in September, and in its first month of operation, the new Fitness Center experienced a 56 percent increase in visits compared to the same month in 2016 (the last year of full operation for the club’s previous fitness facility, before construction on the new project began).
The increased participation has also extended to CCV’s wellness program, which has experienced the highest member use in club history, including 35 percent participation for program visits in the new Pilates Center.
“We continue to learn that ‘build it and they will come’ should really be ‘build it and they will come in such numbers that you will build again,’ “ said CCV General Manager Phil Kiester. “Our members vote with their feet, and the members’ response in the first 90 days of operation [has been] nothing short of overwhelming.”
One of the most popular aspects of the new Fitness/Racquet Sports Complex is the club’s new fast-casual restaurant, which is now averaging 240 covers per day. The Cool Springs Café, named for the farm that formerly occupied the club’s land, meets member demand for a casual, family-oriented dining option with fast service and a broad menu with wide variety and appeal.
The café offers CCV’s only early-morning option with grab-and-go menu items, custom-blended coffee from a local roaster, and smoothies. A robust to-go program is also part of the operating model for this new club offering.
The debut of the 90,000-sq. ft. Fitness/Racquet Sports Complex is the latest chapter in CCV’s 30-year commitment to fitness and family-centered activities, and the third iteration of a Fitness Center at the club. The first occupied a multi-purpose room in 1989, providing a small selection of cardio machines and one weight circuit. A larger version was built and opened in 1999, with more equipment and an expanded variety of services, though it did not include babysitting.
The current complex was created in anticipation of member desires and industry trends. It includes a Youth Lounge and was designed with growth and flexibility in mind, as well as a footprint to foster social connections.
Junior members are now able to enjoy the Youth Lounge, which offers a relaxed space to hang out with activities such as video games, ping pong and foosball. While the space was designed with youth in mind, the club immediately noticed a trend of parents joining their children for activities in the Youth Lounge. The area has also become popular for private events, with members calling to reserve the location as soon as it opened.
Construction for the three-phase project broke ground in January 2017, beginning with a focus on racquet sports. A squash addition, relocated and renovated pro shop, and new main entrance, lobby, and check-in desk first opened to members at the completion of phase two in October 2017.
Members now have a total of five squash courts; including three renovated courts, one new singles court, and one new doubles court. All courts feature enhanced lighting and a state- of-the-art scoreboard system. Squash participation has increased by 50 percent, lesson revenue is up 60 percent, and CCV even added a second squash professional to the team.
Further enhancements were made to the Racquet Sports facility in the final stage of the project. The indoor tennis courts have been resurfaced and cushioned, now boasting new baseline viewing windows and LED lighting. And two of the club’s outdoor courts were converted to hydro courts with upgraded LED lighting.
The additional 11,000 square feet of fitness space added to the Complex includes a Fitness Center, more room for personal training, stretching, private physical therapy, and functional space for dynamic workouts. New studio formatting allows for increased group exercise options, from Orange Theory-inspired classes and TRX to a new cycle studio with classes that are consistently at capacity.
C&RB featured CCV as its February 2013 cover story (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/keeping-pace-with-change-at-the-country-club-of-virginia/)