The 103-year-old Garden City, Idaho club was bought by Glass Creek LLC in 2018, and pressure to change the name mounted amid the social unrest that arose this summer. “This year brought a sharp focus on just how imperative it was for our club to not be attached to [a] dark place in America’s history,” said Glass Creek CEO Will Gustafson.
The Plantation Country Club in Garden City, Idaho is now known as The River Club, the Idaho Statesman of Boise, Idaho reported.
“Looking to the future of this great club and what it means to members and the community, the element we kept coming back to was the river,” Will Gustafson, CEO of owner Glass Creek LLC, said in an announcement released on October 1st. “The Boise River is the lifeblood for this community. It was obvious that our club’s future had to pay respect to the river.”
The club had announced in June, amid nationwide protests of police violence, that it was seeking a new name to disassociate itself from any connection to the nation’s ties to slavery and pre-Civil War South (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/idaho-club-plans-name-change-amidst-growing-racial-protests/)
Glass Creek, which bought the club in 2018, planned to unveil a new name after a redesign of the golf course and other improvements were completed in a few years, the Statesman reported. However, Gustafson said the events of 2020 brought an increased focus on ensuring the club matched modern-day values.
“We felt from the very beginning that ‘Plantation Country Club’ did not reflect the vision we had for the club’s future: a fresh, modern, inclusive, and welcoming club for all members of the community,” Gustafson said. “This year brought a sharp focus on just how imperative it was for our club to not be attached to that dark piece of America’s history and we knew we couldn’t wait any longer.
“In hindsight, the decision to wait was a mistake, and we wanted to correct that as promptly and responsibly as we could,” he added.
“This would be the fourth name in the history of [the club], so it’s nothing new,” Gustafson told station KTVB. “We needed to come up with something that reflected its place in the community at this time.
“Of all the improvements we’ve done here, and all the thought that’s gone into here, I think the most impactful and important thing we’ve done so far is embracing the name change,” he added. “”By doing away with something that might have a negative connotation or negatively impact people or have some sort of negative sense, we just thought, why do that?”
When the club owners decided to rename the facility, they reached out to club members for suggestions, KTVB reported. After learning the majority of those suggestions had the word ‘river’, they chose The River Club.
The club, the oldest in southern Idaho, was originally known as Boise Country Club when it was founded in 1917, and changed its name to add Plantation in 1930, BoiseDev reported.
“We hope you are as proud of the all the beautiful improvements to the club as we are,” a letter sent to members said, BoiseDev reported. “Now is the right time to emerge as a new club: a club that is welcoming and inclusive.”