The Houston, Texas club hosted a Paint the Pool Party, which marked the final poolside event before kicking off a $29 million East End Improvement Project, which will coincide with the club’s 2023 centennial celebration.
Embarking upon a creative way to bid adieu to a well-used club facility, River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas, invited its members to put away their golf shirts and don old tees and shorts as they gathered for a Paint the Pool Party. The event, which took place last August, was a fitting send-off for a family amenity that has served membership since 1968.
The Paint the Pool Party marked the final poolside event before kicking off ROCC’s $29 million East End Improvement Project, which will coincide with the club’s 2023 centennial celebration. To make the outing especially personal, members were invited to grab a paintbrush and say goodbye to their beloved summertime hot spot.
“We were looking for a way to capture [the pool’s] final moments in the most fun way possible,” says Club Manager Casey Newman, CCM. “We hosted a ‘Last Splash’ the night before, then drained the pool overnight, allowing for members to be part of the demolition.”
Following its traditional communication outreach models, Paint the Pool was promoted via e-mail, Instagram, the club newsletter and website to attract member families. While there were no age restrictions, willing participants were required to “dress for a mess.”
Despite the program format’s laidback theme, the event required an all-hands-on-deck approach by club personnel. The culinary and beverage departments created a nostalgic menu of heyday hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails, while the youth and aquatics staffers passed out assorted painting supplies. Catering/events took care of the finishing touches, such as providing specially designed Paint the Pool souvenir cups and hiring a DJ who was stationed atop the diving board.
“A drum artist played along to the music, but also allowed for members and their children to splatter paint by banging the drums themselves,” notes Newman. “It was a riot!”
With 150 members in attendance and 250 on hand the night before at the Last Splash, ROCC considered this event a whopping success—not only for the camaraderie, but for the last memories that will take the club into its next century. As a testament to the evening’s popularity, members shared their sentiments on the pool itself with special messages rendered in—what else—paint.
“Children, parents and grandparents alike have enjoyed years of relaxation, swim team and family time around the pool,” says Newman. “It was really special to allow them to say goodbye in this messy, but sentimental way.” And, she adds, no one complained about having messy clothes.
Coming full circle, ROCC members will be able to don their club finest when the East End facility opens this October. Designed with a resort-style family pool, slide and dive well, children’s wading pool and competition lap pool, the comprehensive layout will have plenty of swim options for all ages and abilities. The wet areas will be complemented by six covered pavilions, along with new poolside dining space, indoor/outdoor bar area, playground and sports court and poolside member locker rooms. In addition, the second floor of the club will house expanded pre-function space, covered terrace and a youth activities center.
With so many recreational luxuries in the queue, the fabled pool site may quickly become a distant memory, but Newman is excited by the prospect of creating new milestone moments for generations to come.
“It is most exciting to think about the centennial year in these new spaces and all the new memories that will be made,” she enthuses.
The Goal: To provide a proper send-off for the closing of the club pool and encourage member participation.
The Plan: To create a festive atmosphere for eating, drinking, socializing and, of course, painting.
The Payoff: A memory-making event to help usher in a new chapter in the club’s centennial anniversary.