C+RB‘s 15th Annual Ideas Issue highlights creative new events and approaches, born out of pandemic necessity, that have earned permanent popularity. In this article, we look at how The Landings Club in Savannah, Ga. hosted a Skate Night as part of its “Sunday Funday” series, complete with a mini arcade set-up.
During the pandemic, members of The Landings Club in Savannah, Ga., learned how to roll with it—quite literally. In 2020 December, the club hosted a Skate Night as part of its “Sunday Funday” series, complete with a mini arcade set-up. While The Landings boasts a dynamic membership that continues to expand with young families, programs including this one are designed to be all-inclusive.
“The club makes it a priority to offer events that cater to all age ranges and give members numerous opportunities to come together and do what they love, with the people that they like,” says Palmetto Club Manager Ian Munroe. Programming/Special Events Manager Justin Brown seconds this sentiment. “This event especially catered to all generations, from those who used to enjoy the roller rink back in their heyday, to stir-crazy kids who have never been to one before,” he adds.
To pique members’ interest, the club used a multi-tiered promotion plan: a daily e-mail blast listing The Top 5 events, along with website and mobile-app posts that include menu and entertainment options and enable one-click registration. Tickets for Skate Night included all amenities: food, skates rental and arcade games.
Transforming the club’s 4,800-sq. ft. ballroom into an authentic skating rink began by dividing the space into two separate zones via an air wall. An outside skate company was hired to lay out a sectional skating rink, while a local event company supplied the arcade games, including Pacman, Air Hockey, foosball, Space Invaders and basketball speed shootout, which were housed in the banquet foyer.
Refreshments mirrored the menu of a skating rink: pizza, corndogs, cheeseburger sliders, tater tots, chips cookies and brownies. A full bar for adults and a beverage station for the kids rounded out the snacks.
To adhere to proper safety precautions, the club held three skate sessions limited to 70 people on the floor at one time. Masks were required and provided, along with gloves and a hand sanitizer station. Staff periodically sanitized the arcade games, and all food stations were manned by clubhouse personnel to minimize the chance for contamination.
“Seating was spread out so that our members could enjoy their food socially distanced, and the roller rink was set at a limited capacity to avoid overcrowding,” says Munroe.
With 200 members in attendance, Skate Night was deemed a success. Holding events like this early in the day, Munroe notes, “gives Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa the chance to socialize with their friends while the kids enjoy the club and tire out.” And with several attendees having booked reservations at restaurants after the event, this program helped to generate additional F&B revenues.
Being able to enjoy a fun outing without having to leave the premises was a tremendous advantage for pandemic-weary members. “They simply trust us more than the rest of the world to keep them safe, because we have shown consistently that we can do so through our high safety standards,” says Monroe.
As the club resumes full operations, a complete roster of events are scheduled for the remainder of the year, including themed dinners (like the Last Night Aboard the RMS Titanic and Dinner on the Orient Express), a father/daughter dance and the annual Food and Beverage Festival in July.
The Goal: Create a program at The Landings Club with multigenerational appeal.
The Plan: Transform the clubhouse ballroom into a makeshift skating rink, complete with food stations, a bar and arcade area.
The Payoff: A well-attended outing with rave reviews from membership, plus post-event reservations at property-wide restaurants.