In this episode of C+RB’s video series, Jeff Mellott, Chief Operating Officer of Navesink Country Club in Middletown, N.J., discusses how the club saw the need, even after a major renovation in 2010, to execute a new clubhouse and property upgrade to better serve the changing needs and lifestyles of its membership, and then powered through the pandemic to successfully complete the project, helped in part by a new staff-sharing partnership formed with clubs in the South.
“The Road Ahead” video series from Club + Resort Business highlights how clubs are moving forward to create successful new programs, events and amenities and enhance the member experience.
This episode highlights how Navesink Country Club in Middletown, N.J. recognized the need to revisit how its facilities were serving the changing needs and lifestyles of its membership, even though the club had undergone a substantial clubhouse renovation as recently as 2010.
With an updated master plan that reflected new preferences and priorities expressed through a member survey conducted by the McMahon Group, Navesink then enlisted the expertise of Studio JBD/Jefferson Group Architecture to make the plan a reality.
With expanded outdoor dining and a more casual feel—including a new pool bar—Chief Operating Officer Jeff Mellott, CCM, could not be more pleased with the outcome. “Having a larger, much expanded outdoor dining space has been fantastic for us,” he says.
A renovation under the best circumstances comes with challenges, but COVID added a new level of issues for Navesink. “With the closure of dining in New Jersey from the middle of March to the middle of June [in 2020], it was definitely a challenge,” Mellott says. “Getting open, getting staff and getting back to speed impacted us as well. But the membership responded and we saw huge participation once outdoor dining opened again. And then gradually as indoor dining ramped up as well.”
To help address the staffing challenge, Navesink formed a new partnership with some clubs in the South. “We have the ability to offer some limited housing, so we actually are now kind of trading staff with them,” says Mellott.
A recent purchase of contiguous property opens the door for some possible expansion, so Navesink Country Club certainly won’t be resting on its laurels. Mellott now sees the club turning to address a surge in interest in racquet sports “that doesn’t seem to be going away,” as well as planning a new building for upgrading locker rooms, a possible TPI/golf fitness studio, and long-range enhancements of the club’s golf course.
(Viewing time: 10 minutes)
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Previous episodes of “The Road Ahead” can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-ahead-the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will feature how a club turned the disappointment of having to close its driving range during the shutdown into a “winning moment” by creating a popular new temporary and safe short-course alternative. And how the new Quicksands short course at Gamble Sands Golf Club in Brewster, Wash. is joining the property’s popular David McLay Kidd championship layout and Cascade Putting Course to form a trifecta of golf options.
If you have a great idea or success story you’d like to see featured on a future episode of “The Road Ahead,” contact [email protected].