In this episode of C+RB’s video series, General Manager/COO Michael Redmond, CEC, CCM, and Assistant General Manager Emmet Gallagher describe the development and execution of the $11 million project that culminated with the opening in April 2021 of a spectacular new open-air rooftop venue atop the iconic, 117-year-old clubhouse that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located in the heart of the nation’s capital. While dining has purposely not been offered yet on the rooftop, the membership has fully embraced—and consistently sold out—the space because of its added appeal for cigar smoking, enjoying live music and special libations, and private functions, including wedding ceremonies with the Washington Monument as a backdrop.
“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 the vision and perseverance that led to the opening in April 2021 of a spectacular new open-air rooftop venue atop the iconic 117-year-old clubhouse of The Metropolitan Club of the City of Washington (D.C.), which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located in the heart of the nation’s capital, just blocks from the White House.
General Manager/COO Michael Redmond, CEC, CCM, and Assistant General Manager Emmet Gallagher describe the development, execution and benefits that have been realized through the $11 million project, which was originally conceived in 2011. But it did not move forward until 2015, after which nearly five years of planning for how to structurally engineer the new sixth-floor space, which included the need to sink seven new steel columns through the entire building and its foundation, was required before construction began in the fall of 2019.
When the pandemic then caused a shutdown of the club along with the entire city in March 2020, the club did some “soul-searching,” Redmond says, as to whether the project should be halted or accelerated. The decision was made to move ahead and that proved to make the club leadership look like “geniuses,” he says, when the rooftop opened a year later, because of how open-air settings had become much more critical for assuring members they could return to a safe social environment at their club.
While the club has stressed from the start that it did not want the rooftop to include service that would detract from the appeal of its other dining rooms, the membership has fully embraced (and consistently sold out) the space because of its added appeal for cigar smoking, enjoying live music and special libations, and private functions, including wedding ceremonies with the Washington Monument as a backdrop.
“Moving forward, we’ll keep an open mind as we let the members decide what it is they’d like to do and have up here,” says Redmond. “But we learned from talking with other clubs that the best approach is not to let it take away from your other venues, and instead position it as one more unique area that you want members to be able to experience, as part of traveling through and using and enjoying the entire clubhouse.”
Previous episodes of “The Road Ahead” can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-back/
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