The storied, 123-year-old club in St. Louis, Mo. began a flurry of improvement projects after hosting the 100th PGA Championship in August 2018 that have enhanced a full range of amenities for its membership, including golf, tennis and pickleball, fitness, and food-and-beverage service. In this episode of C+RB’s video series, Club President Lisa Guirl, GM/COO Michael Chase and Assistant GM/Director of Grounds Carlos Arraya describe the hurdles that the pandemic presented as the timeline for finishing the projects neared its end, and how they were overcome to help Bellerive reach new levels of member usage—and spark strong interest among prospective members—even as operating restrictions have been in place.
“The Road Back” video series from Club + Resort Business provides fresh insights into how club and resort properties are meeting the challenges posed by the pandemic and finding new and innovative ways to boost business levels and start their return to full operation.
This episode looks at how Bellerive Country Club, the storied, 123-year-old club in St. Louis, Mo., has overcome the hurdles presented by the coronavirus outbreak to complete improvement projects that it began after hosting the 100th PGA Championship in August 2018, to enhance a full range of amenities for its membership, including golf, tennis and pickleball, fitness and food-and-beverage service.
Club President Lisa Guirl, GM/COO Michael A. Chase, Jr., CCM, and Assistant GM/Director of Grounds Carlos Arraya, CGCS, describe how the Bellerive staff and membership adapted to deal with delivery disruptions and operating restrictions to keep their projects on pace during the home stretch—sometimes even FaceTiming with furniture manufacturers to learn how to assemble pieces after they arrived, because designers or contractors couldn’t come on site to help. They also detail the payoffs that have come from completing the push, with record new levels of member usage in many areas, as well as strong interest from prospective members who have come to the club as members’ guests and seen all that’s now new and fresh there.
“When you have the normal disruptions that you can always expect from major projects—and then a pandemic on top of that—it’s easy to get distracted,” says Arraya. “But if you stay aligned with your strategic plan and goals, it gives you a clear vision and milestones to focus on, so that when targeted dates have to move, you can properly reset and communicate clearly to everyone about the change—the not-so-good as well as the good. And ultimately that creates a level of credibility and transparency that helps you gain the support you need to see things through.”
(Viewing time: 12 minutes)
Previous episodes of The Road Back series can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will feature more examples of how clubs have successfully pursued renovations and improvement projects during the pandemic; explore how golf-instruction programs are being adjusted for new health and safety considerations; look at how clubs are putting a new emphasis on branding as critical to their long-term recovery strategies; and highlight the details of expanded and effective new communications strategies that were developed out of necessity because of the pandemic’s restrictions.
If you have a great idea or success story you’d like to see featured on a future episode of “The Road Back,” contact [email protected].