When Prestonwood CC in Cary, N.C. launched a new website and mobile app in February, department heads were prepared to encounter resistance from members who had made in-person reservations for decades. Then COVID-19 hit, and as this episode of C+RB’s video series describes, the pandemic, along with some hard work and hand-holding by the staff, actually combined to help generate nearly 100 percent buy-in from the membership.
“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 return to full operation.
This episode looks at the experience of Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C., which launched a new website and mobile app in February 2020, with the primary goal of making it easier for members to make reservations for golf course tee times, the tennis courts, dining and other amenities. The club’s management team was prepared to encounter and take steps to overcome resistance, especially from longtime members who had been used to making reservations in the same, non-digital fashion for more than three decades.
Then COVID-19 hit—and as Communications Manager Caroline Broach and Director of Fitness & Aquatics Mike Barker describe, the pandemic, along with some hard work and hand-holding by the staff, has actually helped with the implementation of Prestonwood’s new online reservation system, to the point where there is now nearly 100 percent buy-in from the membership.
“When we launched the app, I thought it was going to be a major challenge and pretty stressful for everyone,” says Barker. “But after two weeks, I was amazed at how smooth the process was. Members have adapted and now almost expect to use the reservation system for most of our services, and actually feel somewhat privileged to be able to do so. And it helps us as a staff to better prepare for who’s going to be coming to the club, and what they’re going to be doing when they’re here.”
The system has been especially helpful for younger members with families who have taken on extra at-home burdens during the pandemic, Broach adds. “It’s been a lot more convenient for them to be able to book a tennis court or fitness class from a computer or phone, because they’re not on property as much,” she says. “Overall, members have taken to [online reservations] a lot more than we expected, and it’s definitely proved to be worth the investment.”
(Viewing time: 10 minutes)
Previous episodes of “The Road Back” can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will detail the revival of a struggling club under new ownership; highlight a club’s successful development of an inventive new twist on an “Iron Man” competition; and look at innovative new motivation and training strategies that have helped a club maximize its food-and-beverage success despite the restrictions that were imposed on its dining capacity.
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@example.com.