A month before anyone had heard of coronavirus, the historic Sewickley, Pa. club was confronted with a different type of unforeseen calamity, when a massive piece of its clubhouse ceiling crashed down two floors. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and in this episode of C+RB’s video series, General Manager Matthew Kurtas and President Bill Pietragallo join Michael Cherock, President/CEO of the architectural firm engaged for the recovery, to highlight the keys to a response that was so effective, the club was reopened after missing only one lunch service, and scheduled events were still held as the building’s traditional elegance was fully restored.
“The Road Back” video series from Club + Resort Business provides fresh insights into how club and resort properties have met the challenges posed by the pandemic to find new and innovative ways to boost business levels and return to full operation.
This episode details how, a month before anyone had heard of coronavirus, the historic Edgeworth Club in Sewickley, Pa. was confronted with a different type of unforeseen calamity in 2020. In the middle of the morning in February, a massive piece of the ornamental plaster ceiling in the Rotunda Lobby of Edgeworth’s 90-year-old clubhouse crashed down two floors, taking out a spiral staircase and covering the center of the building with layers of cellulose insulation and other debris. The building had to be immediately closed and evacuated, while headcount protocol and a rescue search was conducted and engineers were called in to assess air quality and the building’s structural integrity.
Fortunately, no one was injured—and as described in this interview with General Manager Matthew Kurtas, club President Bill Pietragallo and Michael Cherock, President/CEO of AE Works, the architectural firm that helped with the recovery and restoration process—Edgeworth then turned immediately to activating a crisis communications procedure and “return to the facility” plan that was executed so successfully, the club was reopened within two days, using an alternate entrance, and only one lunch service was missed as operations ramped up again.
Edgeworth even found ways to still hold scheduled events as the traditional elegance of its lobby was fully restored. “We set up shared calendars for construction and events,” says Kurtas. “If it weren’t for that transparency, it wouldn’t have been possible to finish on schedule.”
The experience highlighted many important lessons and principles about the value of forensic inspections of the older buildings occupied by many clubs, of having proper insurance valuations and supplements for their reconstruction, and other keys to being fully prepared for effective crisis response.
“Crisis can take many forms,” says Pietragallo. “We’ve always put an emphasis on having a composition of our Board that includes people with different backgrounds who can lend their expertise to help management in these situations. And with proper and thorough communications from the start, to assure members that everything was being done to keep the building safe for their use, we were able to respond to this crisis effectively.”
(Viewing time: 19 minutes)
Previous episodes of “The Road Back” can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will feature a unique new event organized by four clubs that share a same anniversary milestone, and how drone delivery is revolutionizing on-course F&B.
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].