Pine Valley, the number one ranked golf course in the U.S. and an exclusive men-only golf club, announced on April 30 it will allow women to play golf at the course and to use the club without restrictions. The Camden, N.J., club reported that the trustees and members “voted unanimously and with enthusiasm to remove all gender-specific language from our bylaws.” Golf Digest and Golf.
The Britely, an old Hollywood inspired members-only social club with a modern touch on L.A.’s Sunset Strip, launched in early April. The 2,322-square-meter club features a rooftop pool, chic bowling lanes, a screening room and two restaurants. Member dues are $2,800 per year. Estelle Lacroix, club’s managing director of lifestyle says, “the Britely offers the best of Los Angeles: diverse thinking, great food, relaxes yet elegant comforts and a little self-indulgence.” Globe Trender.
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The pandemic accelerated many changes in where and how Americans live. As remote work surged and the pandemic brought on new meaning to life in densely populated cities, big cities lost residents in a mark that ends the decade-long growth trend for big cities. Cities are bracing for the impact, which includes billions lost in tax revenue and decreases in rent along with less spending on public transportation and lunches. Large-scale reports show the northeast lost a large number of residents while the south, specifically Florida and Texas, gained residents. The shift highlights the migration toward less-dense, more affordable areas. WSJ.
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On the Green
2020 was a notable year in the golf industry as growth in golfers and rounds played reached record highs. The National Golf Foundation (NGF) showed an increase of 500,000 players over 2019 and new players reached the highest levels ever. Many clubs had to find ways to adapt to the increase with pandemic protocols. Henry Wallmeyer, president and CEO of the National Club Association says, “For an industry that has historically implemented change at an extremely measured pace, private clubs transformed incredibly quickly to serve their members in ways previously unimaginable.” Golf Digest.
Construction is set to begin in June for Billows Lodge, an 8,000-square-foot golf-centric building at the Racine Country Club. The project will bring heated driving range bays, golf simulators, a bar and other amenities. Scott Molitor and his wife Lynn, members at Racine CC, are funding the project. Racine CC general manager John Schneider said, “this will be the best facility of its kind in the Midwest.” The Journal Times.
Diversity & Inclusion
Don Peebles went from the first African American member of Miami’s most exclusive social club, the Bath Club, to the owner. Peebles bought the club in 2000 with a plan to remake the image of the club after its decades-long history of excluding people of color. The new Bath Club will be a place where everyone is welcome. Peebles has a plan to recoup his investment by catering to a new generation of private club-goers who value his family’s “exclusively inclusive” approach. Business Insider.
Chris Harris developed Harris Park, a green space with a basketball court, playground, flower beds and golf course in Kansas City’s blighted Ivanhoe neighborhood. Harris started with a corner lot and broke ground on the final phase of construction last year, which includes a 30-by-30-foot building at the south end of the golf course. Harris’ goal to make golf more accessible includes free use of the course and equipment for anyone who wants to play. Kansas City.
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Operations and Membership
As hospitality demand starts to return across the U.S. the industry is facing a labor crisis. Some experts believe wages alone will not entice workers to return in an industry that has often not treated hospitality workers with respect. The ongoing health and safety concerns, childcare issues and enhanced government benefits for the unemployed all seem to play a role in the labor shortage. Hotels Mag.