July 27, 2010
Dear Bonita Bay Member:
My first six weeks serving as your new General Manager have been eventful and informative and productive. In addition to having had the opportunity to meet many Members, I have observed club activity in an effort to understand its unique dynamics and heritage. I have taken inventory of the operational organization, and identified key capital improvement priorities.
As reported at the Annual Meeting in June, my goal is to administer club operations in a manner consistent with providing the highest rated country club experience. To that end, a sharp focus on the operations as affected by the organizational structure and as impacted by effective staffing is essential.
A critical aspect of a world-class club is developing a world-class staff that will support a culture of elegance, service and accommodation. As a result of the economic pressure exerted by the Bonita Bay Group in recent years, staffing overall has been dramatically cut to include the elimination of several key leadership positions. The process of restoring valuable staff positions as provided for in the 2010/2011 Budget will occur over the next couple of months in preparation for the busy season.
Three important leadership positions will come on line in August:
Debbie Lohan – Membership Coordinator
Debbie had served as Membership Director at Bay Colony Golf Club since 2003, and Membership Director at Imperial Golf Club from 1989. Debbie comes to Bonita Bay Club with strong credentials and much success in the private club industry. We are confident that through working with the Membership Committee, Debbie will strengthen and bring about a new level of professionalism in our membership transaction and marketing activities.
Retail Manager – Lynne Startzel
Lynn Startzel has been hired as our new Retail Manager. Lynne comes to us from the award winning Tiburon Golf Shop in Naples where she has served in full charge for the past four years. Wendy Healy, our former Retail Manager, has continued to work with us on an interim contract basis this summer. Wendy was engaged by the TOC to insure that our critical fall buying was on track. She has also provided for a smooth transition as Lynne comes on board full time on August 4th. We are excited about introducing Lynne’s talent and expertise into our retail activities. In an effort to restore and begin reflecting a consistent brand, Lynne will be responsible to provide oversight and direction for both the East and West Golf Shops and Tennis Shop. Please look forward to meeting Lynne; she is looking forward to your input and delivering the quality retail experience you deserve.
Assistant General Manager – Fred Fung
Fred Fung has been hired to lead and coordinate all food & beverage and hospitality activities for Bonita Bay Club. Fred replaces our former F & B Director whose position was eliminated along with other cut-backs. His responsibilities will also include overseeing housekeeping, repairs and maintenance, locker rooms and other clubhouse services, activities and amenities.
Fred’s background includes opening the prestigious Mandarin Oriental in Miami as Food and Beverage Director and has most recently served as Club Manager at Fisher Island Club. We welcome Fred as he will assume his new duties on August 9th.
In addition to having an effective organizational structure, today’s finest clubs present and consistently maintain top rated facilities. As reported in Mr. Ingersoll’s Board update letter last week, a number of needed capital improvements have been approved and will soon get underway.
An overview of key project initiatives to be accomplished this fall includes:
Inside the West Clubhouse, a fresh and updated feel is planned in many member areas. Strategic replacement of furnishings along with new carpet and paint applications has been approved. Many new colors will be introduced to the palate as we move beyond the present olive tones.
Many significant Clubhouse improvements planned are behind the scenes which will include reestablishing heating and dehumidification in the Men’s Locker Room and Lounge, repairing the AC and climate control for the Bag Room, repairing and restoring full cooling capacity to the Ladies Locker Room, and replacing the undersized air handler for the Club Room with a larger and appropriately sized unit. Overall comfort in primary member areas will be greatly improved.
The asphalt cart paths on all golf courses are badly deteriorated and crumbling. Most date back to their original installation. The replacement of all cart paths represents a major long-term undertaking. Consequently, the approach envisioned is to proceed with the replacement of the paths as needed one course per year until complete. The Board has approved starting this process beginning with Creekside in August. Creekside cart paths are considered to be in the worse condition of the three west courses.
In keeping with the mission of excellence, most original asphalt cart paths will be removed and replaced with quality concrete. Concrete cart paths represent the industry standard for quality, long life and aesthetic superiority. Some strategic sections of cart path that can come into play will either be eliminated or replaced with the softer crushed shell surface. The entrance corridor to Creekside between the parking lot and the practice tee will also receive a new paver application. Simple plans to improve the aesthetics and experience at the Creekside range will be incorporated and provide better connection between the entrance corridor and the golf course path work.. Together, these components will present a clean and elegant finish, setting Creekside up to deliver the first class Bonita Bay Club Experience. The restoration of Creekside paving is planned to be completed by mid-October.
The dilapidated Bag Storage room will also be refurbished beginning in August. In addition to cleaning, painting and repairs, the modular bag storage rack system will be replaced with all new components providing capacity for nearly 2,400 bags. This project is badly needed. Because temporary storage provisions will be employed, cart staging may be temporarily affected during the month of August. A communication from E J regarding the logistics of this activity will be communicated soon.
A very major and long overdue reinvestment into the Tennis complex has also been approved by the Board. All 18 courts will be fully resurfaced. All accompanying fencing will also be replaced along with the badly corroded courtside shade structures. We anticipate that this project will be phased so as to permit maintaining the availability of tennis throughout the project.
The Tennis Shop too will get a facelift with new paint improved lighting and an appropriately expanded merchandising activity.
The Fitness and Spa Facility is planned to be updated and refurbished. Designer paint applications, improved lighting and all new carpet and floors will bring about a bright and energetic new experience. All new resistance equipment and treadmills have also been ordered. In order to meet our aggressive timetable, the fitness facility will need to be closed for a couple of days to accommodate final installation. This will be communicated as the project schedule is finalized.
Parking and Hardscaping
The condition of the main Member parking lot at the West Clubhouse is badly deteriorated consistent with all asphalt paved surfaces around the club. In addition, the first impression at the main entrance to the club is unremarkable, and the experience at the porte cochere, bag drop and cart staging areas is currently unfortunate and in need of thoughtful planning and improvement. Rather than to take the easy approach of simply repaving by overlaying yet another layer of asphalt, the Board has chosen to address these areas with a view towards overall improvement in conjunction with the repairing and restoring activities.
The main driveway or corridor from the intersection entrance through to the bag drop area will be repaved. However, tied to this activity will be the redesign of the island planting bed at the club entrance. Also, the tired pavers presently at the porte cochere will be replaced and the paver application area expanded downward on both sides to meet the main driveway. These two components will add quality and elegance and greatly enhance the sense of arrival.
The bag drop and cart staging areas, and their interconnectivity, currently combine to deliver a second rate and unsatisfactory experience. As a result, the bag drop area will be expanded to become more gracious, accommodating and social. The awkward existing high curb will be removed and new pavers and plantings installed. The harsh and vast expanse of asphalt associated with the cart staging area will be softened and improved aesthetically with the addition of new and expanded planting beds.
It’s an honor and privilege to serve as your General Manager during these very exciting times. Your dedicated staff and I are enthusiastic to be working together, and with the Board to bring about the newly elevated and restored Bonita Bay Club experience. Our mission is to reestablish the desirable service and facilities components you deserve with a renewed sensitivity to detail and total accommodation. I am confident that a notable contribution towards enhancing your enjoyment of your club will be recognized.
Please feel free to contact me whenever you have ideas or suggestions with regard to ways in which we might improve operations or better serve you.
I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.
Daniel R. Miles, CCM