Club Management Summer 2013 - (Page 24)
Building & Facilities Management
SpaCe MaxiMization & UtiLization
When Inverness Country Club in Birmingham burned to the
ground a few years back, owner Bill Ochsenhirt actually saw
the occasion to rebuild as a blessing in disguise. “I was able to
build my dream clubhouse,” says Ochsenhirt, a former accountant with a
keen eye on his club’s bottom line. The result was a smaller clubhouse with a
configuration that made for highly efficient movement of staff and facilitates
multitasking—time and money savers, all.
The Petroleum Club of Fort Worth tasked us (that is, tasked CCI Club
Design, which recently merged with Chambers) with reducing the club’s
footprint by 50 percent while adding features for members. The results
include a multifunctional dining room and lounge, and an outdoor patio 40
stories up (we were able to get building owners to agree to taking a chunk
out of the side of the building to do this).
Any design project should include an assessment of potential, whether of a
room or an entire clubhouse. Better does not mean bigger; it means smarter.
Photo courtesy of Gasser
Have a Seat
On the Cover
even small design elements,
like chairs, can address clubs’
larger design needs
Through actively listening to designers and customers
worldwide, Youngstown, OH–based Gasser Chair Company has
developed trusting, long-lasting relationships with its clients.
From these relationships, the company’s team understands the
personalized seating solutions their clients need. The company
has developed new products based on the requests and
demands of managers within the hospitality/club industry.
For 2013, Gasser Chair introduced several new products
after using this intelligence, resulting in the engineering of the
Sonata and Northwood series. The Sonata meets a club’s need
for stackable wood dining chairs that maximize storage space,
allowing club managers the flexibility to accommodate seating
for large or small banquet events instead of using traditional
metal stacking chairs.
The Northwood is another hardwood product series that
is a sleek and modern twist on a club chair with removable
backs and seats. The design lowers the cost of manufacturing
significantly, thus lowering club prices. It also allows a club
manager to replace a stained seat or back rather than having
the entire chair reupholstered.
Founded in 1946 following World War II by the three Gasser
brothers—Louis, Roger, and George—Gasser Chair is still
family-owned and -operated today. The two eldest sons of
George Gasser, CEO Gary Gasser and President Mark Gasser,
lead a dedicated team of more than 120 skilled employees,
who include several second- and third-generation family
members. A longtime CMAA Affiliate, Gasser Chair Company
prides itself on supporting CMAA as well as state and local
CMAA Chapters throughout the United States. Its hospitality
product line includes dining chairs, stackable banquet chairs,
barstools, side chairs, armchairs, lounge chairs, booth seating,
and tables, along with additional product offerings for the
gaming and casino industries.
Two dynamics precluded this long-overdue trend: clubs
designed by committee that have historically identified need
then simply tacked on square footage to meet it, and a fear
of partitions. Yes, nothing strikes fear into the hearts of club members
seemingly more than the thought of hotel ballroom-like folding walls that
open and close to accommodate the crowd size.
After years of heating, cooling, and paying the mortgage on large swaths
of often unused square footage, and with architects, interior designers,
and materials developers applying their creativity to addressing challenges
of marrying functionality and aesthetic, clubs are moving rapidly toward
creation of flexible spaces that can accommodate in equal fashion a wedding reception for 300, movie nights with the kids, side-by-side business
meetings, and the occasional poker night.
Pool, tennis, gym, spa, locker rooms, casual dining, tween
room, childcare…and no dripping on the good chairs! From
active seniors to families with children, everyone is asking
their clubs to meet their growing fitness and recreation needs. Clubs are
increasingly dedicating spaces (often buildings) to address a variety of those
member needs—without the risk of traipsing towel-clad young’uns past the
formal dining room.
It might just be time to eschew the tartan plaid chairs, add a
touch of blue to the hunter green, or consider that, while tradition and fox hunt paintings seemingly go together like Abbot
and Costello (but likely predate them), a slight modernization can be good for
the psyche—and the membership. Mirroring the designs of the finest hotels,
restaurants, and resorts in the world and looking to appeal to an increasingly
age-diverse membership, clubs are embracing transitional design in both
architecture and interior design as a logical step to creating spaces that are
equally inviting and timeless.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Club Management Summer 2013
Club Executive of the Year 2013
Profiles in Excellence
Bridging the Expectations Gap
When Death Visits Your Club
Design for the Bottome Line
Have a Seat
The 19th Hole
Club Management Summer 2013