PALM VALLEY — When Bryan Easley gazes around at the activities happening at Harlingen Country Club, he sees new faces and feels a renewed energy that comes with success.
Cookouts, bands for Fourth of July, open houses, a tent campout with a movie, hot dogs and smores on the driving range and reduced membership rates are all part of the latest efforts at the club to bring a festive, family environment and value to what recently was a private club struggling like so many others across the country.
But, the turnaround now is real.
In just the past year, Harlingen Country Club has added dozens of new families, lifting its membership to around 440.
Easley, the facility’s general manager, said membership was 321 when Mosaic Clubs took over as the management company in June 2017. Since he’s been here, August 2017, much has changed.
New activities, more of a focus on social and family events along with an “outside the box” thinking is making things happen at the club — and in turn bringing new members.
Harlingen Country Club Board President Craig Lonon said there were many years in which the club didn’t have to try very hard to keep and gain members. Golf was the main draw, too.
But that has all changed recently.
He talked about a recent paint and pour event in which people learn to paint and can have a little wine at the same time.
“ Programming is important to get members,” he said. “There are too many other entertainment options for people to choose from.”
That’s why one of the main focuses has been on creating family and social events.
The past few years, the membership has been split between those focusing on golf and those more on the social aspect of being part of the club, Lonon said. Youth involvement also has been a focus for the club.
“ It is not your grandfather’s club,” he said. “People are out there with the kids. It is just a good family place.”
“ The more engagement you have, the better club you have,” Easley added. “People want to be a part of it. Our membership efforts are going really well.”
So, with increased membership comes more revenues for the club. Senior Vice President of Operations for Mosaic Clubs Tom Ridge said one of the keys to the improvements was the reduction of the monthly dues in an effort to increase membership.
“ The dues were reduced and brought in line with market demand,” he said. “When you are priced correctly and your value equation is correct, the club will sell the more inclusive, full benefit memberships that are also offered at the higher price point as opposed to the less expensive membership.”
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