RSF Golf Club and the Association initiate plans to liven up the clubhouse restaurant

The Rancho Santa Fe Association and RSF Golf Club have agreed to commit $ 80,000 to refine the design plans for a clubhouse restaurant, working towards the goal of the RSF Association Board of Directors of serve more non-member golf club members and create a central gathering place. The RSF Association board vote for its $ 40,000 share of the funding was 5-2, with Vice President Sharon Ruhnau and Director Laurel Lemarie opposed.

At the May 6 meeting, Bill Johnson, co-chair of the restaurant’s joint committee, said the clubhouse renovation project had been in the works for more than four years, along with a membership survey.

“Almost everyone interviewed was unhappy with the interior of the Ranch clubhouse,” Johnson said. “The most common comment was that it reminded them of a retirement home.”

The golf club turned to Ocio Design Group to find ways to liven up the space. The concepts offered by Ocio include an enlarged patio with lots of greenery, spectacular lights and glass walls that open up in both dining rooms to better connect the interior with the exterior. The main dining room’s ‘cafeteria look’ is eliminated – rather than a lot of tables and chairs that all look alike, Ocio came up with a mix of tables, booths and movable benches with a central focal point of a bar. enveloping.

Renderings showed the old carpeting was replaced with new, modern textiles and wood floors, and the space was brightened up with whitewashed beams, hanging planters, and decorative lighting pendants.

The entrance to the restaurant was also proposed to be moved to the front of the clubhouse building.

Johnson said enthusiasm had built around the design, but the project was put on hold due to the pandemic and the course renovation that began last month. Johnson said he believes the club is in a position to begin construction at the end of 2022 – the $ 80,000 will allow the club to begin preparing construction documents and begin the necessary clearance process which includes l ‘review by the art jury and approval by the RSF Association board of directors.

RSF Association Director Rick Sapp, Joint Committee Co-Chair, said that just like the RSF Connect fiber optic network, the project still needs to go through a number of steps before it is “ready to go.” shovel “: don’t skip any of the standard steps we take for this stuff,” he said of the process which will include the final determination of costs and how they will be funded.

Johnson said there would likely be public meetings to better educate the community about the project.

Holly Manion, a 35-year golf club member, raised concerns about the modern style of the design as well as the potential cost of written public comments.

She said that since 2008 she has been paying a monthly assessment for the loan needed to build the Players Clubhouse of $ 6.9 million. Manion said she was initially told the assessment would be paid in six years, but after 13 years she was still paying. The repayment of the loan is expected to be completed in 2027.

“I believe that before more money is spent on additions, renovations, redesigns or any other capital improvements at either clubhouse, the initial loan for the Players Clubhouse should be reimbursed, ”Manion said.

The joint committee, colloquially referred to as the “3 by 3”, was formed in December 2018 and was tasked with the potential renovation of the clubhouse and restaurant and overseeing the operational aspects of the restaurant. The committee includes three members of the RSF Association board of directors and three RSF golf club board members: Sapp, Ruhnau and Tyler Seltzer represent the RSF Association and Johnson, Deb Gustafson and Steve Dunn represent the RSF golf club. Ruhnau is the only committee member who is not a club member.

In 2019, the board of directors of the RSF Association approved an agreement to share the operating costs of the restaurant, on the recommendation of the joint committee. The cost share amount is based on the costs that food and beverage operations are expected to incur and reviewed annually.

For the first year, the exposure of the RSF Association was limited to a fixed amount of $ 300,000 and it remained within the limits of this fixed amount for the next 2020-2021 budget. However, according to Seth Goldman, CFO of the RSF Association, for the 2021-2022 budget, the restaurant’s operating loss fell to $ 995,029, bringing the RSF Association’s shared cost to $ 470,934.

The increase in the amount also reflects higher personnel costs due to the increase in the minimum wage and the inclusion of an administrative allowance for accounting and human resources. The amount of the split could also be adjusted pending the hiring of a new golf club manager.

Last year about 36% of the restaurant’s meals were sold to non-golfers and 64% to golfers, however, Goldman said it was an atypical environment influenced by the pandemic. The restaurant was not operating at full capacity and they lost the income stream of non-golfers using the club for private events and celebrations.

In her comments, Lemarie said she did not agree with the cost-sharing agreement, nor did she approve the composition of the joint committee.

“We keep calling it a 3 by 3 and it’s actually a 5 by 1 committee,” Lemarie said. “Seventy-seven percent of us are not golfers… If you want non-golfers’ money to pay for your restaurant, we should have a committee that is more reflective of a part of the community.”

Sapp said that although he is a member of the golf club, he is also an elected member of the board of directors and that in the joint committee he takes the perspective of those he has been elected to represent. and serve.

“I am a pretty picky cookie when it comes to the whole process here and I am not sympathetic to myself or any member of the golf club in determining what I think is the right way forward,” a said Sapp. “I would appreciate a little trust and confidence that this is not some kind of cabal.”

Seeing the budget figures for this year, director Greg Gruzdowich suggested that the RSF Association and the golf club explore different options so that the restaurant does not run with continued loss, such as considering a minimum of food that has had a positive impact on other golf courses. clubs.


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