Thursday, December 26, 2019

Country Club at Castle Pines to Start $17.1M Improvement Project

The Country Club at Castle Pines in Castle Rock, Colo. is ready to go beyond just golf and dining, BusinessDen reported.

The club’s members have approved $17.1 million worth of planned improvements, setting the stage for the club’s first swimming pool and tennis courts, among other things, BusinessDen reported.

General Manager Dave Whalen told BusinessDen that while the club, which was founded in 1986, has always had a dual dining-and-golf focus, the improvements will take it into important new realms that are now in demand by today’s members and prospective members,

“Golf has always been the anchor for a country club, but the question now is, what else are you going to offer?” Whalen said.

At Castle Pines, once the renovations are complete, the answer will be a fitness center, infinity pool, tennis courts and platform tennis (sometimes called paddle tennis) courts, which can be used to play pickleball during the warmer months, BusinessDen reported.

The club’s 7,600-yard golf course itself won’t be changing, BusinessDen reported. The greens were redone about four years ago, and the bunkers about seven years ago. The irrigation system is about a decade old and still good.

But that doesn’t mean there’s not something in the $17 million package for golfers, BusinessDen reported. The club will build what it calls a “golf performance center” at the edge of its driving range, featuring hitting bays and a simulator.

“This performance center is going to allow [our golf staff] to work with our members and develop their games all year long,” Whalen said.

The renovations will also include a larger kitchen and increased dining space, which Whalen said will allow the club to host up to 125 people in one room. Right now, he said, Castle Pines can accommodate about 90 people, but that’s in multiple rooms.

While most other Denver-area country clubs already have expanded beyond just dining and golf, Whalen told BusinessDen, he feels the Country Club at Castle Pines still has a built-in-advantage, because it sits atop a cliff at about 6,800 feet, giving patrons views of Colorado’s Front Range, from Longs Peak to Pikes Peak.

“The thing that I think sets us apart is our setting and location,” he said.

This wasn’t the first renovation package that Castle Pines members considered, BusinessDen reported. In 2018, members rejected a $29 million package that would have also added a ballroom and indoor spa, among other things.

“Our members just weren’t comfortable with the amount of debt [that project would entail],” said Whalen, who joined the club about two years ago. “It’s a pretty conservative group here.”

Castle Pines is now at capacity, with 395 golf members, Whalen said. Members pay $740 a month in dues after the initiation fee, which will increase to $27,000 at the start of 2020.

The club also has 45 limited members, who don’t receive all benefits, such as the ability to join tournaments, as well as 160 social members, who have access only to the dining component.

Once the new additions come online, BusinessDen reported, Castle Pines plans to add a fourth membership category — at the moment called “social plus” — for social members who want to upgrade to be able to access the fitness center and other non-golf offerings.

The club is also negotiating with its members over a gift of land, on which the it plans to add a punchbowl green. “It’s kind of like a bocce court, except with a putting course,” Whalen said.

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