Dear Hopewell Valley Members,
Some of you are new and many of you have been here long before we purchased the club in August of 2016. For those of you who are new to the club since the purchase, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for joining the club and to be sure that we offer some history prior to our general membership meeting on October 10th at 6pm.
For our legacy members, we hope to reenergize your commitment to the club as we look ahead to our 3rd full season together. We are looking forward to spending more time talking about the future of the club and how vital your participation is in it. Membership plays a large roll in the overall success of HVGC. We do need your continued support as members and the understanding that prospective membership and generating new rounds of golf and revenues are an important part of the overall plan towards keeping HVGC a more private centric club. We know at times it is hard to accept public golf and special rates that are used to attract new golfers, but these are only temporary events until we can raise the number of memberships to a level that supports the level of spending needed to manage a private club.
Three years ago we began contemplating the purchase of HVGC. At that time, the club was ten years into decline and we knew we had a challenge ahead of us. As we enter our third season, we want to say thank you to the legacy members that have kept their commitment to the plan that we all stamped for approval with your vote to sell HVGC to us. Last year we celebrated the club’s 90th anniversary in grand fashion and hosted dozens of other member events and tournaments. With your help, we continue to see growth in associate golf and sports memberships with many new families learning about our club from our members. We have heard much positive feedback about the quality of the food and the services the restaurant and pro-shop has provided this year.
To our legacy members, we can only remind you that we have kept our commitment to lowering your dues, minimums, and provided walking privileges in exchange for the time to undo the ten years of neglect the club suffered. HVGC is no different than many private equity clubs that had struggled after 2008. From that we saw an opportunity to reinvent HVGC into a family friendly club serving the greater Hopewell area. We are proud of steps we have taken and the effort our staff gives every day in order to improve the club. We continue to have a commitment to both capital and improving services. Over time, the improvements we outlined in our original presentation back in December of 2015 have become a beautiful part of the scenery and what you enjoy daily, such as a grand pool entrance, fire pits, new furniture, new bridges, upgraded bathrooms, locker rooms, refreshment center, fitness rooms, ballroom, an re-opening of the pavilion. Over the course of the past two and half years, we have committed hundreds of thousands of dollars towards improving the clubhouse, updating the irrigation, adding cart paths, adding new sports facilities and repairing and purchasing new equipment. We have made a very large capital commitment which included paying off $300,000 of back interest that the club had accumulated. For this, we have not raised dues, do not require any assessments and only ask for our legacy members to continue to support what we all set out to do some 2 ½ years ago.
For those of you that are new members, we also thank you for being part of the future of this club. As you and your family grow, we will do our best to grow and adapt along with you. New memberships are the future of any club and it is our hope that the facilities and club experience not only meet but also exceed your expectations.
We know there is still much to do but in a short time and under very difficult weather conditions we have made some real progress in improving the facilities. Adding new amenities continue to be a priority as is the continued capital investment in the course, pool and racket programs. Our swim team continues to improve each year as we remain division one, 2 years in a row. Our paddle membership remains a fun and well attended activity for many of our golf and sports members in the off-season. We are also so proud to see how PJ and Dave continue to grow our junior golf programs and offerings to our families, couples and league players. As with any new business our most important resources are our employees. We are confident after the past two seasons that we have been able to both hire and groom some great team members to help take Hopewell Valley Golf & C.C. into the future. Most recently, we have made another investment in our team with the hiring of John Alexander who has accepted the position of Director of Agronomy for Spirit Golf. His role will be to oversee, direct and support Paul and his crew. We continue to invest in more staff on our grounds crew this fall in order to accomplish many of the jobs that were hindered by the weather this summer.
There is still much to accomplish as we try to bounce back from the devastating Memorial Weekend flooding and unprecedented rainfall. The weather has certainly exposed some of our weaknesses in the bridges, drainage and the need to add cart paths, renovate bunkers and enlarge some of our undersized tee boxes. As we have expressed over the past seasons we remain committed to these improvements, as well as, the addition of the new outdoor event and activity space we are creating behind the clubhouse. We also look to develop a calendar of events that is both rich in activities but also one that fits your lifestyles that the membership can support.
Again, we look forward to our general session meeting and talking about the upcoming 2019 membership and the overall direction of the club.