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Wine showcase boosts clubhouse revenue

A showcase room at Highland Springs CC has helped the club increase wine sales, while also creating a great new source of pride for members.

As many clubs and resorts have recognized a surge in wine consumption in recent years, they have incorporated wine rooms into their amenity mix. These spaces are proving to be increasingly popular and functional additions to properties across the country.

That’s why Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield, Mo., decided to transform an unused space in the main lobby of its clubhouse into a wine room.

“We wanted to add a unique feature to our club that a lot of other clubs do not have,” says General Manager Mark Stahlman. “Our goal was to create a broader range and offer more variety of wines. We also wanted to add a showcase piece as people entered our main lobby.”

At the same time, the club desperately needed updated wine storage from a logistical standpoint. At the time, the club’s wine inventory was stored in three different parts of the property, and not all of those locations were climate-controlled. The main lobby is a central location for all of the club’s food-and-beverage operations, making it an ideal storage space.

To create the new wine room, an architect first had to increase the structural support to accommodate the weight of the wine and construction materials. To do this, structural steel was added below the room.

Next, a consultant assisted in determining the room’s refrigeration needs, to ensure that the space was kept at a constant temperature of between 56 and 58 degrees.

Once the construction was complete, the club focused on creating a distinct look and feel for the space. To enter the 150-sq. ft. wine room, members and guests walk through an oversized, arched oak door with glass windows. The door is a replica of the clubhouse’s front doors, which helps the new wine room blend seamlessly with the existing look.

Inside the room, members and guests enjoy a contemporary design and 12-foot ceilings. While the wine room has glass on three walls and stainless-steel, custom-made wine pods, additional finishes, including hardwood flooring, cherry wood storage bins and rich wood, add warmth to the modern space. The room can store 1,032 bottles in the racks, and there is additional box storage throughout the room. Members can have private lockers to store their own wines as well.

To further set the tone, the club hired an artist to create a hand-painted mural with painted beams and stone that complements the rest of the clubhouse’s interior décor. The mural also depicts a blue sky with grapes and vine accents.

While furniture is limited, the room has a tasting table and a custom-made library ladder that revolves around the room to retrieve bottles stored in its higher reaches. The room also has display bottles that range in size from 3 to 18 liters, with many bottles etched and signed by the winemakers.

Since the wine room opened in January 2014, the club has seen an increase in wine business, particularly in high-end bottles of wine. Additionally, the room has become a source of pride for members.

“Members like to bring their guests in and show it off,” says Stahlman. “Everyone has been really positive about the wine room, and it’s been a great addition to our club.”

See Club & Resort Business Magazine:

http://www.clubandresortbusiness.com/2014/07/03/wining-shining/

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