The RSF golf club and the association are starting to plan to host the clubhouse restaurant


The Rancho Santa Fe association and the RSF Golf Club have agreed to commit $ 80,000 to refine the design plans for a refreshment of the clubhouse restaurant, working towards the goal of the board of directors of the clubhouse. RSF association to serve more non-golf members and create a central gathering place. The RSF Association board vote for its share of $ 40,000 in 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 Joint Restaurant Committee, said the lodge renovation project has been in the works for more than four years 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 opening glass walls in the two dining rooms to better connect the interior with the exterior. The main dining room’s ‘cafeteria look’ is eliminated – rather than many tables and chairs that all look alike, Ocio offered a mix of tables, booths and movable benches with a central focal point of a wrap-around bar. .

Renderings showed the old carpet was replaced with new, modern textiles and parquet floors, and the space was lit with whitewashed beams, hanging planters, and decorative pendant lights.

It was also proposed to move the entrance to the restaurant to the front of the clubhouse building.

Johnson said enthusiasm had built around the design, but the project was shelved 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 the examination of the art jury and the approval of the board of directors of the RSF association.

RSF Association Director Rick Sapp, Joint Committee Co-Chair, said that, like the RSF Connect fiber optic network, the project still needs to go through a number of steps before it is “ready to go.” start “:” There will be no skipping any of the standard steps that we take for this stuff, “he said of the process which will include the final determination of costs and how it 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 in written public comments.

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

“I think before any more money is spent on any additions, renovations, remodels or any other capital improvements of 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”, 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 members of the RSF Golf Club board: 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 a proposal from the joint committee. The cost share amount is based on the expected costs of food and beverage activities and revised annually.

For the first year, the RSF Association’s exposure was limited to a fixed amount of $ 300,000 and they remained within that fixed amount for the next 2020-21 budget. However, according to RSF Association CFO Seth Goldman 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 the increase in staff 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 around 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-golf members using the club for private events and celebrations.

In her comments, Lemarie said she did not agree with the cost-sharing agreement or approve of 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. “77% 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 he is a member of a golf club, but is also an elected member of the board of directors and in the joint committee he takes the point of view of those he has been. elected to represent and serve.

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

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


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