The RSF association takes a step forward on the RSF Golf Club restaurant and the renovation of the campus

The Rancho Santa Fe Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to authorize staff to move forward with a comprehensive site plan for the rehabilitation of the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club clubhouse and campus.

At its September 19 meeting, the board approved a recommendation for Ocio Design Group to begin preparing plans for a renovated clubhouse restaurant, improved snack bar, improved parking and to conduct a feasibility study on a center gym at the RSF Tennis Club.

The next steps to come before the board would be the plans and cost estimates, an operational model for the restaurant, the financial analysis of the investment project and the financing models.

RSF association director Christy Whalen said the association is taking a collaborative approach with this project, ensuring that the association, golf and tennis club staff all have a seat at the table. . RSF Deputy Director Dominique Albrecht met individually with members of the association’s board of directors, the board of directors of the RSF golf club as well as the management of the RSF tennis club to understand the opinions and vision each for the restaurant and the campus as a whole.

Albrecht said in those conversations that she heard many areas of alignment on the need to rehabilitate the recreation campus to address existing shortcomings and improve the member experience. According to the recent community-wide survey, out of the ranch’s 16 services and features, the clubhouse ranked low on the satisfaction list at number 13.

“The first thing we heard at all levels is that the Ranch Clubhouse Restaurant is a community asset that should be accessible, enjoyable and inviting to everyone in the community,” Albrecht said. “It was really seen as the place that should be the preferred gathering place…Beyond the capital investments we’re making in the Ranch Clubhouse restaurant, it should also be marketed as a community asset, like the beat heart of the community.”

Although it’s a beautiful building, Albrecht said improvements could be made, such as revamping the snack bar design and expanding the outdoor patio. Some of this design work on the restaurant has already started, but the idea was that the snack bar should be a number one priority as it would be a place to offload some business if the restaurant was out of order during a redesign .

In the parking lot, there was talk of an increased need for landscaping and beautification as well as the need to address safety issues such as lighting and paving.

As also expressed in the community survey, opinions were divided on the feasibility of a fitness center at the tennis club. Albrecht said they should consider the scale of the facility and what the community is looking for (like group fitness, machines, or weights) and come back with a variety of options.

In conversations with both boards, Albrecht said the general idea was that the existing cost-sharing arrangement for the restaurant should be replaced with an alternate capital and operations financing model. An agreement was reached in 2019 that the Association would share the cost of running the restaurant with the golf club – this agreement is already reflected in the 2022-23 budget, so any proposed changes would come in the next financial year.

With the go-ahead from the board, Albrecht said they would start working on a five-year plan of different funding models and actual costs for the board to make a decision on how to phase potential projects on the campus.

“For one person, we heard that the staff should be empowered to move this project forward with the support and overall vision of the board in conjunction with the board of governors,” Albrecht said. “The feeling was that we wanted to move forward, we know it will bring benefit and betterment to the community, so let’s put the process in place to achieve those results and achieve what we’re trying to do. “

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