Good News for Current and Future RGC Members

The Rye Golf Commission has accomplished quite a number of things over the past year and wants to spread the news to members and the public.

Published May 2, 2014 5:00 AM
3 min read


The Rye Golf Commission has accomplished quite a number of things over the past year and wants to spread the news to members and the public.

The Rye Golf Commission has accomplished quite a number of things over the past year and wants to spread the news to members and the public.

A profitable 2013: After the turmoil surrounding the former Rye Golf Club manager, and an unprofitable 2012, the Commission took a number of steps to reduce expenditures and streamline operations. As a result, on an overall basis, the Club recorded a profit of approximately $400,000 in 2013, which was added to their reserve fund for capital expenditures.

Whitby Castle was not profitable on a stand-alone basis in 2013, but the issue of operating losses should be addressed for 2014 and the future by the
New caterer Lessing’s arrangements described below.

No dues increase in 2013 or 2014: RGC has maintained stable golf and pool member dues for the last three years, including the 2014 season.

Elimination of the $300 and $100 food minimum in 2014: RGC has eliminated the food and drink minimums. It was an important consideration in the selection of Lessing’s and Powell Catering that they did not require the Club to retain the minimums, and as a result the minimums have been removed.

Hiring of a new general manager: After an extensive recruiting effort, RGC hired Jim Buonaiuto, who has strong industry experience, as its new GM. He is already working closely with the golf, pool and Whitby teams to deliver an exceptional experience for members in 2014.

Hiring of a new pool manager:  They hired Steve Newman, who comes with extensive pool and swim team experience, as the new pool manager. He is well on the way to a re-vamping of the lifeguard program and pool operations, which the Commission expects will provide a superior experience in 2014.

Substantial work by RGC staff:  Over the last year, the staff has worked closely with one another and the Commission to provide quality service to the members during the search for a new general manager.

Hiring of Powell Catering for the snack bar and golf course: Powell Catering is already on premises, providing service at the snack bar and a roving beverage cart for the golf course.

Long-term operating agreement for Whitby: After a multi-month process and a review of six detailed expressions of interest, Lessing’s was selected to operate the restaurant and catering operations at Whitby. Lessing’s has been in business for over 100 years and has extensive experience with catering and restaurant facilities operated both by private clubs and municipal ones like Rye Golf.  


Notable among the arrangements are:

• RGC will share in 7 to 13% of the top-line revenue generated from restaurant and catering operations, so they expect Whitby to be profitable on an operating basis.

• Ten-year term, with the goal of having a long-term, stable partner.

• Restaurant operations for members and the public throughout the Club season.

• Permanent access for members and the public to the outdoor patio.

• Coordination with RGC to develop a member-friendly menu (good selection, well-priced).    

• Shared responsibility for maintenance and repair of Whitby over the term.

• Transparent communication between the Commission and the members. 

• RGC meetings are widely announced. They are now taped for broadcast and member interaction and attendance at meetings continues to be high.

• Enhanced RGC website. The website has been improved to enhance communication with members, including a private, individualized report of expenditures that each member can access.

It has been a long process to address the host of issues that have faced RGC over the last two years. Hard work by many members, the Commission, and the City have resulted in the Club being poised for a successful and positive 2014 in all areas — golf, pool, and food services.  

We look forward to continuing to work to make RGC the best it can be for all of our members and the City of Rye.

Important reminder: The last day to sign up for a discounted pool membership is May 11. 

— The Rye Golf Club Commission

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