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New Subscription Model Increases Number of Golfers at Oakbrook Golf Course

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (July 16, 2012) – The new ownership group of the Oakbrook Golf Course in Lakewood, Wash. is using a non-traditional and pioneering business model to secure the golf course’s financial future and entice more golfers to walk the greens. The once private golf club has switched from an expensive membership model to annual subscriptions at significantly lower prices. Since introducing the model at the beginning of the year, the number of golfers at Oakbrook has increased more than 420 percent.

RMG Golf Course Management LLC (RMG) bought Oakbrook in late 2011 and the ownership team immediately began to implement the subscription model. Between January and May of this year, the roster of golfers grew from 124 memberships to 650 subscriptions, and the sign up rate has not slowed down. The ownership of RMG includes Puyallup-born professional golfer Ryan Moore and his father, Michael Moore, as well as 12 other partners. The senior Moore is the CEO of RMG. His younger son Jason Moore is the vice president of marketing.

The City of Lakewood Economic Development Manager, Ellie Chambers-Grady, knows the change at Oakbrook is a huge benefit to the area and to the neighbors. “Everyone loves a turnaround story during challenging economic times,” she adds. “The city always welcomes businesses who help us improve our infrastructure. We need them to grow our local economy. It is also nice to have another neighborhood restaurant nearby.”

The subscription model was a reaction by the partners in RMG to the real-world barriers of playing golf, such as cost of play per round, the amount of time required for a game and the difficulty of learning the sport. Moore knows that the subscription model takes away the first barrier. He also believes the upgraded course conditions, as well as the availability of encouraging instructors and a variety of lessons offerings will remove the final two barriers.

Encouraging more women to take up the sport is another motivating factor. “Golf on private courses is a broken business model, because of limited access. The stigma that golf is a sport for men doesn’t help either,” notes Ryan Moore who travels the country and internationally, playing on up to 40 of the best courses known to golfers each year. “I want everyone to enjoy the sport that I love and I want them to feel welcome on our courses, and I do mean everyone.”

There are three levels of unlimited golf at Oakbrook: Club level at $49 per month; Premier at $119; and All Access at $179. Subscribers can add low-cost package upgrades for spouses or children. These prices are in sharp contrast to the previous monthly fee of over $400 and an additional $800 in annual expenses that Oakbrook members paid when the course was private. Each of the three subscription

options have different ranges of times that golfers can access the course. Subscribers can easily sign-up for tee-times online. The “private club” amenities are available with all packages including unlimited driving-range balls, access to the recently remodeled restaurant and bar, locker rooms and tee-time booking.

According to Chief Operating Officer of RMG, Shawn Cucciardi, the company’s mission is to make world-class golf accessible to everyone and to enhance the variety of people who are playing. “We now have members young and old playing,” adds Cucciardi. “This is exactly what we wanted to achieve and is a true reflection of the Lakewood community. The difference between the previous membership roster and the current subscription roster speaks volumes about our approach."

The RMG ownership selected Oakbrook because of the proximity of the course to the two other courses that they manage: The Classic and McCormick Woods. The demographics in Lakewood were a bonus. “We knew that Lakewood had the perfect customer base for our endeavor and we wanted to test it in a community that was interested in new ideas,” added the senior Moore.

The Moores and their partners have made a significant financial commitment towards upgrading the course and facilities. Due to dwindling revenues, the course was not in its best shape when the ownership exchange occurred. To-date, they have restored the greens to their legendary smooth and speedy pace and have attacked organic issues in the fairways by ‘punching and sanding’ and fertilizing to improve overall turf health. Additional improvements include grooming of the bunkers and the addition of more sand, which has made them very ‘playable’ hazards.

The experience at the Oakhouse, the golf course’s restaurant and bar, has also been completely overhauled. The interior updates now make the space family and golfer friendly. The menu is more robust with Northwest fare from steak, burgers, salads and pasta to a full gluten-free menu. Cucciardi believes that “the “come-as-you-are” mood is drawing new diners, as the number of guests has grown beyond initial expectations since welcoming in the public.

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the eighteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 3,200 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, two major military installations. In 2011, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the fifth year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; four golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few.  The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.

Heat Advisory and Cooling Stations

The National Weather Service has announced an excessive heat watch for this Thursday and Friday, with temperatures that will rise into the low to mid 90s. When outside temperatures are very high, the danger for heat-related illnesses rises. Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at particularly high risk.

The following tips are recommended so you and your community can stay cool and safe:

Stay cool

  • Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don't have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
  • Dress in lightweight clothing.
  • Check up on your elderly neighbors and relatives and encourage them to take these precautions too.

Drink liquids

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually dehydrate your body.
  • Have a beverage with you as much as possible, and sip or drink frequently. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.

If you go outside

  • Limit the time you're in direct sunlight.
  • Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.
  • Avoid or reduce doing activities that are tiring, or take a lot of energy.
  • Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
  • Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.

Water safety

Some people turn to local rivers to cool off, but drowning is a real concern. Please use caution and wear a personal flotation device (PFD) on the water. And if you want to swim, choose a safer location—visit a local pool or lifeguarded beach instead.

Cooling Centers for Thursday and Friday:

  • Local Pierce County Library (www.piercecountylibrary.org/branches/branch-listing.htm)
  • Sprinkler Recreation Center, 14824 S C St, Spanaway/Parkland, 5:30 am-10:00 pm
  • South Hill Mall, 3500 S. Meridian, 10:00 am-9:00 pm
  • Anderson Island Fire Department, 12207 Lake Josephine Blvd, 8:00 am-4:00 pm
  • Fife Community Center, 2111 54th Ave E, 8:30 am-5:00 pm
  • City of Buckley Multi Purpose Center, 811 E Main, 8:00 am-5:00 pm Thursday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm Friday
  • Mid County Community Center, 10205 44th Ave E, Tacoma, 8:30 am-4:00 pm Thursday (closed Friday)
  • Steilacoom Community Center, 2301 Worthington St, 9:00 am-8:00 pm Thursday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm Friday
  • Bonney Lake Senior Center, 19304 Bonney Lk Blvd, 8am-4pm Thursday and Friday
  • Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW, 8:30am-5pm Thursday and Friday
  • Chapel Hill Church, 7700 Skansie Ave, Gig Harbor, 9:00 am-10:00 pm Thursday, closed Friday

(Information Provided by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department)

Lakewood Community to Host Sixth Annual Disaster Preparedness Day

Would you and your family be ready if a disaster were to strike tomorrow? West Pierce Fire & Rescue, The City of Lakewood, Lakewood YMCA and the Lakewood Lowe’s will be hosting the sixth annual “Disaster Preparedness Day” on August 11th, 2012. The event will take place at the Lakewood Lowe’s located at 100th & Lakewood Drive SW from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come and join us for a day of learning how to take care of your family in a disaster! Some highlights of Disaster Preparedness Day:

  • Learn how to assemble a disaster kit
  • Learn about our own Community Emergency Response Team
  • American Red Cross will provide disaster preparedness education
  • Pierce County Department of Emergency Management will be providing educational materials and give tours of their Mobile Command vehicle
  • There will free raffle for disaster preparedness items

The first 100 families will receive some supplies to start a disaster kit of their own.

Come and join us for Disaster Preparedness Day! If you have questions or for more information please contact Colleen Adler at (253) 983-4564.

Coffee with the Mayor - August 10, 2012

Please join me for Coffee with the Mayor on Friday, August 10, 2012, at 7:30 a.m. We will meet in the resource center at St. Clare Hospital, 4908 112th Street SW, in Lakewood.

Our guest speaker will be Police Lieutenant Steve Mauer who will make a presentation on how to survive an active shooter situation.

If you have any questions, please contact Deanne Wegmann at (253) 589-2489. I hope to see you there!

Mayor Douglas G. Richardson

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/27/2012

July 27, 2012
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Emergency management training: Several City staff attended a three-day Emergency Operation Center training provided by FEMA. Many community partners, including West Pierce Fire, St. Clare Hospital, TPC Health Department and JBLM, also attended.  It is vital that this community wide support is in place when and if a major event occurs. 
  • Paving Murray Road and 150th Street: Crews will be paving 150th Street between Spring Street and Murray Road on Thursday, August 2nd. Murray Road between the JBLM Logistics Gate and I-5 will be paved on the night of Friday, August 3rd starting at 7:30pm and is expected to go into early Saturday morning. Delays in the vicinity of the Throne Lane Interchange at I-5 are expected both nights as crews prepare and complete the work. Construction within the corridor is expected to be completed in August.
  • City activates new traffic signal: The Public Works Department activated a new (replacement) traffic signal at the intersection of Gravelly Lake Dr and 100th St this week.  The new signal has many safety improvements including audible pedestrian push buttons, Braille pedestrian signage, countdown pedestrian heads, flashing yellow left turn arrows, signal head back plates with reflective tape and internally illuminated street name signs.  The contractor will construct new ADA crosswalk ramps within the next few weeks.
  • Awesome Artful Antics Camp:  Last week campers enjoyed an art-filled week learning about many different mediums of self-expression including music, dance, drawing, painting and theatre. They visited Lakewold Gardens, the Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass. The campers finished off the week with a talent show and art showcase.
  • Camp Create:  Over 50 campers enjoyed fun games, crazy crafts and a virtual safari at the City of Lakewood's $5/day Day Camp. Last week’s theme was "Silly Safari" and the campers, counselors and volunteers had a good time. This next week’s theme is "All the Places You’ll Go".  Campers will play games, make crafts and enjoy activities all based off the wonderful world of Dr. Suess.