An Open Letter Concerning the Operations of the Country Club of Woodbridge

With a week left before proposals are due to the town of Woodbridge, CT concerning the purchase or long term operations of the Country Club of Woodbridge, I have been asked to provide my thoughts about how the club has been run over the past two years.

For those not acquainted with the recent history of the club, in 2009, The Woodbridge Country Club experienced financial difficulties. Instead of the land being sold to a developer, the town stepped in and purchased the property. For the past two years, the club, renamed the Country Club of Woodbridge has been run for the town by a management country. Now, the Town of Woodbridge is seeking either a long term manager or a buyer.

I live approximately three quarters of a mile from the club. I have walked to the club to sled on its hills in the winter, just as my wife did when she was younger and would walk with her parents and grandparents to go sledding at the club.

Much of the focus of the current management has been on the golf operations and although I worked as a caddie about forty years ago, I am in no position to comment on that aspect of the operations. I also have eaten at the club restaurant from time to time. I was disappointed that the chef who had been at the club in 2009 did not return in 2010. I believe he provided real value to the club. I am glad that the town's Request for Proposals has asked all bidders to address issues of retaining current staff.

The aspect of the club that I have used most has been the pool. We were one of the first families to sign up for pool and tennis membership in both 2009 and 2010. I have used the pool extensively. In 2009, the pool didn't open until late in the season, and not many people joined. It often felt as if I had a great private pool to use in 2009. 2010 has been a different year. There have been days during 2010 which saw more people use the pool that used it in all of 2009.

As with any operation, there are minor things I would like to see done differently, yet all in all, through the difficulties of these first two years, the pool operations have been excellent. It is my hope that whomever buys or enters into a long term agreement to manage the club continues to run the pool the way it has been over the past two years.

The Town of Woodbridge has made a wise decision in purchasing the club and handling its operations as it has for these first two years. Hopefully, the decisions made by the town concerning the future operations will be as wise as these initial decisions and the people of Woodbridge will have this wonderful facility remain available, boosting the value of all the properties in town.

(Cross posted at the Woodbridge Citizen.)

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