When Illahe Hills Country Club recognized that years of neglected maintenance had yielded a club that no longer met the needs of its members — much less those of the next generation — the board of directors did all the right things. They engaged in a strategic planning effort, gained support for changes to its bylaws that enabled greater funding options, and used focus groups to identify members’ wants and needs.
At that point, said Gerry Thompson, past chairwoman of the Illahe Hills Board of Directors, “We all quickly realized we were in a bit over our heads.” It was time to bring in the professionals.
Chambers “gave us the courage to consider other options…”
Illahe Hills turned to Chambers for Master Planning guidance so the club could accommodate a lengthy list of desired changes and accurately assess its maintenance issues. Throughout the process, when budgets necessitated design changes and the original financing fell through, Chambers “gave us the courage to consider other options,” Thompson said. Those options, including redesigns and private financing kept the project moving. The Illahe Hills project was a test of creativity in devising solutions and willingness to consider alternatives.
The final plan enabled Illahe to accomplish virtually everything on its list. The club now enjoys a new swimming pool complex and pub, renovated dining rooms and cosmetic improvements. All deferred maintenance was completed, included work on the golf course. Illahe has what it now considers to be its “dream clubhouse.” And the younger generation is leading membership gains since the renovations were completed.