When two established city clubs consolidate, there are, naturally, challenges and compromises—but there are even greater rewards.
Just as Chambers and Columbia’s venerable The Palmetto Club delved into the planning process, The Summit Club, its across-the-street competition, also began to look at its future development. And in short order, these two clubs—although different in culture and atmosphere—recognized the benefits of combining forces rather than competing for members.
…the initial reactions from members have been very positive — and membership has stabilized after years of stagnation or decline.
Because The Palmetto Club owns its low-rise brick building, the clubs have merged in the classic Southern facility rather than in The Summit Club’s 20th-floor leased space.
The “new” club retains The Palmetto Club name, but with careful consideration and planning acumen, Chambers created the space and amenities needed to appeal to the blended, age-diverse membership. Buying and incorporating an adjacent building has added meeting spaces and the Tap Room, a street-level casual dining and bar space that was designed to be more appealing to multiple generations of members and their guests.
The ballroom was enlarged and redesigned to accommodate bigger events, including weddings.
Interiors were enlarged, reconfigured, updated and brightened. Structural issues were resolved in part by a complex, multi-level elevator that joins the old space with the new. A redesigned entrance makes the club more easily accessible for all members and complies with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), while new technological capabilities accommodate different needs and events.
Adjusting to a merger takes some getting used to from members of both clubs. But the initial reactions from members have been very positive — and membership has stabilized after years of stagnation or decline.