Mountain View Country Club holds grand re-opening
BOALSBURG — It’s been one year since the former State College Elks Country Club became the Mountain View Country Club and the event was held with a Grand Re-opening hosted by owners Martha and Charles McIntyre of Bethlehem, Pa.
More than 300 people, including club members and the general public, were on hand for the celebration hosted by the McIntyre’s, owners of Brymac, Inc., which also owns the Ramada Inn in State College and other various locations throughout Pennsylvania.
“The opportunity arose with the sale of the Elks C. C. and this came to our attention last January 2012,” explained Charles McIntyre of the purchase of the country club. “It just seemed like an opportunity and there is some synergy between the Ramada Hotel and the golf course because a lot of the folks that will stay in the hotel would be interested in playing golf and so we are going to put some packages together just for golf. That wasn’t the primary reason, we thought we could turn this (situation) around the country club and not so much make a lot of money here.
“We aren’t expecting this to be cash-cow country clubs,” stated McIntyre. “Country Clubs in 2013 aren’t consider to be lucrative business ventures but we do think we will certainly make a reasonable profit and be able to put money back in to this course and this facility and make it that much better and thus build on it.
“That’s been our mantra that we always try and invest back into the business that we get into what ever they are — restaurants, hotels or whatever — and that concept usually works out,” McIntyre said.
While the name has changed and the country club is now open to the general public, the State College Elks organization will still call the facility home.
“We have a contract with the Elks organization that we will provide them with a golfing experience of a country club for 15 years and at this point it’s now 14 years but as far as we are concerned it could be 44 years because we intended to keep this as a country club and we welcome the Elks organization and we welcome the public,” explained McIntyre. “Public members that are outside the Elks organization will be able to play the course but we are trying to move in the direction of becoming more of a private club of members only.
“But at this point we are a mixture of being a semi-private club with the Elks as the stabilizing factor in terms of membership but we do have a number of people who are not Elks members who have purchased club memberships already. So we have a number of that entity as well,” added McIntyre.
Will the financial obligations of the State College Elks organization, funds generated by the general public, enable the Elks to find financial stability?
“We need a revenue stream from public play due mainly at this point that we don’t have enough members to maintain the financial stability of the club,” stated McIntyre. “We aren’t that far from having that kind of stability and in addition to the golfing, there is a restaurant, a bar, theirs social catering, theirs weddings, theirs parties, theirs reunions. There are all sorts of avenues for generating revenue in the clubhouse and that’s one of the reasons for the renovation of the club.
The renovations have completely altered the look of the previous clubhouse with the McIntyre’s already investing over $1 million dollars into the entity.
“We purchased the property (April 16, 2012) and started right away to make renovations and have been very busy doing everything,” explained McIntyre. “New restrooms, new entrance, new windows, new tile flooring for the patio, handicap restroom, new kitchen with new equipment, new tile flooring in various areas of the club.
“And that does no include all the work we have done on the golf course and what we plan to complete this year,” added McIntyre. “It’s a whole new look at what we feel will be one of the best country clubs in the area and has a landscaping view that no other country club has. We also plan an expansion of the pro shop and add 20 new golf carts with a goal of 60 news ones within the next three years. The synergy is very good and we are putting together golf packages for folks that are staying at the Ramada Inn and who want to play golf and will have a golf outing to go with their hotel stay.”
When the facility was the State College Elks C. C., it was not open to the general public. At least for the foreseeable future, Mountain View C. C. will be accessible for play by all. And once the restaurants, etc., are open all will be available to the general public.
“The restaurants will be open to the public with several different venues planned for this facility,” explained McIntyre. “The social catering within the clubhouse, weddings that are available to the public, reunions, parties, they are welcomed at any of the restaurants. There will be an Italian themed restaurant; the bar would be open to the public, which we were not able to do prior to having a liquor license.
“There is also an on-site restaurant, The View, named after its location looking out to Mount Nittany and Tussey Mountain, and offers outdoor dining,” explained McIntyre. “And within the next couple of we will be including a new Italian-inspired menu for the restaurant. And there is also a lounge, The 19th Hole, which is open seven days a week and features a daily happy hour.”
What’s Mountain View’s future?
“We would want to move in the direction that we would be a private country club,” stated McIntyre. “Do I think that’s going to happen in 2013? No. Next year? Probably not. But that would be our intention that we want to move in that direction because it’s easier in a lot of ways and beneficial to the members who are having a semi-private club like this to the concern of over-play on the golf course. Keeping golf affordable is also a priority, and we offer many different membership levels as well as weekday specials and twilight rates.
“The way the club is now operating will bring in a lot of public players who are going to in some way impede their (members) tee times and there is no question there is going to be some affect when that happens,” explained McIntyre. “That’s what we are hoping to move away from in the future.”
Why here and why now?
“There were a number of other interested parties in purchasing this property,” explained McIntyre. “But had no affiliation with us, nor did the Ramada chain, this was our (wife Marty) personally purchasing this property. The Ramda Inn chain had nothing to do with this purchase.
“The Elks organization had other options in selecting a buyer and they chose us from the others because there were two or three that were interested,” McIntyre said. “Why they selected us, I’m not sure, but there was credibility there that the Ramada name would have the ability to do what we say what we are doing. The Ramada is known for a good food and beverage service, and that we would probably be a good fit for the Elks Club and that we were folks that usually did what we said we were going to do. I think that was probably why we were selected. Marty (wife) had a lot to do with the Elks club choosing us. So far this marriage has worked out very well.”