The Quechee Club receives a “Top Innovator Award” for its four-season programming.

QUECHEE, VERMONT: A question to ponder. Are there more avid skiers/snowboarders or golfers in America?

Statistics reveal there are 9.2 million avid skiers and 8.8 million avid golfers. Distinguishing between an avid sportsman and casual participant is important. Avid users, in general, invest up to four times more money on their activity of choice.

Last year, the golf industry boomed with the number of rounds played jumping 10 percent to just under 500 million, a level of interest not seen in the sport since Tiger Woods turned professional in 1997. While a ski mountain can handle 10,000+ skiers on peak days (Vail Mountain hosted 1.6 million skiers in 2019), a tee sheet likely maxes out around 150 golfers per day.

With 1,500 golf facilities closing over the past decade, the spike caused an imbalance in supply versus demand with many courses reporting few available starting times. Definitely a happy problem to have during economic uncertainty.

One of the Safest States to Live

While there are more than 16,000 golf courses and hundreds of ski mountains across the United States eager for your business, there are only a handful of facilities that pair both golf and skiing in a controlled access setting.

One notable club in the Northeast with a long history of outdoor pursuits is The Quechee Club in Vermont. Its combination of exclusive four-season amenities range from two Geoffrey Cornish designed courses to a family friendly ski hill with two black diamond runs; a natatorium with lap lanes; the Lake Pinneo beach club with a sandy beach; and a racquet pavilion offering pickleball, squash, and platform tennis.

“Our community, at 5,500 acres, is one-third the size of Manhattan in New York City,” detailed Brian Kelley, GM/COO at The Quechee Club. “Our resident population [compared to Manhattan’s 1.6 million inhabitants] could easily fit into Radio City Music Hall. We truly are an outdoor playground offering every imaginable activity from laying on our sandy shoreline during the summer to skinning up the ski hill during snowy months.”

With monthly dues contributing a significant portion of private club revenue, a busy tee sheet at most private clubs doesn’t necessarily equate to enhanced profits. With food and beverage income taking a hit during the pandemic, 31 percent of private clubs expect budgets to be down this year. “As a mature community with 1,400 homeowners, The Quechee Club is bucking the trend,” continued Kelley. “Our finances are rock solid. We operate a multi-million dollar budget with a staff of 250 during season, and each year we earmark a generous sum to fresh capital projects. This year, improvements will run from a new irrigation system on our golf courses to a new fleet of golf carts and a mobile pizza truck that promises to be a hit slopeside and lakeside!”

A Secret Sauce

“We have created an escape from everyday life with the only reason to leave property is for gas and groceries,” explained TJ Anthoine, director of golf at The Quechee Club.

“Our Lakeland Course plays exactly as it sounds. Set adjacent to Lake Pinneo and the Ottauquechee River, the layout sits on a natural flat flood plain with little elevation change providing an easy ‘walk in the park’ experience where water is in view of 17 of its 18 holes,” described Anthoine. “The Highland Course, set in the surrounding foothills of the Green Mountains, is true Vermont with lots of elevation change. If you yearn for the look and sounds of rustic New England, this is it.

“All the ingredients combine for the perfect recipe. Soon after we turn our mountain snowblowers off, preparations begin to open golf operations.”

For more information, please visit QuecheeClub.com.

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