To have the distinct advantage of hanging out in a quasi-luxury lifestyle private playground while in the urban setting of Queens is certainly a privilege. There's tennis, a pool, platform tennis, an outside dining experience in a terrific setting with a glorious view, and a nice restaurant in the clubhouse.
Contrary to popular belief, its historic 15,000-seat stadium is not the centerpiece of the club, it is more like a black-eye on the club. It's nice to look at from afar and a rare gem. It's makes for an awesome backdrop view from the outside dining area. But get a bit closer and you realize it's in disrepair, it is huge, and it's useless to the club members.
It's a topic of controversy among club members, and needs to be addressed by club leadership on a regular basis. That task is no different than what goes on at any other private club, this one just happens to have the most historic tennis stadium in the world and it is located in New York - the media capital of the world.
Eventually there will be a plan that passes, but it's going to take masterful leadership to get it through.
One member we spoke with recently said the “stadium issue” is on the minds of most of the members, but few really want to talk about it because its resolution is really at the heart of the direction of the club.
"Should the stadium be taken down, it's like history is gone. If the stadium stays, it's not allowing the club to expand and possibly get a new necessary income source,” said the member. “We just got an assessment, and I am sure there are more to come if we don't do something."
Members were asked not to speak to the press or people outside the club, as it might compromise the position of the club as it asks for proposals from developers on a way to use the stadium. (See story on page 11.) But leadership of the club can not ignore that the future use of the stadium will dramatically effect the type of members who will join the club going forward.
Keep plugging away at a solution. If one does not emerge now, it will.
To the developers: beware of your attitude when making offers. The club is not desperate, nor are its members. Its leaders are not at the end of their rope. When making proposals, don't crunch those numbers with the idea that the club has no choice and needs to do something or it will not exist. If members don't approve something this time, it will be the next time, or the next.