By LIZ BARNARD, Four Points News
River Place Country Club is making a $2 million investment into renovating and expanding its clubhouse and reflecting the growth of the Four Points community.
Raquel Hebben, Membership Director, has been with the club since 2004 and has seen much growth in the last 18 months.
“With Raquel’s history at River Place, and our knowledge of the community and what our members and neighbors are looking for in their club, we realized it was necessary to make some substantial changes to our clubhouse. This is why we are investing $2 million dollars in renovations,” said Steven Held, President and CEO of the Dominion Golf Group and Four Points’ resident for eight years.
The Dominion Golf Group purchased River Place Country Club in 2003. The group has three owners in total and six golf clubs including Onion Creek, Twin Creeks, the Dominion in San Antonio, and Lantana and Bridlewood in the Dallas market.
“Having a local ownership has been instrumental in our success,” said Hebben. All three owners live in Austin.
Held brings over 25 years’ experience in the private club industry, and with his support, RPCC remains the social epicenter of the community.
Initial plans for renovations began in 2008, but due to the recession, were put on hold.
“Upgrading the finishes and amenities were our initial priorities,” said Held, who lives in Westminster Glen with his family including five children, ages 8 to 14, attending River Place Elementary, Four Points Middle School and Vandergrift High School.
Five years later, the parameters for renovations had changed and the the need was much greater, especially due to growth in the community.
Held says he would like the club to be an extension of the community’s homes, and his goal is for members and the surrounding community to be as proud and comfortable to entertain at the club, as they would be in their own homes.
The interior design firm of Thiel and Thiel, Inc. was hired and during the process it became clear that more than an update was needed, an expansion was too.
“I have never believed in a ‘Band-Aid’ approach, and anything short of a full renovation would not have serviced our needs,” said Held.
With the successes and growth of children’s programming, fitness, tennis and social activities, there was a clear need for change.
The new floor plan of the club is intended to greatly improve the club’s traffic flow and usability.
The banquet room has expanded and the pro-shop relocated to a more central location. The member dining area is being moved and expanded. The current dining area will be transformed to an adults-only “19th Hole”, which will include a media area with comfortable seating and televisions.
The fitness center will move upstairs to a large, open space with all new equipment, a larger dedicated group exercise room and an enlarged spin room. Forward Motion has been contracted to handle personal training, which will include sport-specific training for high school athletes, utilizing an area of the fitness center with an Astroturf surface.
The new locker rooms will be located downstairs, with a convenient access from the side entrance.
“We recognize the unparalleled growth in our area, and understand the importance of growing along with the community,” Held said. “We feel we’re supporting our Vision of being the Best Family Club in Austin.”