The Vision of The Racquet Club

I have been the general manager at RCOP for nearly two years now, and what an incredible journey it has been!  As we continue to seek innovative methods to improve our facilities and services, we are reminded that we must adapt to the changes of a constantly evolving market.  In order to adjust to the needs of our membership we have to have exceptional vision in order to do so.  Every great club has a vision for its future and it is pivotal for management and executive leadership to constantly review past performances and utilize our resources to anticipate and fulfill the needs of existing members and potential candidates.  It seems appropriate that the abstract of my first blog entry compares the idea of vision to both hindsight and foresight; we will use our hindsight to take look back at we’ve accomplished and we will use our foresight to identify what lies ahead. That said; let’s take a look at what we have accomplished and what exciting projects are in our future.

Hindsight:  What we’ve done.

LED Conversion – We recently converted all of our light fixtures to accommodate energy efficient LED bulbs which will translate to substantial savings at the conclusion of our three year payback period.  Not only is the Club more energy efficient, the lighting has been vastly improved as a result of this project.  Our squash courts now have the best lighting on the East Coast!

Pool Renovation – Just this past April, the Club finished renovating the pool.  Over the years, we experienced terrible difficulty in finding a contractor and paint manufacturer that could paint the pool and have it last for several years.  This time, through proper inspections during the application process, we are confident that this paint will hold for at least five years.  If you haven’t seen the pool’s new look, be sure to stop by and take a dip!

Summer Membership Conversion – After last year’s summer membership program, the Club had a record 36 new members join during the month of September.  Many of those were summer members converting to full-time membership as a result of their trial experience.  Shortly after, the Philadelphia Business Journal wrote a flattering article on the successes of the Club as a result of the summer membership program.  Click here to view the article:

Food and Beverage Improvements – Over the past year, the Club has vastly improved our food and beverage services.  Under the leadership of our F&B Director, Katelynn Zacarria, the Club has increased The 1889 Pub food sales by 125% and beverage sales are also up 27% over last year.  Clearly, the members have enjoyed the specialty dishes along with our traditional pub fare in our dining restaurant!  Keep an eye out for more changes and improvements coming to our lunch services this summer.  The Racquet Club was also recently listed as a “Top 25 Classic Restaurant That Every Philadelphian Must Try” by Philadelphia Eater.  Click here to view the article:

Phone System Upgrade – Just this month, the Club’s telecomm infrastructure was upgraded to Voice Over IP.  The new system was leased with an option to buy after three years and included new equipment and enhanced options and services for our members such as a dial by-name directory and a general mailbox to leave a message if an attendant is unavailable to answer a call at the desk.  Even with the upgrade in equipment and services, the Club was able to enjoy savings of over $300 per month in comparison to billings from our previous carrier.

Improved WiFi – The Club very recently improved the Wi-Fi capabilities on all of the floors to better accommodate the growing technological needs of our membership.  Now members can undoubtedly upload pictures and videos with increased speed thanks to a significant increase in our internet broadband as well.

Foresight:  What lies ahead.

Three New Squash Courts – Thanks to the generous donation of an anonymous member, the Club will begin construction of three new squash courts on the second floor in just a few weeks time.  The addition of these three maple courts are welcomed by our active members who sometimes struggle to find an open court during peak hours during the week.  Once these courts have been completed by the end of September, the Club will have twice as many singles courts as before!

New Fitness Center Equipment – The addition of the three squash courts on the 2nd floor will coincide with a remodeling of the existing fitness center.  In order to provide our members with a state of the art facility in the new space, all brand new equipment will be purchased.  We expect that the new equipment will better serve the membership’s existing needs and will also attract more prospective members.

Ladies Locker Room & First Floor Bathroom Renovations – The ladies locker room will also receive a much needed facelift this summer in order to improve the facilities for the growing category of female members. The ladies locker room will have new carpet, ceiling tiles, lighting, paint, and furniture installed during this project.  Additionally, the ladies first floor bathroom will receive a complete makeover which we believe will help our partner, Jeffrey Miller Catering, to book more weddings at the Club.

The Historic Preservation and Education Fund – In April, the Club created a non-profit organization which will serve to provide for the preservation, restoration and education of the general public for the Clubhouse.  This tax exempt fund will act as a conduit to receive donations from members and the public to improve and restore our historic facility as well as increase squash awareness within the local community.  This is truly a monumental endeavor that will prove to be beneficial not only to the club and its members but to the Philadelphia community as well.

It is evident that the Club has accomplished quite a bit in the past two years, but it is also apparent that we have many improvements ahead of us to look forward to.  It has been said that hindsight is 20/20 and we will use what we’ve learned in the past two years to improve our vision and foresight to offer even better services and amenities to our members.  I personally look forward to the challenges and highlights ahead of us and I hope that our members are as equally excited as I am.



Derik Comalli

General Manager