Steve Baker, one-half of the duo who bought the Brownwood Country Club late last year, claimed he isn't big on "telling you what I'm going to do" in bringing extensive improvements to the club.
"Watch. Just watch," Baker said at Friday's monthly membership luncheon of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, held — as all of the chamber's monthly luncheons are — at the Brownwood Country Club.
Baker actually had plenty to say as he and his wife, Vicky — the other half of the ownership duo — talked about plans for improvements that are projected to turn the facility into a destination for weddings and other events. Improvements include construction of an aquatic center, golf course improvements, a new kitchen and new kitchen equipment, renovations to dining areas and new areas including an event center with seating for 300.
Vicky Baker explained the improvements as the country club's general manager, Jason Bailey, pointed out the areas depicted on drawings of the plans that were tacked to a wall. As Vicky Baker talked, Bailey showed some of the areas on the plans: entrance, new lobby and fireplace, staircases, elevator, golf shop, a bridal room, deck with tables and the event center.
Total dining capacity in various areas will be increased from about 275 to about 850, Baker said.
The improvements will be done in phases so it won't be necessary to shut down the club while the work is done, the Bakers said.
"As I see the (plans) on the board over there, I see a place where the Brownwood Country Club can be the destination for weddings for people from all over the state of Texas," Steve Baker said. "It's like the movie: 'if you build it they will come.' … What does that do for every one of you?"
Buy goods and services here, Baker said, and "you're going to be the beneficiary of what we bring to the table.
" … I don't have exactly the timing (of the improvements), but I know my wife well enough to know it's sooner rather than later, and there's already some people wondering when is the big wedding center going to take place? It'll be fun and I think it'll be good for the community of Brownwood, and not just Brownwood, but for all the surrounding areas."
Baker said one of the attractions of buying the country club was the presence of outstanding staff. Staff members were introduced at the luncheon and spoke briefly, including:
• Chris Hathcock, greens superintendent.
• Jeffrey Hughes, head golf professional.
• Jason Bailey, general manager.
• Katie Ball, cocktail lounge manager.
• Thomas Vezina, executive chef.
• Robbi Walker, membership director.
• Leslie Rumfield Hair, banquet sales director.
The Brownwood Country Club's shareholders approved the sale of the club in December to the Bakers, of Midland.