“We're here for one thing: the love of the land and how to enjoy it with family and friends.” That’s not a statement some would expect from a private club.
But with that defined mission Michael Bratcher, General Manager at Victory Ranch, is leading the club down a new adventurous path, with a deft touch on the land and a focus on the family. That means more than serving one golfer in the family.
“Our members want to be with their families. They want the ‘authentic moments’ everyone talks about,” says Michael. “The cornerstone for us is total family engagement. That is the future of our business,” according to Michael. Victory Ranch didn’t arrive at this position haphazardly. “You need to understand your market, your place, and what your membership is striving for. We're not worrying about what the club down the street does and what their dress code policy is. We're not trying to be a traditional country club. We're much more than that. We start with the vision that we want the whole family here.”
That means a wide variety of opportunities for families to do things together. “We're trying to bring the family together, not separate the golfers from the spa users and the kids. We’re creating shared time. It's such a cool vibe. That is what we see as the new model.”
An example of how they incorporate the family is the thriving youth program, including a dedicated activities director. One of the first things they did was build The Barn for the camps to go with their fitness center, spa, and Parlor, but they don’t just hang out there. “We do have a beautiful gym, but we also love to get outside. It's about exploring, about going into the lakes, snowshoeing, tubing, and all of those activities. The mountain biking is unbelievable here. We've built and maintained miles of trails for them. And it’s all free. We know we're right when they use it.”
A People and Land-Lead Mission
Victory Ranch made a commitment from the very beginning to ensure that the outdoor experience is sustainable for all types of outdoor recreation. “We’ve set aside 4,000 acres and created our own conservancy,” says Michael. In his words, “as soon as you come across the first hundred yards of the property you’re at the Provo River and when you come across that river, people are connected immediately.”
That's played a large part in how they have defined the brand. “Preserving open space is an absolute top priority for the entire community. Our principals are all of the traits that we aspire to represent and are carefully shared with all staff members. It is easy when you have these shared values.”
Central Member Communication is Key
When you have such an expansive property there is potential for families to go their own ways. That means that communication is key. Because of the ranch’s unique mission, it’s also important to them to communicate to the outside world. For that reason, their communications operate on two separate planes, one for members and one to the outside community. “The people that share our values are drawn to us. We don’t have to really convince them.” For example, they don’t have to educate people why it’s important to not overfish the waters or tread lightly—the community understand exactly what they're doing here. “It's not just building big homes,” he says. “Our blog helps to share how we use the club and how we see the club’s mission.”
A central program enables club members to have private dialogues, discussions, and share pictures with each other. But they’re successful busy people and not always at the property. That’s where the team at Victory Ranch steps in. “A little push notification with a short clip talking about this week's activities, whether it’s a featured artist at the lodge, snow conditions, fishing reports, or anything in the backcountry—all of that is really critical to members,” states Michael. “We have a brand team that helps make sure we're representing the club in the right way, that's consistent with how we operate in one voice. It's important to have one consistent voice that we all agree on.”
A Model for Future of Clubs?
Victory Ranch isn’t for everyone, and it’s not meant to be. But for the right family, it’s perfect. Knowing that makes all of the other decisions easier and provides a foundation for the vision going forward. As Michael succinctly states, “it's really a byproduct of delivering what members and prospects are looking for, how they want to spend their lives.”
About Victory Ranch
Situated on more than 6,700 acres in Kamas, Utah, Victory Ranch aspires to create a members-only four-season destination for active individuals and families to escape from the everyday and connect with nature’s untouched beauty. See for yourself here: https://victoryranchutah.com/
About this Series
The Club Industry is changing — it has to change to keep pace with its audience. At the front of that change are club leaders paving the way by blending new ideas and member experiences into something familiar and yet different. We’re featuring these trailblazers, the Next Generation of Club Leaders, to share and better understand their stories, successes, and how they will impact the future of the club industry.
Do you Know a Next Generation Leader?
Throughout the year we’ll spotlight trail-blazers in the industry that are leading the way through member experience, programming, operations, and technology. Do you know someone that fits that description? Nominate them here.
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