Thursday, June 25, 2015

Guest View-Don Bristow: Oro Valley Should Consider Alerternatives To A Full Sevice Community Center Restaurant

Monday, you have the opportunity to meet with the architect, Klindt Brenenridge, who is working on the rehabilitation of the Oro Valley Community Center and Recreation Center. In this guest view, Resident Don Bristow shares his thinking about the project.
Included in the initial proposed remodeling of the Oro Valley Community Center is the second floor restaurant area. Before committing the residents’ money and this area to a full-service restaurant operation, there must be a discussion regarding the need and economics of the Town operating a restaurant.

Is the Community Center what the name implies or is it a County Club? If it is a County Club, a full-time full service restaurant is appropriate.

Operating a full time restaurant will result in increased operating and maintenance costs and most likely additional tax dollar subsidies. It also requires competing with the private sector restaurants within Oro Valley. Operating a restaurant is difficult and takes full-time commitment to make a profit. Just ask the owners of restaurants operating in Oro Valley. Who in the Oro Valley government is capable of evaluating Troon’s restaurant management performance or offering professional advice? There are alternatives that must be presented and evaluated.

One viable alternative for the everyday operations of a Community Center restaurant, is a snack bar type operations which is open for a continental breakfast to early evening. It could also serve as a coffee and tea access point. A walled off bar, operating during scheduled golf hours, would meet the needs of most patrons. The kitchen could remain, but be used by outside catering companies which would be hired and paid for by the sponsor of golf outings or other events.. A full-service catering company would supply all necessary support items such as tables and chairs, linens, china,  and silverware. There are other alternatives that can and must be publicly discussed before any of the residents’ tax dollars are spent for a full-service full or part time restaurant.

The large area currently dedicated to the restaurant could utilize moveable walls to create multifunctional rooms. As the available square footage of the Center is limited, this would be a good potential use and have much lower operating and maintenance costs.

What do you think?

Attend the Architect Open House at the Community Center on June 29, 2105, from 6 to 7 p.m. However, in a one-hour time frame there may not be sufficient time for the residents to be heard. Therefore, after the meeting contact our Councilmembers and Town Manager to share your thoughts.
Don Bristow is a long-time Oro Valley resident and 2014 candidate for Oro Valley Town Council. Don is a frequent speaker at Oro Valley council meetings and has been a member of various Oro Valley committees.  

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