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December 2021

Oasis Golf Club

Partnerships are the Key to Success
 
By Sally J. Sportsman

The golf industry is still booming, despite or perhaps even partly due to the pandemic. Data from the National Golf Foundation show that total rounds played nationwide in 2021 is tracking ahead of last year’s numbers. And the U.S. Travel Association is incorporating golf more substantially into its research and advocacy. The game, it seems, is on a good trajectory.

This is certainly true at Oasis Golf Club, in Mesquite, Nevada, approximately 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It is a stand-alone 36-hole semi-private facility which has forged a reputation as a destination of choice for golfers locally, regionally and nationally. A number of strategic partnerships help make this possible.

“We of course stay on top of market trends through our partners and co-op, but there is very limited research to explore derived from our situation, which has been the cornerstone of ingenuity, proactive thinking and just thinking outside the box,” says W. Kirk Lee, president and owner of Oasis Golf Club. “We do not have lodging, but we have several partners that do – in the casinos, timeshares, real estate partners and Airbnb.

“We have been in business for over 25 years, and our knowledge of who our customers are is vital to our success. We are extremely proud of our relationships in Mesquite that we have developed, which enable the entire city to trust in each other’s economic growth.”

The Palmer, designed by Arnold Palmer, and the Canyons are the two golf courses at Oasis Golf Club. Resort guests can play both courses and dine at the Oasis Grille Room. Oasis Golf Club employs an on-site sales team, enabling groups to meet, discuss and coordinate golf and socials after a round.

“Word of mouth is our best marketing tool,” says Adam Schwartz, director of golf at Oasis. “Groups have been coming regularly for over 20 years to play not only at Oasis, but in Mesquite as the town and golf courses have increased.”

Marketing strategies the resort uses to entice guests to choose Oasis instead of Las Vegas courses for their golf vacations are based on pricing and customer service as compared to Las Vegas, according to Lee. Oasis can focus more exclusively on its own customer needs as golfers seek the easier, homey feeling in Mesquite, where the lifestyle and guest experience are more relaxed than in Las Vegas.

In addition to its partnerships with lodging venues, for over 15 years Oasis Golf Club has had a partnership with Golf Mesquite/Citywide Golf Solutions.

“Relationships are all about trust and growth in the golf business,” Lee says. “As a result, the amount of exposure and revenue generated from our GolfMesquite co-op allows us to have brand recognition as a golf community.”

Sometimes even the best partnerships are challenged, however.

“The pandemic has really hurt our business,” says Lee. “Golf was up through our entire nation, except Nevada and Hawaii because of tourism and timing.

“We lost just over 50% of our annual revenue because of Covid, and it continues to rear its ugly head. You can’t consult any resources, as we were at the mercy of our governor and local representatives.”

Play remains robust at Oasis Golf Club nonetheless. Currently resort play at Oasis is about 50%; the other half is member play. Member play accounts for only about 1/3 of revenue, though, according to Lee. In the past there was less member play, but that percentage has increased as people retire and relocate to warmer climates. Oasis is taking a look at strategies to be able to assess the percentages correctly and responsibly control the revenue streams so they are consistent with overall growth, said Lee.

There isn’t much corporate activity at the resort, although plans are to focus more on the possibility.

“Because we do not have lodging or banquet rooms on site,” Lee says, “corporate meetings have not yet made it to Mesquite. People come to Mesquite for recreation; there are few to zero corporate companies in Mesquite.

“However, through our co-op and marketing partners we find ways to introduce and acknowledge corporate leaders through several different channels, such as golf shows and golf tournaments in neighboring states.”

The Oasis sales team stays in touch with group play participants during and after their stays. Oasis also utilizes its Google website for comments and social media, and comment cards are available on site.

As for any other factors that guide resort decision making, Lee points to the importance of familiarity.

“My family is in its third generation here in Mesquite,” says Lee. “It’s a very special place.

“I was born in Boston and always remembered the TV sitcom series “Cheers,” where everyone knows your name. That’s what it is like in Mesquite.

“We all know each other, which is quite cool and unique.”

 

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