Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
gvsusean

penninsular club renovation

26 posts in this topic

I dont know how to post articles yet but did anyone else read about the remodel of the club in the gr press (or was it mibiz?) :blush: but any who does anyone here belong to that club and if so do you have pics of the inside to do a before and after? im kinda curious as it it costs hundreds a month just to be a member!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Welcome gvsusean! I did read the article, and Design Plus is doing the interior remodel:

Peninsular Club to get makeover

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

By Mary Radigan

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- Members can expect a mix of the old with the new when renovations are completed at the venerable Peninsular Club.

Pen Club officials today announced plans for a $1.3 million face-lift in the aging building and throughout its five floors at 120 Ottawa Ave. NW, with the main focus to be a major modernization of the private club's third floor dining, banquet and lounge areas.

http://www.mlive.com/business/grpress/inde...7580.xml&coll=6

Actually, it's only $100 to join before October 1st (not that I'm selling memberships). And Junior Executives (under 34) can join Pen Club and have access to the MVP Metroclub and Sportsplex in their membership. Plus you get access to a network of similar clubs around the country with your membership.

I would like to get in there sometime to get pics, especially of the third floor with the oak-beamed ceilings and wood trim everywhere. :)

Edited by GRDadof3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know about the organization? I thought about joining after reading about the membership fees and MVP access. I'm just not sure if that's something that I would fit in to or not being 23 and just out of college. Is it more of a social club than a sports club?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's more of a social/networking club. If you're interested in meeting the movers and shakers in GR, this is one of the ways to do it. You can check out their latest newsletter:

http://www.penclub.net/current_news.pdf

I think it might be worth it just for the Reciprical Club benefits, so that you can get into the famous and histroric University Club in Chicago :P

exterior1_lg.jpg

Dining Hall at U Club:

diningCatHall.jpg

View from the balcony at U Club:

dining_MillenniumPark.jpg

http://www.ucco.com/pages/information.html#

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the Grand Rapids University Club, atop the 5th/3rd building offers similar amenities, as well as reciprocal membership with other university clubs nationwide, including Chicago of course. Many big city university clubs include LODGING...while this might look nice looking from the outside, this is not really worth much, unless you're willing to have a fling at prevailing luxury rates, rather than go the more normal orbitz or priceline type of lodging arrangements, lol

since you are paying to network and impress, everything of course is overpriced at all these type of organizations...

in older days they were men-only organizations, and the male membership is still predominant--because of these liabilities, both Grand Rapids clubs have on-going problems recruiting and attracting newer (and younger) members, let alone women and minorities--its a situation very like the Elks, Shriners, Masons, etc.... thus the renovations...

in certain high-profile professions and trades that require extensive social networking, its a necessary part of business expenses... the busiest times at both clubs is the noon power lunch...... The vast majority of memberships are not paid for by the individual members, but paid for by the business as a perk to partners, ceos, chamber officials, pr and media savy personalities and officials, with a mix of some politicians thrown in for good measure, lol...

:)

Edited by publius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A buddy I work with used to belong to the University Club. As you can see it

Edited by mpchicago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting how things change in a few years time. Apparently the renovations were not enough.

Pen Club closure vote set for next week

They need to add 300 new members in a month, or potentially close down. The board is apparently not too optimistic they will add that many members.

Have social clubs such as the Pen outlived their appeal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


It's gotten harder and harder to write off this sort of thing.

Plus - consider that service clubs (Lions, Rotary, Jaycees etc.) have seen declines in their memberships over the years. We're all on the Internets instead. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's too bad. I hope MVP Metro Club doesn't suffer as a result. I know a ton of people are members at the gym as part of their package w/ the Pen Club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.

I don't care for any elitist establishments (anymore) and then again, I second what you said GR_Urbanist in regards to me. :P

I did join what many of my friends consider an elitist establishment (membership based on a test) and then dropped out, i.e. didn't pay my dues, and now they won't stop trying to get me to return. I wonder if it's not just social clubs but all kinds of clubs are dropping in attendance.

That being said, I was really surprised when I moved here and heard about the Pen Club and University Club. I was so confused and not sure what to think. I know a few people who belonged to the Pen Club and a few people who belonged to the University Club. Then again, I knew one woman who belonged to both and I didn't see the point. Though the people I know in these clubs are very proud of their exclusivity and that they belong; they also love having money so who knows...maybe it's for a special breed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being in a club is how rich people stay rich. :lol:

Edited by Rizzo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pen Club was far from an elitist club. Anyone could be a member if they had a member sponsor them and paid their dues. In some ways it is a shame that it is closing (it will close, by the way -- there is no way they can get 300 new members in a month). I was a member there for several years and the service they provided was impeccable -- head and shoulders above that of most restaurants downtown.

It's just a different time now. People don't have two or three drinks over a 2 hour lunch. They don't have a big steak for lunch. They exercise at lunch or eat a sandwich at their desks. There are also so many restaurants downtown now with good food that if you do want to go out for a more elaborate lunch or dinner downtown you have many, many options.

I do think MVP will survive just fine. It is owned separately from the Club and their membership dues are still pretty reasonable. I suspect they will probably work out some arrangement to keep the Pen Club members as MVP members.

RIP Pen Club. We will miss you, but not too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it is a blessing in disguise. Bad to see the Penn Club go, but then again, it is an underutilized corner. I wonder what the market value of the building is? Does it have any parking? Are MVP and the Penn separated (in other words, can one survive with the others demise)?

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Maybe it is a blessing in disguise. Bad to see the Penn Club go, but then again, it is an underutilized corner. I wonder what the market value of the building is? Does it have any parking? Are MVP and the Penn separated (in other words, can one survive with the others demise)?

Joe

Didn't Pen Club have direct access to the Pearl/Ionia parking ramp behind it? That should make it marketable to someone else, I would imagine. It might be tough to find a tenant who needs a full kitchen, but the rest of the areas would make for great offices with the high ceilings and custom woodwork.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is sad news. I can remember as a young boy going with my dad to work out at the Pen Club. He was a new CPA in the area and paid for the membership as a networking tool.

It was an all male club at the time and strangely I seem to remember guys swam and used the hot tub naked.

One of my most vivid images, I can still see it now, is of this naked fat man that used one of these vibrator machines in the locker room all the time.

http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/olddieting.php :o :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pen Club is being "resurrected" as a smaller entity based in what will now be the former bar area of Louis Benton Steakhouse.

Sounds like a win-win!

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michiga...vival_with.html

Seems like I saw a RGTV video tour or Chris Knape blog entry about the "ornate", "cavernous" second floor area above Louis Benton's that was mentioned in the article. Can anyone dig up a link?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is sad news. I can remember as a young boy going with my dad to work out at the Pen Club. He was a new CPA in the area and paid for the membership as a networking tool.

It was an all male club at the time and strangely I seem to remember guys swam and used the hot tub naked.

One of my most vivid images, I can still see it now, is of this naked fat man that used one of these vibrator machines in the locker room all the time.

http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/olddieting.php :o :o

Thanks for the mental image. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Penn Club renovation is complete.  I know RDV expanded their office space into the building, but it seems like a TON of space. I wonder if the would rent out some of the large formal areas for weddings or events.  I also wonder what is in store for the old bank space on the main floor?

 

http://www.amdgarchitects.com/projects/commercial-office/120-ottawa

Edited by mpchicago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Penn Club renovation is complete.  I know RDV expanded their office space into the building, but it seems like a TON of space. I wonder if the would rent out some of the large formal areas for weddings or events.  I also wonder what is in store for the old bank space on the main floor?

 

http://www.amdgarchitects.com/projects/commercial-office/120-ottawa

 

 

Quite an upgrade. It's interesting, the painting in that one office was in ArtPrize (in the Wolverine store downtown IIRC) and features a large barn with a slew of wind turbines in the background. It's a great painting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.