6/3/13

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Happy Birthday: Garden of the Gods Club Turns 62 Years Old!

Happy 62nd Birthday to Garden of the Gods Club!

Happy 62nd birthday to Garden of the Gods Club!

Next Monday, June 10, Garden of the Gods Club will celebrate its 62nd birthday. And what a great 62 years it’s been! What began as a dream to develop a beautiful area has since developed into one of the most sought-after locations in Colorado Springs. When Al Hill and his wife Margaret purchased the property in 1949, a legacy of excellence was set in motion.

Construction of Garden of the Gods Club began in May 1950. In September, the Hills gathered with Colorado and Texas friends for a dedication ceremony involving placement of a copper capsule into the lobby fireplace wall. A snapshot of the times, the capsule contained bubble gum, a bottle of Dr. Pepper, a Coke, a Hopalong Cassidy comic book, a plat of the survey for the development, current magazines and newspapers, brochures and curios commemorating Seven Falls, Jacoby’s book on Canasta, and “other items” that reportedly included an unlucky chameleon who scurried into the capsule the moment before it was sealed.

In 1951, the official grand opening celebration launched the Club as a premier private club in the western United States. Spread over three days, from June 14 to 16, Members enjoyed gourmet food live music, and dancing. That same year, The Gazette Telegraph described the club as a “mecca for those interested in fine taste and splendor.”

Not surprisingly, Garden of the Gods Club quickly became an exclusive retreat for Hollywood’s elite, captains of industry, and political and literary luminaries. Visitors included Robert Mitchum, Claudette Colbert, Gene Autry, John Wayne, and Walt Disney. Fascinating black-and-white photos from this era can be viewed in the hallway across from our Lodge Lounge. It was a bustling time during which Members and guests enjoyed the immaculate tennis courts, gorgeous pool, gourmet dining, and extravagant events.

Garden of the Gods Club has come along way since it originally opened in 1951.

Garden of the Gods Club in its early days (’50s era).

Eventually, as the sport of golf grew in popularity, Al Hill’s golf buddies convinced him to add a golf course to the property. J. Press Maxwell designed a world-class, 18-hole, 7,000-yard golf course. Over 200 acres of Kentucky bluegrass and bentgrass were planted to create the course, named after the famous Kissing Camels rock formation at nearby Garden of the Gods Park. At the same time, the Hills built a Moroccan-themed clubhouse featuring a golf shop, locker rooms, as well as a dining room and lounge. Forty South Patio rooms were also added to the club to accommodate Members and their guests. The golf course officially opened for play in June of 1961.

As the Club continued to attract new members, the original clubhouse was eventually rebuilt. Designed by renowned architects Lake-Flato, its soaring glass and powerful stonework captured stunning views of Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. In 1998, golf course architect Mark Rathert added nine holes to the Kissing Camels Golf Course, which brought the course to 27 holes.

Even after 62 years, the Club continues to be a gem in Colorado Springs, offering fine dining, a 27-hole championship golf course, a full-service Spa & Salon, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a Sports Club, and a Lodge. With such a great variety of offerings, the Club has become a beautiful backdrop for rich relationships, community, and fabulous memories. Happy birthday, Garden of the Gods Club!

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5/30/13

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Six Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation

Although the start of summer is an exciting time, the season of days spent by the pool never seems to last quite long enough. To help you fully enjoy your summer vacation, we chatted with a few staff members here at Garden of the Gods Club to get their tips for making the best of the warm season. Keep reading to learn more.

These tips can help you have a wonderful summer!

The tips listed below can help you have a wonderful summer!

1. Slow down. Ask nearly anybody and they will agree:  life is busy. When it comes to enjoying summer, it’s important to be intentional about slowing down. Whether you clear an afternoon for yourself or leisurely explore a nature trail with a good friend, take time to notice the small things. “After my husband and I put my daughter to bed, we like to sit out on our deck with a glass of wine and watch the stars,” Tracey Kalata, GGC’s director of membership said. “I think it’s really important to take time for yourself.”

2. Take advantage of local attractions. You don’t have to plan a grand summer vacation to enjoy yourself. Plan some fun into your everyday routine by exploring attractions that are offered in your own backyard. “There are so many things to take advantage of in the Colorado Springs area,” Tracey said. “My family and I enjoy hiking the incline, visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, hiking the incline trail, exploring Manitou Springs, and more,” she continued. “There’s no reason to get bored during the gorgeous summer months.”

3. Plan ahead. Don’t let the summer escape you for lack of planning. Take an hour or so and write out all of the things that you want to enjoy this summer. Then make a plan for when and how they will happen. “Planning ahead for a great summer is especially important for families with children,” Tracey said. “Registering children ahead of time for camps and other activities helps the entire family transition into summer with ease.”

4. Keep children active. “My wife and I try to keep our five-year-old and our eight-year-old active during the summer,” Joshua Smith, GGC’s accounting manager, said. “My wife doesn’t working during the summer, so she makes an effort to take them swimming, hiking, and to the zoo,” he continued. “We also keep them engaged in learning in fun ways. Whether it’s a fun book or a game on the kids’ tablet, we try to promote learning while they’re having fun.”

5. Take a family vacation. Summer is a wonderful time to make memories with your family. “My family enjoys taking road trips together,” Joshua said. “When traveling with kids, it’s really important to pack a variety of healthy snacks. We pack snacks like fruit, nuts, berries, and juice without preservatives,” he added. “We also play games in the car such as Road Bingo or I-Spy, and we bring plenty of DVDs for them to watch. This keeps the kids engaged and happy.”

6. Take a lot of photos. Make an effort to document your summer memories with photos. You will be glad when you can look back and relive great moments with your friends and family.

Summer is a wonderful time to relax and make family memories, and Garden of the Gods Club Members and Lodge guests regularly take advantage of Club amenities to help them do just this. With a Recreation Center that features a junior Olympic size swimming pool, a children’s spray garden, and a snack bar, Members and guests look forward to catching some sun at the Recreation Center. To learn more about membership at Garden of the Gods Club, contact Membership Director Tracey Kalata at 719.520.4980 or tkalata@ggclub.com. To learn more about The Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club or to book your reservation, please visit us online or call 719.632.5541.

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5/14/13

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Taste the Difference: Summertime Themed Buffet Nights

Not only do Garden of the Gods Club Members get to enjoy the best view in town, but they are also able to cultivate relationships with one another at our themed dinners and wide array of social events. This summer, Garden of the Gods Club Members and their guests can look forward to evenings filled with delicious, themed buffet nights! In June, Members will enjoy a fabulous “All You Can Fish” seafood buffet, featuring fresh seafood selections. In July, All-American ’50s Night will take diners back in time to enjoy classic American dishes like burgers, fries, and milkshakes. And in August, the savory, hearty fare of Western Buffet Night will leave Members and guests wanting more! To take a peek inside these fun, themed buffet nights, we invite you to watch the video below. Warning: Watching the following video may make you want to get up and dance!

Have we piqued your interest in learning more about social dining memberships at Garden of the Gods Club? If so, we invite you to schedule a time to chat with our Membership Director Tracey Kalata. Tracey will be happy to show you around the Club and help you find your place in the Club community. You can reach Tracey at 719.520.4980 or tkalata@ggclub.com.

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