By Liz Engel, Upper Cumberland Business Journal
The views may sell themselves, but there’s a lot more to the Dorchester, a new clubhouse recently opened in the Cumberland County community of Fairfield Glade.
The nearly 5,000-square-foot, $1.6 million space, which welcomed its first guests this summer and was formally debuted during a grand opening event this fall, is a showcase for the area’s greatest asset: its golf amenities.
Views from the clubhouse span three holes along the adjacent course – with mountain, fairway and lake backdrops to boot A perfect setting for guests and residents alike, officials there say.
“The scenery is spectacular,” said Mary Jo Paige, marketing director at Fairfield Glade. “It’s a very peaceful relaxing and beautiful place to unwind, have lunch or a drink. Everything is looking so beautiful.”
Dorchester, she said, is a traditional 19th hole/grill. It seats 60 inside and another 80 in an outdoor covered space. It also features a pro shop, outdoor pool and event lawn.
The clubhouse, a modified Craftsman, was first proposed in 2012. It’s a far cry from the space that came before.
“The previous clubhouse was built in 1980 and was not designed as a clubhouse,” Paige said. “The snack bar could only seat about 20 people, and (we) could not prepare traditional grill offerings like hamburgers (It) was torn down in November 2014. and we had a temporary pro shop set up in a modular building until the new building opened this summer.
“Our guests wanted a place for larger groups to meet and socialize after their golf round,” she added. “It has been extremely well received.”
The addition of Dorchester, as well as other recent improvements made at Fairfield Glade, are a credit, Paige said, to General Manager Bob Weber, who arrived on site in 2011.
“We’ve been doing a tremendous amount of upgrades and just investing in the community,” she said. “A lot of times, you do the status quo for awhile, but when Bob came on, he convinced the board we needed to do some updating in order to attract the new retirees that were coming into the area as well as resort guests.”
“A lot of people don’t realize, we’re really like a hybrid of sorts; we’re a resort as well as a community of people,” she added. ”We have about 8,500 residents who live here, and we have about 75,000 who visit every year. A lot of people fall in love and want to stay here permanently.
“The planets are aligned right now for a lot of good things to happen,” she continued. “There’s been a lot of real estate activity. The Wyndham (hotel) is doing a lot, too. This is really a good thing.”