Eric Feely is the general manager of The Bridges in Montrose, meaning he over-sees the pro shop, restaurant, lodging, fitness center, golf course maintenance and real estate and development work.
Feely moved here with his wife, Beth, in March 2011 to take the position, six years after The Bridges opened in 2005.
In 2010, The Bridges was purchased by Lew Thompson, of Huntsville, Arkansas. Feely and his wife are partners with Thompson on the golf course and restaurant operation, and they are also real estate brokers for The Bridges Golf Course Community.
Montrose Business Times: How many members does the course have, and what would you say to people thinking about member-ship?
Eric Feely: The Bridges currently has 116 social memberships and 120 full golf memberships. This equates to about 320 adult members. We have attracted several family memberships over the past few years as well. The ownership would like to continue to move the club forward as a member club with plans being formulated to add more member amenities to continue to attract more members.
MBT: How much preparation goes into getting ready for this time of the year, when the sun comes out and more people get outside?
Feely: The preparation of the golf course for play starts in the early spring. We have completed several of our spring maintenance projects such as greens aerification, fairway aerification and fertilization. Staffing is at full summer levels on the golf course.
MBT: Any changes to the course or clubhouse in recent months/years?
Feely: We were able to complete an important project in conjunction with the Uncompahgre Water Users Association that allows us to build a new headgate structure in the canal that is several feet lower than the old headgate. This allows us to flow water to our holding pond with lower canal flows that ultimately saves water. This week we have begun to repair and replace several cart path sections on hole 15.
We Are also planning to formalize our teal tee boxes by constructing new tee boxes on several holes. The teal tees have allowed our women players to enjoy the golf course from a shorter and more playable distance.
Also, Remington’s Restaurant has had several strong months of sales. While we continue to struggle with staffing issues, we are excited Chef Janet and her crew have worked very hard to implement a menu and daily specials that people are enjoying. We are seeing more members and guests visiting Remington’s and look forward to a great sum-mer.
MBT: What does it take to run a successful PGA course/club?
Feely: The key to running The Bridges is having a de-voted loyal team of employees. We are fortunate to have some very experienced and long-term employees who understand what we are trying to accomplish on a daily basis.
All business owners and managers understand the difficulty we are all experiencing in hiring qualified people. As the club continues to grow, we will do all we can to make it a better experience for our employees. Thank you to all of our members who are instrumental in allowing The Bridges to continue to prosper.
MBT: Anything else we forgot to ask?
Feely: We hope everyone is marking their calendar for the Annual Charity Concert featuring Night Ranger on June 16. Our annual concert raises funds for two worth-while charities: the Montrose Community Foundation and Dolphin House.
It takes a lot of work from our staff and many volunteers to host such an event. General admission tickets can be purchased in person at The Liquor Store, Fisher’s Liquor Barn in GJ and The Bridges pro shop. GA and VIP tickets can be purchased online by emailing events@ ourtownmatters.net.