On March 17, 2020, when the collective world halted, the lake and club community of Reynolds Lake Oconee didn’t pause for long. With around 3,000 members, many of whom would make their Reynolds vacation home their primary residence in the coming months, the club's leadership assessed the sudden pandemic-induced need to cease most in-person gatherings without sacrificing the connectedness of the club culture.
“How are we going to continue to provide the sense of community and lifestyle our members enjoyed up until today? How do we do that now?” says Reynolds COO Tim Hong about those first few days evaluating the new normal.
As with most clubs, Reynolds’ member benefits lean heavily on social activities – 10 dining options on-site, dozens of workout classes, concerts, food and wine events – in addition to golf, water sports, biking, tennis and numerous other outdoor activities. With the elimination of many of those, Reynolds had no choice but to get creative in order to keep members engaged.
Hong says a young family he recently spoke to found themselves scrambling last spring when school went from in-person to online while the parents were both working, but the ability to access tennis, pickleball, basketball courts, virtual tennis tips, and virtual fitness classes in the early days of the pandemic gave them, physically, the engagement they needed as a family.
Another member had waited until his children were grown to take up golf but still hadn’t until the pandemic hit. Finding himself with more time, he took a golf lesson. A lesson has turned into multiple lessons and playing nine holes in the afternoon. Having access to a safe, outdoor sport encouraged his wife to ride along. She then took lessons, and now the couple connects with multiple neighbors/couples for afternoon golf outings. ReynoldsLakeOconee.com