GREEN Even if you aren't a golfer, there will be plenty of upcoming events to take part of at the city of Green's Raintree Golf & Event Center.
The city purchased Raintree Country Club for $3.3 million in November with hopes of preserving green space and hosting other community events at the 145-acre property.
Transition and changes
Green hired Billy Casper Golf to run the day-to-day operations at the course because the city didn’t want to run the course.
Green Service Director Valerie Wax Carr said the first thing visitors will notice is the professional presence of Billy Casper Golf.
"The employees are recognizable by their Raintree shirts and name badges," Wax Carr said. "You will find some new faces among those that are familiar, but for sure will find everyone very welcoming."
Some changes have also been made to the event center as the main entrance has been painted, the dated borders removed in the entrance way to the ballroom and new banquet chairs have been purchased.
"Overall, we are establishing a safe and clean environment for our visitors," Wax Carr said.
A new sound system has been installed in the Grand Ballroom, which replaced the original system installed in 1992. The woman’s locker room has been converted into a bridal suite, which will provide a private space for brides and her bridal party to be before a ceremony or reception.
"The feedback has been tremendous on this new area," Wax Carr said. "We are thrilled to announce Raintree is now listed as a preferred vendor on The Knot, a nationwide wedding planning website where brides can search for wedding venues."
In addition to the work inside, the outside landscaping has been cleaned as the overgrown bushes in front of the banquet center have been removed. Wax Carr said this will allow for a cleaner look and will allow for more natural light in the banquet area.
The grill area has also been opened up more as well.
"We have removed vending machines that not only again blocked windows but frankly made it difficult to pass through," Wax Carr said. "The grill provides many food and drink options to golfers or visitors to Raintree."
A new mobile app has been launched, which offers GPS yardage, news and events, in-app deals, scorekeeping, driving range yardage and tee time booking all for free. Those interested can sign up through the GolfRaintree.com website or by searching Raintree Golf and Event Center in the apps store.
Wax Carr said a new rewards system has been developed to award golfers for choosing Raintree.
"The reward system allows golfers and guests to earn points for every dollar they spend on golf, carts, driving range, food and beverage and on merchandise in the golf shop," Wax Carr said. "The Player’s Pass is another great way to save money every time you play 18 holes w/cart."
She said by purchasing the pass for $19, golfers save $6. Seniors can play 18 holes with a cart for as low as $22 and non-seniors can play as low as $24 anytime Monday through Friday and after 12 p.m. on weekends. The savings are also available on weekend mornings too.
New signage throughout the entire property is expected soon.
Wax Carr said the transition has gone well.
"From day one, Billy Casper Golf and their team both nationally and our local team have been very professional," Wax Carr said. "Within a few days, the team had a new website, golfraintree.com, in place and quickly began planning events, updating golf and banquet pricing and marketing for this year."
She said the team, in collaboration with the city’s service director, started prioritizing updates and improvements for the facility as well as the course.
"The city is pleased with the progress to date and look forward to future facility improvements as well as the many upcoming community events planned for this year," Wax Carr said.
Having community events at the property is something the city is striving for and it is hoping to continue to expand in the future. The city hopes in the future to utilize the outdoor space for events such as live music on the patio.
A successful Mother’s Day brunch was held at Raintree and the event center is the place for regular business meetings, sports banquets, weddings and fundraisers.
The outdoor pavilion is available to be rented by the public for graduation parties, family reunions or other events. Rates are $50 for Green residents and $75 for non-Green residents. Anyone interested can contact Raintree directly at 330-696-3232.
SNAG (Start New At Golf) is also being offered at Raintree this summer. In the fall, the SNAG program will transition to First Tee.
Upcoming events include a July 4 5k, which the city in conjunction with Raintree and Richie’s Sporting Goods will host a 5k/1 mile fun run on the golf course grounds. Proceeds from the race will benefit First Tee of Greater Akron. Anyone interested in learning more or to sign up can visit www.active.com.
Oktoberfest will be held at Raintree with music, craft beer and fun-filled activities on Sept. 29. A souvenir sampling glass is included with admission and more details will be announced soon.
The city’s annual Murder Mystery has partnered with local performers at Theater 8:15 for the 2019 event to be held at Raintree for the first time. The event will be 6:30 p.m. Nov 16. The performance includes a buffet dinner and cash bar. The cost is $50 per couple/ $30 for a single person. Those interested should call Dawn at Raintree to make reservations.
Raintree will host the Green Senior Holiday Luncheon Dec. 5. The event includes musical entertainment, a full buffet lunch, and door prizes. Watch for ticket sales to begin in September.
Ring in 2020 at Raintree with the Roaring 20s Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve celebration. Whisper the password, enter the speakeasy, come as a flapper, come as you are, come as a dapper gent or a silent screen star the event begins at 8 p.m.