DESERT WILLOW GOLF RESORT
By Sharon Harris
For decades, the golf courses and clubhouses of posh southern California towns like Palm Desert have exuded luxury and sophistication. Good weather, beautiful architecture and desert scenery have created an oasis for those discerning customers who expect excellence.
Desert Willow Golf Resort recognizes its obligation to provide only the finest amenities for its public presentation, as it is owned by the City of Palm Desert and managed by KemperSports. The resort includes two nationally recognized golf courses, a football-sized driving range with hitting stations on both ends, two restaurants, two bars and large banquet facilities.
On one side of the driving range is the full-service Palm Desert Golf Academy; the opposite side is a public range. Everything must be first class to reflect their dedication to high quality.
General Manager Richard Mogensen says, “Although we are a public course, we are a high-end resort unlike a traditional municipal entity. During the peak golfing season, our rates reflect our quality.”
That commitment to excellence extends to their seating selections. Earlier this year, Desert Willow completed a full renovation of its food and beverage facilities. The city and KemperSports officials chose Gasser Chair to provide 45 chairs for the new lobby bar and 300 chairs for the banquet facilities.
Mogensen selected the Solandra SLA 101chair for the banquet seating and the Park Avenue PAV 202-S1 for the bar. The armchair and side dining chairs located in the bar were also Park Avenue models, but were specially customized for Desert Willow.
What were the criteria Desert Willow employed when evaluating Gasser Chair? The golf resort established early the importance of contracting an experienced chair manufacturer whose longevity in the marketplace could support any future replacements and warranty needs.
“Our building has a contemporary design and architecture,” says Mogensen, “The lobby bar chairs needed to be modern, but we also wanted to offer traditional comfort and style. For our banquet seating, we chose those Gasser chairs that would provide our guests with comfortable flex-back styling and a modern look that matched our carpeting and décor. We respect the Gasser reputation and history of producing high quality products.”
Mogensen states that the start-to-finish renovation timetable spanned 18 months; the chair selection, construction and delivery took almost six months. Desert Willow put out a bid for seating proposals, evaluating four distinct areas- design, construction, comfort and warranty. Mogensen says they also compared fabric availability to coordinate with their chosen décor.
The process included presenting and recommending chair style and design to the City of Palm Desert, the city management and the city council. These agencies had to approve the final choice.
“Each company provided samples, and we then selected Gasser. Because the bar chairs were customized with wider seating, it took a little longer to produce,” Mogensen claims.
Mogensen says, “Our goal was to provide great comfort while maintaining design integrity, so we needed a durable product that could withstand heavy volume. We were pleased with the fabric choices. The bar chairs feel like leather, but are softened poly, which is very practical for us.
In essence, we sought quality and outstanding design as the key factors. With Gasser products, we found both. While budgetary issues are always a priority, we allocated funds to acquire the right product that would satisfy our guests.”
Gasser Sales Rep Tom York worked closely with Mogensen during the initial decision-making period. York recommended the appropriate product line options for their design and customer service goals.
“Tom York was exceptional in his assistance in providing choices and solutions. He helped us work through the specifications and bidding. Tom always responded that customizing our chairs would be ‘no problem’. He was involved throughout the design and bid process, while supplying all necessary information in a timely manner. That attention ensured the chairs met our expectations and target dates,” Mogensen states.
Based within a short drive in southern California, York remains a presence. He has visited numerous times to guarantee Desert Willow management’s product satisfaction.
“We feel confident that Gasser stands behind its products. Tom has represented Gasser well, and is the epitome of professionalism on the job. We feel Gasser Chair was the right choice,” says Mogensen.