Spokane Journal of Business

Spokane Club to retain its Valley athletic facility

Civic Building sale helped to stabilize club’s finances

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The board of trustees of the Spokane Club, the longtime, members-only social-and-athletic club here, has voted to allow the real estate listing for its Valley location to expire.

The Valley facility, located at 5900 E. Fourth, has been for sale since June 2013.

Charles Alpers, CEO of the Spokane Club, says the Valley outlet was originally put up for sale to try to eliminate debt. 

“When it was put up for sale, the club was in a different financial situation,” he says. “We were concerned about cash and things like that.” 

Another important factor is that the organization sold the 20,000-square-foot Civic Building, located at 1020 W. Riverside, just west of its downtown clubhouse building, to Empire Health Foundation for $775,000 last August. 

With the sale of that building and other cost-cutting measures, the club now has cash reserves of about $1.8 million, Alpers says. 

Prior to being purchased by the Spokane Club in the mid-1990s, the Civic Building hosted the Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce, now Greater Spokane Incorporated. 

Alpers, who came on as CEO of the club a little over a year ago, says he sees the Valley property as an opportunity. He says he began sharing his vision of the Valley club with the board of directors, including plans for family programs and outdoor facilities. 

“We recently put a climbing wall in one of the corridors there,” he says. “We also put in a sand volleyball court and a bocce ball court.”

Alpers says that an athletic program for youth is also in the works at the Valley location. 

“We’re really trying to make that facility into a complementary club to the one downtown,” he says. 

Another important aspect to the Valley club is that it has both indoor and outdoor tennis courts, something the downtown club doesn’t have. 

“A lot of our members play tennis, and we would probably lose those members if we sold,” he says. 

Alpers says the club also is offering a Valley-only membership, which doesn’t include tennis, but does include use of the athletic rooms and outdoor volleyball and bocce ball courts. That membership costs $65 a month for an individual, $85 for a couple, and $105 for a family.

Full membership in the club, which includes both locations and tennis, costs $129 a month for an individual, $142 for a couple, and $170.50 for a family, Alpers says.

The club’s downtown athletic facility is located on the northwest corner of Main Avenue and Monroe Street and is connected to the clubhouse via a skywalk over Main. The 75,000-square-foot, five-story complex opened in 1968. 

The five-story, 65,000-square-foot Spokane Club, which was founded in 1890, has been based at 1002 W. Riverside downtown since 1901.  

The Spokane Club has been working to turn around a 10-year decline in membership and return to financial stability. The club had about 3,500 members when it purchased the Valley building in 2000, but only has about 2,600 currently. 

However, Alpers says that last year and this year the club has seen a string of net-positive membership sales months, something that it hadn’t seen for some time prior.

“I think we’ve got a lot of excitement out in the Valley,” Alpers says. “We’re focusing attention back on the Valley, which I don’t think had been done for a while.”

Katie Ross
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Reporter Katie Ross covers manufacturing, hospitality, and government at the Journal of Business. An outdoor enthusiast and snowboard fanatic, Katie is a recent graduate of Gonzaga University.  

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