The Fairfield Glade Community Club (FGCC) Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) held their second town hall meeting on May 21 to deliver the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat (SWOT) analysis results to residents. 

The first SPC town hall meeting, held Feb. 26, discussed emerging trends among community clubs and concerns. The third town hall meeting will be held in July and the SPC will present their tentative recommendations they will make to the board and collect feedback from members. 

While SPC meetings are not open, Chairman Phil Smith stated that he encouraged public input and contacting the SPC to make an appointment to present pressing issues to them. The next town hall meeting will be in July. 

The SPC plans to finalize their recommendations for the updated strategic plan to the FGCC Board for the FGCC Annual Meeting on Sept. 20.

Strengths

SPC identified the following “FGCC controlled”strengths as: 

• Amenities- five high-quality golf courses; major lakes and marinas; indoor/outdoor racquet sports; indoor/outdoor swimming pools; high-quality natural and paved hiking/walking trails; FG Library; FG Art Guild; quantity of dining options.  

• Commercial partnerships- active participation by the developer, i.e. Tom Anderson; positive Wyndham relationship; financial resources and partnerships between developer, Wyndham and FGCCC; convenient access to basic medical services with on-site walk-in clinic; other lodging with timeshare/condos (45% of golf rounds attributed to timeshare/resort visitors outside FG); elderly support from Fairfield Glade Resident Services and Good Samaritan Society-FG. 

Presenter and SPC co-chair Jim Gries said, “We have to know what Tom Anderson is going to do. We have to convince him to do what we want.”

• Community- sense of community; number of clubs/interest groups; control of residential zoning with Architectural Control Committee and Property Standards; diversity of home prices; ongoing growth potential; green space and outdoor gathering areas; no age restrictions (not 55+); variety of residents in age, background and professional experience; resident involvement; cultural learning opportunities; churches.

• Financial- rising property values; strength in number of dues paying members; minimal community debt; pay-to-play dues/fee structure; HOA dues provide best value; timeshare revenue reduces member dues.

• Management- quality FGCC staff; positive club financial condition; experienced management team; ongoing infrastructure improvements.

• Marketing- national recognition as top community to retire; dedicated in-house marketing department; partners also provide top marketing to attract new residents, visitors and/or timeshare residents.

• Public Service- FG’s own Police Department; FG’s own Volunteer Fire Department; FG’s own sewer and wastewater system; garbage pickup; onsite Post Office.

SPC identified non-FGCC strengths as:

• God-given- geographic location; natural beauty; moderate four-season climate.

• Governmental- Tennessee is top retirement state and financially well-managed; low cost of living; state and national parks; protection from nearby development by Catoosa Wildlife Management Area; proximity to Interstate-40; proximity to college and professional sports.

Weaknesses

SPC identified weaknesses that FGCC can directly improve as:

• Food and beverage

• Website quality

• Limited social media strategy

• Public awareness of disaster evacuation plan

SPC identified weaknesses that FGCC can only influence as:

• Commercial- such as development of Village Center

• Governmental- lack of outreach to city and county governments and residents; possible public transportation needs in future.

Opportunities

SPC identified the following opportunities as those that are controlled by FGCC:

• Amenities- modernize fitness amenities; add a true lounge/bar; more indoor amenities.

• Community- sell the number of lots owned by FGCC/county due to HOA/property tax default and increase HOA revenue; ongoing challenges of aging elderly population.

• Financial- obtain more revenue from visitors/daily users of amenities). 

SPC identified the following opportunities as those that can only be influence by FGCC:

• Commercial- potential for commercial growth; create a Village Center; land acquisition within Village Center area; hotel near Community and Conference Center.

• Governmental- fostering county industrial development; continuing education; Peavine Rd. litter issues.

Threats

SPC identified the following threats to FGCC:

• Commercial- distant access to health care specialists/ critical care; distant access to quality and variety shopping; distant access to quality and variety dining; uncertainty of developer plans; number of handicap parking spaces.

• Governmental- ambulance service response times; lack of control over commercial land (no commercial zoning); relationship with county ; workforce availability; wastewater treatment plant’s future regulation; no control over fresh/drinking water; environmental regulations; excessive signage along Peavine Rd.; internet speed and cost. 

During the question and answer segment of the town hall meeting, several residents brought up other potential threats that were not mentioned, like nationwide trends of golf club/course bankruptcy, the question of FG annexation and drug crime trends.

From the audience, John Conrad asked, “What if somebody built two golf courses just outside Fairfield Glade and it was a threat to our business or if Lake Tansi put a huge investment and took timeshare visitors and customers there, is that sort of thing not considered a threat?”

Gries answered, “It’s not considered a threat that we saw. But we’ll put it down and we’ll go through it when we do our recommendations.”

Another audience member suggested the SPC include beautification enhancements and lighting in common areas as an FGCC controlled opportunity. 

An audience member who had lived in FG for 19 years said the items brought up by the SPC had been presented many times since she’d lived there. 

The SPC’s responsibilities are to: identify national and local trends likely to affect FG over the next 10-15 years; identify Glade members’ core values and key principles; identify key issues and challenges face FG management and members; recommend strategic initiatives to the FGCC Board that support emerging trends, core values and key principles, while addressing key issues and challenges.