The Tower Club, Reinvented

The Tower Club

To experience the Tower Club Tysons Corner, go to the Towers Crescent building and take the elevator to the 14th floor. Then – if you’re a Tower Club member, a ClubCorp member, a member of D.C.’s City Club or attending a private event – take a second elevator to the 17th floor.

General Manager Kara Carmichael discovered only recently that the Towers Crescent architects added that separate trip to the top by design – as a symbolic ascent to the building’s exclusive upper floors.

That “you have arrived” feeling was recently taken up a notch with the completion of the Tower Club’s $2.2 million renovation. But don’t call it a renovation around Carmichael. To her, it was a “reinvention.”

The grand reopening of the 25-year-old club was Jan. 8, with work continuing. The Reinvention Celebration took place April 16.
Gone are the staid hues of an earlier time. The former color scheme of dark woods and fabrics has been swapped out for a palette of light, contemporary colors. New furniture – and upgraded Wi-Fi – is suited to the modern business environment.

The new facilities include a Work Zone; the Touchdown Rooms, for four-to-five-person meetings; and the Crescent Lounge, a new “anytime bar.” The Lobby Lounge has been refreshed and the outdoor terrace dining area – with 360-degree views – expanded.
The name of the club’s new upscale restaurant, Reserve, is a play both on restaurant reservations and the term for a specially aged vintage. The wine selection is extensive and impressive.

Judging from social media, the reinvention has been a hit: “awesome” (the renovation), “stellar” (the menu), “top notch” (the experience). “The only downside was that I’m more accustomed to this in Los Angeles than Northern Virginia…made me homesick,” wrote one reviewer.

Of course, one of the goals was to add members, especially younger and female. The club has more than 1,200 members and, gratifyingly, those who have joined in the past year include a higher percentage of millennials and women than the overall membership.
Another attraction for younger business people and entrepreneurs is the ramped up calendar of events. Coming up, among others: a Bourbon & Bacon Dinner on May 27; Network After Work, hosted by the Young Executive Society on June 3; and a Harvest Cooking Class with Executive Chef Marc Wilson on June 15.

Carmichael, who came to the Tower Club in May 2014 from nearby Chef Geoff’s, pointed out the appeal in today’s business world of giving back. The club is raising money to buy 500 backpacks from Stillbrave, the club’s charity of the year for 2015, for Fairfax County kids with a cancer diagnosis.

Two private events directors are on staff to build that side of the business, including wedding receptions. The Tower Club received five stars in the Weddingwire 2015 Couples’ Choice Awards.

As noted above, the Tower Club has reciprocity with D.C.’s City Club, and members have access to clubs nationwide through its affiliation with Dallas-based ClubCorp, the owner-operator of more than 200 private golf, country, business and alumni clubs, which recently acquired Sequoia Golf.

All in all, the 26 members of the Tower Club’s Advisory Board of Governors should congratulate themselves on a job well done. Transported to the reinvented club, Don Draper of “Mad Men” would probably approve of everything but the business casual dress code.

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