Fortune favours the bold – Pittwater leads the way in Clubland once again!

In every industry there needs to be a leader, someone who takes risks and ‘gives it a red-hot crack’, and in the Club industry, one of those leaders is Pittwater.

Whilst the events of the past two and a half years have seen a lot of businesses apply the brakes when it comes to taking a risk and trying something new, Pittwater has bucked the norm and continued to test the market with new and innovative offerings.

Even through several lockdowns the Club didn’t rest.

Pittwater was the first on the Northern Beaches to introduce a pub style operation (pub-within-a-Club) whilst maintaining its traditional, popular Club services, with an aim to attract a new market. The Club House Hotel attracted the 18–40-year-old market in droves with its American style dedicated sports bar, award winning burger bar, and sponsorship of the Manly Seabirds (who regularly appear at key events in the venue).

In 2021 Pittwater converted an upper level of their carpark to become the largest rooftop bar on the Northern Beaches, ‘The Deck at Pitty’, creating a destination for families by day and young party going crowd in the evening, and also hosting a record-breaking ANZAC Day in the space in 2022.

But it’s the Club’s most recent ‘Ice Skating Spectacular’ event that has set a new bar for the business – a full-size, pop-up ice skating rink, installed on the lower entry carpark to the Club with pop up bar, coffee cart, and live DJ events that ran over the July 2022 school holidays.

The path leading to the July 2022 ice skating event was not one without its own hurdles. The original event scheduled to run for 2 weeks commencing from Saturday 26 June 2021 saw only three sessions attended before Former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a snap lock down that would start at 5pm that same day – a lockdown that would be in place for Clubs and pubs for over 3 months.

Costs in excess of $50,000 had already been invested in the original 2021 event in set up, hire and contract, marketing and labour. But Pittwater’s board made the call to refund in full, anyone who had already experienced the event prior to lockdown (over $3500 in ticket sales), and the contractors from Ice Spectacular worked closely with the Club to reduce costs and set a new booking date for July of 2022.

After the initial investment and loss, the Pittwater team was keen to have the opportunity to see the event pay dividends, and in 2022, it certainly did!

The event ran for 9 days in July, and boasted:

  • Over 6,500 tickets sold (or excess of $75,000 in ticket revenue)
  • For the first week of Ice Skating Spectacular (9-15 July), food sales were 34.7% higher than the average of the previous three weeks. Beverage sales were 26.8% higher
  • Return patronage over the event to skate, and utilise the Club’s facilities
  • 700 new membership sign ups over the event period
  • Increased brand awareness of Pittwater as a ‘Destination’
  • Viral social media response to an appearance by the Manly Seabirds on the ice rink

“The Board and Leadership Team at Pittwater have always had a high tolerance to balanced risk…although Pittwater enjoys the benefits of Gaming / Responsible Entertainment, it is not a traditionally high value orientated Gaming venue as some may be in alternative Sydney Suburbs and or demographics…. We don’t enjoy the luxury of being surrounded by medium density living, nor does Pittwater’s location lend itself to high volume transport exposure or access. As a result, it’s forced us to be more creative and aggressive in our approach to make sure we are appealing to new markets whilst ensuring we nurture our existing supporters” said Pittwater CEO Jason Manning.

“The Ice Skating Spectacular we hosted this July is a clear example of our willingness to think outside the box, and be bold. I’d encourage all Clubs to be brave and try something new. It’s innovation like this that see our team come together and build a deeper rapport and we are clever in the way we secure our success by partnering with other innovative suppliers like Hennessey Coffee whom when asked, called to action as a good business partner would, supplying products, equipment, additional training and support.

Then there was the on-point marketing from the team at Axis IQ, securing over 600,000 impressions on targeted social ad campaigns, 98% increase in reach on the Club’s Facebook page and 117% increase in reach on the Club’s Instagram profile over the 30 days measured before and including the event. It’s always a team effort and we’re proud to lead the way and hopefully inspire other venues to take a calculated risk and back themselves… nothing is off limits!” (Pittwater CEO Jason Manning).

For media, interviews or image enquiries, please contact Pittwater RSL CEO Jason Manning, 8401 0756, email jasonm@pittwaterrsl.com.au For more information about the Club, visit pittwaterrsl.com.au.