Long known as a place for members only, the Rancho Viejo Resort and Country Club has been trying to change its image by adding some events that are open to a more general audience. About a half dozen concerts and comedy shows are some of the activities the club started having for a number of years that are open to the public.
Staffers Jenika Gonzales and Jorge Lopez said the goal is to make the facility more accessible to those who don’t live in this township of some 2,500 permanent residents. They said that in the past, most activities going on there were limited to members only. This is in contrast to its convention center being booked and used by politicians from both Texas and Mexico. Former Texas Gov. George W. Bush is among the elected officials who were in attendance during a political event.
A public entertainment venue
Gonzales, who is in charge of memberships, said the club and resort is not what it used to be. They have been working to bring in events to provide another entertainment venue in the area.
For instance, Elton John, Cher and Pack Rat impersonators made their debut here a couple of years ago. Last year, another such show was held featuring an impersonator of the late Juan Gabriel, one of Mexico’s most revered singer/songwriters. On Feb. 7, the facility is having a Beatles tribute. The event includes a dinner buffet with a cash bar available.
Lopez, who takes care of marketing and advertising for the resort/club, said a reason behind having public events is because they want to turn the facility into an entertainment place for residents of the Lower RGV.
“We know other parts of the Valley have arenas and other venues,” he said. “We would like to give people a place to go so they can enjoy their time right here.”
Membership also has its privileges
Lopez said the resort/club will still continue to have its members-only activities. He emphasizes that members may bring guests. Gonzales also says membership fees are not as expensive as some people might believe.
The resort and country club has always been known as having one of the Valley’s best golf courses. It’s been Rancho Viejo’s bread and butter throughout the years, and its management believes in diversification.
“There was a time when if you lived in Rancho Viejo you had to be a member of the club,” Gonzales. “That is not the case today and it’s now voluntary.”
Still, the facility has a number of members-only events all year round. That includes mixers, meals of different ethnic types and other events. But by having concerts, comedians and the buffet that come with such events, Gonzales said they hope they are giving the resort and club a new look.
“Again,” she said, “we want to give residents from all parts of the Valley something to do.”