Nelson Suburban Club will close the doors on its Tahunanui Drive site at the end of this month. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Suburban Club to close

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After years of financial woes and declining membership, the Nelson Suburban Club has announced that it will close its doors for good at the end of this month.

New club president Pam Coltman wrote to members to announce the decision last week.

“Sadly, with a heavy heart and on behalf of the board, I now have to advise you that the club has no option but to close the doors on this venue from 31 December 2017. Unfortunately, due to the downturn in the number of people visiting the club, we are no longer able to continue to trade in this place.”

Ten staff will lose their jobs in the closure.

In recent years the club battled to pay off a $2.7 million debt from an ambitious expansion in 2005. In 2014 it asked members to treble its membership fee to help keep the club afloat. Its Tahunanui Drive buildings and land were bought by Gibbons Property mid-last year.

Pam has only been in the role since November’s AGM and says she was excited about its future, but a lack of use by its members has forced the hand of the board.

“At the Annual General Meeting of the club I stated how excited I was at the upcoming changes to the club premises that were to take place in 2018.”

“For those members who have kept the faith with the club through visiting and volunteering, I thank you for your loyalty.”

She says that some club members are keen to continue in another venue and Pam says it’s something she will investigate in the New Year.

Club manager Chrissy Taylor stressed that all activities planned for the rest of this month will go ahead as planned, including a big 1969-themed New Year’s Eve bash.

“We want to go out with a big bang,” she says.