Culture Counts

Finding the fairway to best in class!

Mission Statement

Bear's Paw Country Club will maintain a standard of excellence through continuous improvement of our Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, grounds, facilities and services, providing value and enjoyment for current and future members.

Vision Statement

Bear's Paw Country Club will strive to continuously improve its key assets and offer the highest value among the southwest Florida residential golf communities, providing a lifestyle that meets the needs of current and future members.

Drawing from the mission and vision, several basic philosophies that connect and drive Bear's Paw members include:

  • "a desire for excellence" ... measured by the overwhelming support for 20/20 Vision, calling for a new, from the ground up, state-of-the-art clubhouse, after an exhaustive study of member preferences and market data.
  • "a focus on value" ... demonstrated by getting advice from the best people in the business, doing a thorough study of other clubs in our competitive group, conducting a careful analysis of the "renovate versus rebuild" equation, and preparing a finance plan that is creative, multi-dimensional and puts members first.
  • "providing a lifestyle" ... featured by the significant number of personal referrals, the multi-generational and familial memberships, the many programs designed to welcome new members through golf and social activities, the generous legacy membership guidelines ... all in the context of our unique small member count and intimate space.

These philosophies alone do not define our unique culture. But rather our philosophies are brought to life through our values, beliefs and the attitudes that guide our common practices.

Values, Belief and Attitudes

  • We value the environment. Nestled on 255 acres on the Gordon River and within 3.6 miles of Old Naples, we are surrounded by abundant flora and fauna. We believe in the preservation and cultivation of this environment through the use of organic products and by recycling. Our campus is an oasis that we treasure.
  • We value each other. As ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen, we treat everyone at Bear's Paw with dignity and respect. Employees feel appreciated. Members and guests are well served. Excellence prevails. Tipping is obsolete. The Platinum Rule guides our behavior: we treat others as they wish to be treated.
  • We value our surroundings. Our clubhouse, other facilities and grounds bespeak an understated elegance that provides a warm, welcoming platform for our quiet, communal lifestyle.
  • We value opportunity. We are fortunate and grateful. We are obliged to continuously improve. This isn't a destination; it is a journey.
  • We value knowledge. Disciplined processes, local and national trends and, most importantly, feedback from our members will always inform our decisions as we position Bear's Paw for success in the brutally competitive Naples market. As continuous learners, we also thrive on knowledge about the world outside our community … historical, political, artistic, social … speakers, trips and book clubs have a place on our community calendar.
  • We value legacy. Since 1980, Bear's Paw has endured economic turbulence and the unpredictability of Mother Nature. We accept the obligation for leaving Bear's Paw better than we found it for the next generation of members.

Culture Counts: Understanding value and its connection to culture

  • At Bear's Paw, we use "value" to describe our expectations about the financial decision that we made when we joined, as noted in our Mission and Vision statements.
  • Warren Buffet said, "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." And this is where culture comes into the picture. In a culture where members invest in the future and commit to leaving the club better than they found it, value is what you get. Put another way, value isn't about how little you pay. Value is about how much you get.
  • For example, economists describe value by this question: "what is the maximum amount of money you are willing and able to pay for goods or services?"
  • The paradox is that we often think of "value" as the least, not the maximum, we will pay when the word we really want for the least we will pay is "bargain."
  • A culture that invests wisely and plans for the future will offer the highest value among its peers and provide a lifestyle that meets the needs of current and future members.
  • Quality is the absolute best way to analyze or determine the value of a product, service or country club.
  • When a prospective member is asked to invest a substantial initiation fee, they will evaluate the quality of the golf course, other amenities, social programs and dining options. Quality will be the true indicator of value. What is the quality? How much value am I getting for my investment?
  • At Bear's Paw, where strategic investments in the golf course and a new state-of-the-art club house on the horizon have been made, the Initiation Fee has more than doubled in less than three years while Membership sales have increased, demonstrating that investing in quality creates value … the kind of value demanded by prospective Members for their future investment in the form of their Initiation Fee.
  • The current trend of clubs improving their golf courses, expanding and updating amenities, creating attractive, new social programs and exploring a variety of dining options has rewarded the top performing "Best in Class" clubs, while those who have not and attempted to compete on price or deliver a "bargain" have been severely punished … punished because they ignored value, which is driven by quality.
  • Clubs that attempt to compete on price end up mired in mediocrity and eventually close while the top performing "Best in Class" clubs continue to attract new members because they deliver a very high-quality experience for the amount invested.
  • Because quality and value aren't about how little you pay, they are about how much you get.
  • A culture that invests in quality increases its value and finds the fairway to "Best in Class."

Culture & Community

"Birds of a feather, flock together."

This timeless declaration dates to the mid-16th century and yet remains relevant in 2019. In very simple terms, it describes the important role that culture and community play in our happy paradise ... Bear's Paw.

There is nothing logical about joining a country club ... paying an initiation fee, annual dues, capital fees, food minimums, association dues, etc... if the decision was economic, no one would join. And keep in mind that for the vast majority of members, this is a second home, adding to the extravagance.

Sure, we have value: a golf course, clubhouse, fitness center and many other tangible amenities - all very important because they provide the ticket to enter the marketplace ... to even be considered by prospective Members. But once the appropriate infrastructure is in place, the key to long-term success is dependent upon perpetuating a "unique" culture. The personal relationships developed within a community of like-minded members who share similar core values are the basic building block of community, especially at Bear's Paw where we enjoy an intentionally understated, quiet, communal lifestyle.

Future Bear's Paw members will join because they want to:

  • belong to a community of individuals with common interests along with a desire for continuous improvement; and,
  • live within a community of individuals with shared values, who are positive, upbeat and see the glass half full, not half empty.

When this happens, the end result is members who leave Bear's Paw better than they found it. This is why the vote for the new clubhouse was overwhelmingly positive.

Culture and Commitment to achieve "BEST IN CLASS" status

We are committed to investing and passing on a vibrant, warm, friendly and competitive club to the next generation of buyers. They will be making capital improvement decisions that are not short-term, but rather based on long-term strategy. They will understand what it means to be "Best in Class" for the present and why achieving this is so important as it relates to "Competitive Advantage" for the future.

When we attract and retain members with common interests and shared values who understand the importance of making capital improvements based on a long-term strategy, we will flourish for the next 20+ years and beyond.

As we communicate our culture to current members and market Bear's Paw to future members, "Culture Counts" and the amenities follow as we make it and leave it better.

When all members fit the culture, love the culture and thrive in the culture, they support the Board, embrace future capital improvements and keep the community top of mind ... ultimately finding the fairway to "Best in Class."