Jones settles in at sailing club

NEW FACE: Troy Jones is the new general manager at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
NEW FACE: Troy Jones is the new general manager at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Kathryn Cygan

A LIFETIME of experience is what the Whitsunday Sailing Club's new GM, Troy Jones is bringing to the club, as he enters his fifth week in the position.

Troy Jones's first week coincided with the Airlie Beach Music Festival, a baptism by fire but the week was a golden opportunity for Mr Jones to get to know the local community, and find some room for improvement in the club.

"When I first came to inspect the place, all I could think of was how much potential the sailing club has," he said.

"I wanted a new club that I could really sink my teeth into."

While Mr Jones is yet to walk down the main street of Airlie Beach, the club has kept him busy as he prepares to improve on existing facilities and attract the local market back.

"Our number one goal is to get locals to come back here," he said.

"We want Airlie Beach residents to come back and use the facilities."

Mr Jones has already started injecting new life into the sailing club's Facebook page, aiming to establish a greater connectivity to residents in the region.

"We are using Facebook to get the word out about our new promotions," he said.

"We have great entertainment here, whether that's on Monday with our trivia night or if it's our Sunday family days or our raffles on Friday night. The prizes now include meat trays plus ten other prizes (and) we have started a member's jackpot, which will be $500 this week.

"We are really trying to focus on customer service. We want to give every person a great experience."

Mr Jones has come from Tully, where he managed the Tigers Leagues Club for 12 years. Before that he worked at the Runaway Bay Yacht Club on the Gold Coast.

"I've moved here with my partner, we both wanted a change but didn't want to move back to the city," he said.

While the club will be retaining all its usual marine training facilities and sailing program, Mr Jones is hoping to update it somewhat, with refurbishments predicted for the bar.

Keeping it family friendly is also high on his list.

"We'll be installing a children's gaming station, which will have the latest game consoles and games to keep the children amused," he said.

Mr Jones also has big plans for New Year's Eve, with a family friendly barbeque and jumping castle downstairs until 9pm and live entertainment from Sugarless, who will be performing from 9pm through to 1.30am.

"This job is about people. I do it because I love meeting new people," he said.

Topics:  business sailing

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