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Why Eichler and Not Greenmeadow?

Original post made by curious, Fairmeadow School, on Apr 22, 2014

I don't get it. Two south Palo Alto swim clubs about a half a mile apart, both old and Eichlerish, both competing with the newer JCC and the newer Elks Club, but one is thriving with a robust wait list even though it is almost double the cost while the other one is struggling for members. I don't think it has anything to do with their tennis courts or the stellar swim team they have. And PLEASE don't mention 'membership equality' to me.

Comments (16)

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 22, 2014 at 8:50 pm

We lived in another nearby city with an Eichler swim club in our neighborhood. The number of openings ranged from a lot to none, with major waiting list, over the years as did the price of initial membership and monthly dues. I don't have any info on the Palo Alto Eichler swim clubs but I assume the situation fluctuates with status of the facilities, price of memberships, number of young children nearby, the economy, and so on. I also cannot compare these two Palo Alto clubs, perhaps some can shed the specific light on that, but my general background experience from above is also part of it. Some people (in our old neighborhood) had an easy time selling their memberships, some had a hard time, and some sold at a gain and some at a loss. Perpaps the boards and/or facilities are different at these two places??

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Something that may differ: how membership prices are set - in our old neighborhood, a large Eichler neighborhood, membership prices were set periodically by someone, the Board I guess, and it was remarkably like how residential real estate operates around here, with booms and busts.

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Posted by gmaps
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:32 pm

"Two south Palo Alto swim clubs about a half a mile apart"

They are more like a mile and a half apart.

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Posted by Eichler Member
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Not sure why you discount the beautiful tennis courts and tennis team Eichler offers, and I don't know what you mean about "membership equality."

The difference for us was: tennis courts, clubhouse with full kitchen, open year-round, swim team (and the salt-water pool is nicer water to swim in). I have heard there were a lot of problems with the management of Greenmeadow and a lot of turn-over with swim team coaches. Some Greenmeadow families left and came to Eichler because of that. However, Greenmeadow is now open year-round (or close to it) and Eichler has imposed an additional $400 per year fee (for five years) to cover the extensive upgrade of the pool deck and plumbing, so the tide may turn a bit toward Greenmeadow, especially if they can work out their governance issues.

We like the Eichler community and club feel - the clubhouse with full kitchen makes it really easy to stay and have dinner and socialize while the kids swim and play.

So I guess I would conclude that Eichler has more amenities that a lot of Palo Alto families are willing to pay for. We have a lot of north Palo Alto families as well, so the south Palo Alto location seems to be incidental.

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Posted by Eichler Member
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 22, 2014 at 10:01 pm

@gmaps: It looks like they are 1/2 a mile apart as the crow flies, but you travel 1.5 miles to drive/walk from one to the other. I think @curious is correct in their statement that the two clubs are "about a half a mile apart."

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Posted by Atheist
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 23, 2014 at 12:18 am

I say why either?! Eichler is so run-down that I have felt like I was in a bad neighborhood when I have visited with friends. If you like Eichler, try the Ross Road Y. The JCC is immaculate, top-of-the line facilities, and everyone is so friendly.

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Posted by gmaps
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

"It looks like they are 1/2 a mile apart as the crow flies"

Actually, a little over 1 mile as the crow flies (measured with

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Posted by one answer
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I think you answered your own question: tennis, great swim team, fair membership.

Though this is may help
Web Link

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Posted by Eichler Member
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 23, 2014 at 8:46 pm

If you just want to swim laps and don't mind crowds, and are not interested in community, enjoying outdoor social dinners and BBQs, playing tennis, and having a serene outdoor space to relax with friends, then the Y and the JCC are exactly right for you.

However, the question posed was about Eichler and Greenmeadow and those clubs are nothing like the Y and the JCC, both of which are gyms, not private clubs.

@one answer: thanks for the link! I had heard rumblings about the issues cited in that Yelp review but didn't remember the details. And now I understand the "membership equality" comment by @curious.

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Posted by eichler lover
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

Curious, It's clear that you don't get it. Eichler Swim Club is a family oriented community club that has just undergone a major remodel. There are a significant number of north Palo Alto (esp Duveneck) families who have become members in recent years because there are no swim Clubs on the north side of town and options like university and foothills are too far and too expensive. And JCC and Greenmeadow are equally inconvenient to get too. The club is a wonderful environment and conducive to community building. "Old and eichler ish" is also an ignorant reference to a historic club like Eichler, and Greenmeadow for that matter. These clubs represent an important part of American history and examples of midcentury modern architecture, which is in reading in popularity as People recognize the fundamental principles of indoor outdoor living can be updated and apply more than ever in today's world. [Portion removed.]

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Posted by curious
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 26, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Dear eichler lover,

Sorry for the confusing message. The question I meant to ask is why so many families flock to Eichler Swim and Tennis club instead of Greenmeadow when they both seem similar in appearance? Eichler Swim and Tennis has a robust wait list even though it is almost twice as expensive. I was wondering if it was just their well known swim team or the addition of tennis courts.

Thanks @one answer for the article (Web Link). Though it is only one person's view, it was eye opening.

I didn't mean to offend any members from Eichler Swim and Tennis.

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Posted by Greenmeadow kid
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm

I grew up in Greenmeadow and had an amazing childhood, mostly spent at that pool! Many, many years spent playing with my sibling and cousins. I even experienced the 1989 earthquake at the pool.

Unfortunately, in the past 10 years, the pool has changed dramatically. The management is so concerned with money that they rent the pool to a number of outside clubs, thereby limiting the use of Greenmeadow residents and members.

Many hot afternoons, when the pool should have been down to one lap lane, optimizing the amount of space for kids and families, it was set up with 3 or 4 lap lanes. Only one lane would be open for rec swim and they would be having swimming lessons in that lane. The board recently came up with a schedule of lanes and said most would be open for rec swim after school and on weekends. This has not been the case. Why, I'm not sure, but it meant that my mom, a Greenmeadow resident since 1977 ended up not renewing her pool membership. Look at the number of associate members (not Greenmeadow residents) and you'll see a very telling pattern.

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Posted by GMCA
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm

So who's your daddy now? Stellar swim team?

2nd place: Greenmeadow
5th place: Eichler

So sing along....

Who has a stellar swim team? Marlins! Marlins!
Who has a stellar swim team? Marlins! Marlins!

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I'm not a member of either club.

But really? Smack talk over a small and not-very-serious summer swim league? And you're supposed to be the adult in this conversation?

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Posted by Wow...
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Agree with Crescent Park Dad... I definitely would not want to associate with club members who talk smack like that. Very childish.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Former Green Meadow Family
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 22, 2014 at 11:01 am

Green Meadow was recommended to us when we bought our home in the adjacent neighborhood, and we were Associate members for several years. Unfortunately, in order to be a voting member, you have to live in the Green Meadow neighborhood, while Eichler members all get a vote. This became a problem for us when the people running GM began to do things we disagreed with. When many associate members spoke up or tried to have a say, we were told that our opinions did not matter. This resulted in a lot of associate members not signing up in the ensuing seasons. Green Meadow lost income, which I understand has meant they have to rent it out more frequently. I believe it is this difference in who has a say that makes people flock to Eichler. I would not have joined Green Meadow had I known that associate members are not really part of the community.

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