DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
That club was losing money around 2009-2010 or so. There were some weird CNIC MWR rules about losing money too many months in a row or something like that. They first tried temporarily closing the greasy spoon in the line shack... that place sold a lot of egg/sausage mcmuffins and hamburgers from 6am to the early afternoon, or my personal favorite, "anything under the heat lamp for $1" a few minutes before they closed each day, or as I liked to call it, the Salmonella Special. That was often my lunch when it was my week to write the flight schedule, but I digress.The "New" O Club was near the approach end of 14 at South Field. It was a brand new building, with a pool and the whole 9 yards. I don't know the real story, but I remember the rumors were that the building was built too tall and the FAA said that it violated the laws about runway encroachment, or something like that.
This 'close the greasy spoon' strategy was intended to make the club profitable for a month or two, long enough to reset the losing money counter, and then they would reopen the greasy spoon. Well, the strategy didn't drive any breakfast or lunchtime business back to the club (it wasn't only a few minutes' walk from the HT squadrons but once you got there the service was never very fast to begin with). Then a funny thing happened at the squadrons, the aircrew mess started a fundraiser selling hot pockets and mini pizzas. When the greasy spoon reopened then they now had some competition. Whoops.
The family pool at the club got shutdown too and the lap pool became the "combined" pool. All of the medium sized bases had to downsize to one swimming pool so that was the deal in a lot of places. Either before or after this, the combined pool got shutdown for some construction and renovations- concrete to make the shallow end shallower, conversion from chlorine to saltwater, and a heater so they could be open a couple more months each year. When it reopened then the opening months were reduced from the previous (unheated pool) year (WTF?). I think the family pool+exercise pool dynamic probably discouraged the fitness crowd. I get it that families/dependents gotta have something to do during their day and we were all little kids at one time, but I personally don't like sharing my lap swim water with swim diapers.
If MWR were allowed to run tattoo parlors and strip clubs a block outside the front gate, they'd figure out a way to lose money on those too. They're hobbled by a lot of weird government rules, so the way they have to run the equivalent of a two-star restaurant on base isn't comparable to running a real business. Anyhoo.........