Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sign of the times? Casper Petroleum Club to close

Founded in 1949 with the purpose to “aid the industrial and productive interests of the State of Wyoming" the Casper Petroleum Club, a longstanding local institution, is giving up the ghost.  Hitting the news on September 1, the Club has announced:

September 1st, 2016

Dear Members of the Casper Petroleum Club:

As you are all aware, the Casper Petroleum Club has been experiencing decreased membership attendance for the past 15 years. It is with heavy hearts that the Board must announce the the situation has now reached a level that requires the Casper Petroleum Club to close permanently.

It is the Board’s desire that the Club be able to remain open until December 31st, 2016 in order to honor current reservations, allow staff to make future arrangements, and provide the members ample opportunity to enjoy the Club through the holiday season.

In order for the Club to maintain the ability to remain open until December 31st, you, the membership, must double your efforts to make the Casper Petroleum Club your choice for your lunches and dinners in each of these remaining 4 months. If September attendance is not strong, members should expect the Club to close in October.

Additionally, after reviewing the evening dinner service attendance for the past fiscal year, the Board found that dinner service for Monday and Tuesday nights is consistently unattended, or attend with less than 5 nightly reservations. As a result, beginning September 12th and 13th, the Club will no longer be open for Monday and Tuesday dinner service. Existing Monday and Tuesday event reservations will be honored.

Members, as the Club reaches its twilight, we eagerly invite you to come often to celebrate the legacy, food, and ambiance of the Casper Petroleum Club for the rest of the year.


Your Board of Directors


The Club survived numerous booms and busts, and even managed to use the bust of the 1980s to its advantage when it went from being the last tenant of the old downtown Townsend Building (now the Townsend Justice Center)  to a building vacated by the 1810 Mining Company, a 1970s era boom restaurant.  

I'd never been in the club when it was in the Townsend other than to peek through the door from the Townsend lobby into it, which gave you a glimpse of a dark bar from the bright lobby of the Townsend as the Townsend slid, or rather rapidly fell, into true devastation even as its restaurant continued to do a thriving lunch business.  The attachment of the still thriving Petroleum Club showed how vibrant the Townsend must have been in the 1950s.

I was never a member of the CPC, but I'd been in it many times.  The county bar association used to have monthly lunches there and the firm sometimes had an annual Christmas or New Years lunch there, and at least one time a Christmas party there.  I attended a few big wedding receptions there, as well as a few large funeral receptions there, including those of people to whom I am very closely related.  More than a few times people I knew well just decided to have lunch there, and I along with them.

Well, we can't say that the current bust killed it, but it must not have helped.  The decline in clubs in general probably didn't help much either.  Various former members that I used to know who kept a membership there, and indeed at one time it was something that people who had arrived had, no longer were keeping one.  Odd to think of, at one time it was a place where lawyers  and oilmen commonly went to lunch, but I haven't been in there now for several years.

Well, its a shame.

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