West Orange Township Council authorize concession agreement for Rock Spring

At its May 10 meeting, the West Orange Township Council approves an agreement between KemperSports and RBG Hospitality Group to run concessions at the clubhouse at the Rock Spring Golf Course.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Township Council unanimously approved a resolution at its May 10 meeting authorizing a concession agreement between KemperSports and RBG Hospitality Group, allowing the company to provide food and beverage services at the clubhouse at Rock Spring Golf Club. The agreement allows for the sale and service of alcoholic beverages at the club; KemperSports is the golf course management company that the township hired to run the public course when the course was purchased from the private Rock Spring Country Club in 2019. The concession agreement is between the two companies, rather than between RBG and the township.

“They are a subleaser from Kemper, so it is part of that,” CFO John Gross said at the meeting. “If you’re going to have two entities using the liquor license authorized, because it’s township property, we have to approve them as well. It is an agreement that allows them to operate under the contract that we have with Kemper.”

The clubhouse is not yet open to the public, but RBG has hosted several private events in the space; Gross said he expects the clubhouse to be open to the public soon. The agreement says that Kemper will reimburse RBG for expenses that were incurred before the contract began.

“RBG has their involvement with Kemper, and the issue of reimbursement is closed,” township attorney Richard Trenk said at the meeting.

Trenk addressed a provision in the agreement that Councilwoman Cindy Matute-Brown was concerned about; the provision says that Kemper can back out of the agreement if RBG defaults on its obligations.

“For instance, with utilities, everyone agrees that there are additional utility uses when you have catering and a restaurant,” Trenk said. “Correctly, the parties agreed that that cost should be covered by RBG. They’re the operator. If RBG doesn’t make the payments and are therefore in default with Kemper on what RBG has agreed is reasonable rent, then they can’t stay there.”

RBG will service the clubhouse only; the concession vendor Halfway House services golfers on the course. Trenk said it is important to have separate agreements with each vendor.

“The lines would get blurred,” he said. “The more we can keep them synergized and operating together, and more defined, the better it is. Kemper is very detailed, and we want RBG to follow with the same clarity.”