Petroleum Club sees membership decline

Posted at 10:30 AM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 13:30:24-05

The Petroleum Club sits high above Bakersfield in The Stockdale Towers with a 360 degree view of the city.

While the club has been around for 64 years, it's never seen a drop in membership like this, according to President of the club David Plivelich.

With the price of crude oil dropping below $30 a barrel, sustaining members has proven difficult.

"Either discounting their membership or some of them just kind of extending their membership six months, giving them a chance for things to turn around," Plivelich said.

Plievlich said the club is working to help out their members, hoping that by extending some memberships, the members can network and get back on their feet.

Membership was at a record high around this time last year at 1,140 members. Now they're down to 850. That's a drop of more than a quarter of their membership.

Plivelich said about 85% of their members are in the oil industry. 

To become a member, you must apply and have a recommendation from a member of the club. 

"There is not business in Bakersfield that is not supported in some way by the oil industry," Plivelich said their membership has started to change as the oil prices continue to drop and those in the industry are cutting back.

Plivelich is hopeful the prices turn around and local companies can grow again.