to make more multipurpose member spaces.
By Steve Pike
Robin Blankhorst, general manager and chief operating officer at Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton, calls it “operational flexibility.’’ That’s country club-speak for creating space that allows for a lot of club functions.
Today’s country club clubhouses need operational flexibility to maintain and attract new members.
Many of those members have families — sometimes young families — so the need for flexibility is imperative to creating a positive club experience for everyone. That phrase — and more important, its implementation— fits with the clubs’ “A Club of a Lifetime’’ mantra.
Indeed, even storied and successful clubs such as Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton (World Golf Hall of Famer Sam Snead was the club’s first golf professional) are looking for new ways for members of all ages to get the most out of the club.
So in that regard, Blankhorst is overseeing the design and construction of a 41,000-square-foot yacht clubhouse and marina renovation that includes 58 new floating docks that can accommodate vessels up to 130 feet long.
The new clubhouse is part of an overall $30 million project, following the now-completed Nicklaus Signature golf course renovation.
Club members last year overwhelmingly approved the renovation project on the club, which was created by Arvida Corp. in 1959. The new yacht clubhouse includes an outdoor waterfront entertainment patio, new pool and additional outdoor dining venues.
“We’re looking at the next 50 years for the club,’’ Blankhorst said. “With new younger members and a multigenerational membership, the dynamics of the club are changing. Our goal is to meet these diverse needs and interests.”
The original yacht clubhouse — built in 1959 — has been completely wiped out to make way for the new clubhouse.
“We’re not locking ourselves into rooms that serve as only one type of venue, but rather, creating multipurpose member spaces,’’ Blankhorst said.
The kitchen, according to Blankhorst, will accommodate casual a la carte and fine dining, simultaneous events, and banquets of up to 400 people.
“Operational flexibility,’’ Blankhorst said, “is the key to this project’s success."