What's the future of Cape Coral's Yacht Club? Council ponders massive project

cape coral yacht club membership

Thanks to Hurricane Ian, Cape Coral officials are looking to change the Yacht Club as we know it and start over, with a project that could cost as much as $100 million.

Mayor John Gunter said the previously approved design avoided the "nucleus" of the yacht club and was focused heavily on the outer perimeter such as the sea walls, docks, and landscaping.

"So now that we've had the damage with our buildings on the interior of this project, now it's almost an open canvas, an open area," Mayor John Gunter told The News-Press.

The changes could include a new two-story ballroom, removing the tennis courts, and rearranging the area to accommodate a parking garage and restaurant.

Hurricane Ian left a severe mark on the city of Cape Coral and its residents, and after months of recovery, the city government discussed options Thursday for its premier gemstone: the Yacht Club Community Park.

During its January city retreat, the city council decided to take a "clean slate" approach to renovate the heavily damaged facilities.

The damaged facilities include the likes of the ballroom, the Tony Rotino Center, and the pier, which could take $1.5 million to repair .

City Manager Rob Hernandez wanted direction from the city council on how the city should proceed with renovations.

"Based on our calculations, we are above the 50% FEMA rule, and so it's likely that we're not going to be able to repair the buildings and that we're gonna have to start from scratch," Hernandez said.

The 50% rule requires structures with substantial damage, or damage exceeding 50% of their market value, to meet the same requirements as new construction and current hurricane code, such as elevating the buildings.

The Yacht Club area, which includes the yacht basin, tennis courts, a swimming pool, a ballroom, and a riverside beach, has served as a popular attraction and staple for the city since the 1960s.

It was scheduled to close for two years to renovate the area and was waiting for permit approval, but Ian put those plans on hold while the city recovered.

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Changes to the Yacht Club

James Pankonin, a landscape architect with Kimley-Horn, gave a presentation explaining possible changes that can be made to the design of the project.

He explained that design plans are 90% complete, Wright Construction is preparing a pricing update, and permits with the various city, state, and federal agencies are filed and under review.

The council supports changing the direction and reconfiguring the design of the Yacht Club with some suggesting a bigger ballroom, possibly removing the tennis courts, and changing the placement of the facilities to accommodate a parking garage.

"I don't want to lose the historical nature of the ballroom and what it meant," Councilman Tom Hayden said during the discussion.

The mayor said that with all these changes, the project could easily cost $100 million, so exploring public-private partnerships will also be on the table and lead to more restaurants or shops.

Councilmembers Bill Steinke, Hayden, and Gunter discussed eliminating the tennis courts as the council recently approved plans for more courts at Lake Kennedy.

"For me, I've never thought tennis courts at the yacht club were the best use of land anyways," Gunter said.

Councilmember Patty Cummings suggested completing the project in phases , and Hernandez agreed since the facilities are currently closed.

"I would think that Wright could develop a phasing plan for the landside construction to bring things on board incrementally," Hernandez said.

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What's Next?

Kimley-Horn will take the feedback and work on new designs, which will be presented to the council in the coming months.

"I would say up to about 90 days to at least get a preliminary, like I said this is going to be a multi-step process," Gunter said.

The city will then provide the council with finance options, possibly going the route of using bonds as previously discussed.

"There'll be a cost analysis that they will provide at that time, and then I'm sure our finance director will give us some scenarios a different type of funding mechanisms," Gunter said.

To residents worried about future changes, the mayor said there will be several chances in upcoming meetings to address the council.

"And I can see our developer or designer coming back several times, so council, staff, the community can all weigh in and craft it and move to the next step, and the next step until we get a final draft ," Gunter said added.

Luis Zambrano is a Watchdog/Cape Coral reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. You can reach Luis at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Lz2official.

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Cape Coral Yacht Club

Cape Coral Yacht Club - Come enjoy the beachfront center for Cape Coral recreation, relaxation, and family fun!

UPDATE January 2022:  Yacht Club Beach will close for major renovations for 2 years starting in April 2022.

UPDATE September 2022:  Due to Hurricane Ian damage the Yacht Club is closed indefinitely.

An elegant fountain welcomes guests ......... and when ground was broken in 1958 to begin building Cape Coral, the Yacht Club was one of the first structures built.

It was important to provide a meeting place and recreation for new residents and also to attract more residents to the Cape during the 1960's.

Today, the Yacht Club continues to provide these services and a whole lot more!  I also think you'll get a kick out of the 60's architecture.

cape coral yacht club

This original landmark is part of Yacht Club Community Park, which has a beach, pool, fishing pier, marina, boat launch, tennis, racquet ball, beach pavilion, and ballroom.

cape coralyacht club wedding

Throughout the years, the Yacht Club ballroom has been an interesting part of Cape Coral History and home to many weddings, parties, gatherings, meetings and events ....... along with 2 additional rooms that can be rented.

yacht club wedding

My daughter has enjoyed the Daddy-Daughter Dance, an event that happens there every January.

cape coral events

From the back of the ballroom, you can see the community public pool. Here's a video of the Cape Coral Yacht Club pool:

The Olympic-sized heated pool is open everyday from March to October from 10AM-5PM.

There is a kiddy pool too, it has a dewdrop fountain and underwater bubblers for some splashing good time!

cape coral fun

Swimming lessons, water aerobics, exercise classes, birthday party packages, and other special events are offered throughout the year.

Annual and semi-annual memberships can be purchased and a picnic area can be rented for parties.

A small playground and shuffleboard court is right next to the pool.

Annual pool memberships run for one year, and Semi-Annual run for6 months from the date of purchase. Swim class fees and rentals are extra.

Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older.

cape coral parks

Also located in the Cape Coral Yacht Club building is the Tony Rotino Senior Center where senior citizens can enjoy various activities like fashion shows, teas, dinner dances, exercise or computer classes, day trips, excursions, and fairs.

tony rotino senior center

Next to the Senior Center and across the parking lot are the racquet ball courts.

raquet ball court

And, just beyond the racquet ball courts and pool is the Yacht Club marina.

Also called the Cape Coral or Yacht Club Basin , the marina has 89 boat slips can dock boats up to 55 feet long.

yacht basin marina

Daily, monthly, and annual slip rentals are available on a first-come first-serve basis.

The fuel dock is open 8AM-5PM, and 9AM-5PM on holidays ....... it has gas, diesel, bait, ice, pump-out station, restrooms, showers, washer and dryer.

Next to the marina are five lighted tennis courts that are open Monday-Friday from 8AM-9PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 8AM-5PM.

cape coral tennis courts

Walk-ins are welcome and memberships are available for purchase.

Sign up for programs such as Peewee Tennis, Moms Morning Out, Cardio Tennis, adult and child clinics, and round robins are offered.

And, let's not forget about the boat ramp!

boating in cape coral

Boating in Cape Coral is fantastic! It's only a few miles to Sanibel ....... Ft Myers Beach, Cayo Costa, Captiva, Cabbage Key, and the Gulf of Mexico are just beyond.

Cape Coral residents can buy a $50 annual parking decal for their boat trailer at the Yacht Club or at City Hall.

Parking your boat trailer for the day costs $10 which you pay for at a station at the ramp.

You can't miss the boat ramp, it's just beyond the entrance to the park next to Yacht Club Beach.

As you can see, there are so many fun things to do here, so make sure you get on over to the Yacht Club!

For more information contact:

Yacht Club Community Park 5819 Driftwood Pkwy (239)574-0806

yacht club beach

Related Pages to Cape Coral Yacht Club

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The Yacht Club in Cape Coral – A Landmark in Transition

The Cape Coral Yacht Club, a historic gem nestled in the heart of Florida’s gulf coast just outside of Fort Myers is currently undergoing a significant transformation. This beloved landmark, established in the 1960s, has weathered many storms over the decades.

However, the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Ian has necessitated an extensive rebuilding process that is projected to unfold over the next three to four years. The area around Fort Myers Beach especially and Sanibel Island were devastated in the hurricane .

Table of Contents

A Glance at the Past: The Origins of Cape Coral’s Yacht Club Area

The impact of hurricane ian on the yacht club, the road to restoration: challenges and expectations, the 50% rule and its impact on the rebuilding process, the community’s response to the rebuilding process, preserving the historical significance of the yacht club, the path forward: a glimmer of hope amidst the challenges, the role of insurance in the rebuilding process, a call for transparency and community involvement, the future of the yacht club in cape coral, here are some more frequently asked questions about the yacht club in cape coral:, what is happening with cape coral yacht club, what body of water is cap coral yacht club on, is cape coral beach open after hurricane ian, what beaches are in cape coral florida, what happens in a yacht club, how much is the seal beach yacht club, are the beach club and yacht club in cape coral connected, is the yacht and beach club in cape coral connected.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club was located in one of the first parts of Cape Coral to be developed, has a rich and varied history. It’s a charming blend of vintage 1960s residences and modern upscale luxury homes. Over the years, these properties have caught the attention of discerning buyers who have invested significantly in renovating or rebuilding the original homes, adding a contemporary flair to this vintage neighborhood.

old photo of the yacht club in Cape Coral Florida

The untamed force of Hurricane Ian, a Category 5 storm, wreaked havoc on the Yacht Club, damaging almost every structure and forcing beaches in the area to close for extensive repairs. This situation was particularly disheartening for local beach residents who saw the Yacht Club as a key attraction and an integral part of their community.

Restoring the Yacht Club to its former glory is no small task. The extent of the damage has necessitated a complete overhaul, and construction of a process that is projected to take several years and potentially cost up to $100 million. These daunting figures have sparked debate in the community, with residents and officials alike expressing their concerns about the future of this historic site.

damage from Hurricane Ian in Cape Coral and Fort Myers

The Yacht Club after damage from Hurricane Ian,

The significant damage inflicted by the hurricane has brought facilities at the Yacht Club under the purview of FEMA’s 50% rule. This regulation stipulates that if a structure’s damage exceeds 50% of its repair costs, it must be rebuilt to meet current hurricane standards.

This requirement presents a significant challenge, as it mandates a comprehensive rebuilding process that must adhere to stringent safety standards including the swimming pool, fishing pier, yacht club beach, boat ramp and many more parts of the club.

The prolonged closure of the Yacht Club parking, has stirred feelings of disappointment and frustration among local beach residents. They long for the removal of the ‘No Trespassing’ signs and the reopening of their beloved beach area. The community, however, is not just concerned about the lengthy rebuilding timeline but also about the potential changes to the Yacht Club’s historic character.

There is a strong sentiment within the community to preserve the historical significance of the Yacht Club, particularly the main ballroom building. The city council’s current plan to demolish all buildings on the property has met with resistance from local residents who consider the Yacht Club a crucial part of Cape Coral’s heritage.

Despite the daunting obstacles, there are reasons for optimism. The Boathouse Restaurant, a popular local eatery that also suffered significant damage, is expected to reopen soon.

Also, the city council is considering reopening the pier and some amenities in stages to provide the community with much-needed access to the waterfront.

Navigating the insurance claim process is another significant challenge that the city is facing. The initial claim report estimated the damage to the main ballroom building at nearly $25,000.

However, considering the extent of the destruction across the entire property, the final claim amount is likely to be significantly higher.

Residents of the city of Cape Coral are seeking greater transparency from the city about the rebuilding process. They are eager for a clear picture of the damage and the city’s plan for restoration.

There is also a growing call for the press and the public to be allowed inside the Yacht Club Area to observe firsthand the extent of the damage and the progress of the rebuilding efforts.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club’s journey from a vibrant community hub to a hurricane-ravaged site, and its ongoing transition towards restoration, is a testament to the resilience and determination of the Cape Coral community. Despite the challenges, there is a collective commitment to restoring this historic landmark while preserving its unique character and heritage.

This commitment is a beacon of hope that shines brightly, illuminating the path towards a future where the Yacht Club once again stands as a proud symbol of Cape Coral’s rich history and vibrant community spirit.

It is recommended visiting the Cape Coral Yacht Club official website or contacting them directly to see their current status.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is located on the Caloosahatchee River, a body of water in Southwest Florida that leads to the Gulf of Mexico.

Check the latest updates from the local government or news outlets for the most accurate information.

Cape Coral, Florida, is home to several beaches, including Yacht Club Public Beach and Four Freedoms Beach. Other nearby beaches include Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, and Captiva Island.

A yacht club is typically a social club for people who are interested in water activities such as sailing and boating. Members often participate in racing, cruising, and educational events, and the clubs usually offer dining, leisure facilities, and social activities.

It is best to contact the club directly or visit their official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

In Cape Coral, the Yacht Club and the Beach Club are part of the same facility, known as the Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park, which features a beach, a pool, a boat ramp, and other amenities.

Yes, in Cape Coral, the Yacht Club and the Beach Club are part of the same establishment, the Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park, where visitors can enjoy a variety of water and leisure activities.

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Cape Coralites considered the Cape Coral Yacht & Racquet Club ‘the hub and the heart’ of their new community

60th anniversary: a look back, by tom hayden - | jun 13, 2022.

cape coral yacht club membership

A postcard showing the fishing pier where the Cape Coral Yacht & Racquet Club will be built and then opened on June 10, 1962.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is steeped in history from that opening event on June 9, 1962, to significant meetings that changed the course of the city to the many gatherings inside and out of this iconic area.

Before the Yacht Club facility was built residents were already gathering on the site. On Sept. 2, 1961, the day of the building’s groundbreaking, the tennis courts and Olympic-sized swimming pool opened at the $1 million complex, which also included the beach and eventually the youth center.

Dennis Duffala, an early resident, also was one of the original lifeguards at the pool. “We all got trained and would sit there on benches above the pool,” Duffala said. “When people would come from out of town that would be one of the first places they would hit. All of my friends were down there.”

Gulf American Corporation Vice President Connie Mack Jr. was already pushing the merits of the community in a letter to residents — he called them “Cape Coralites” — on the day of the groundbreaking.

“Between the luxurious accommodations (especially priced to homesite owners) at the Nautilus Motel, and the fun facilities at the Yacht and Racquet Club, with a round or two of golf at our Country Club course — topped off by a bit of boating and fishing when the mood suits you — well, let’s face it! Who could ask for anything more … or want to?”

cape coral yacht club membership

A postcard featuring the front of the 'new' Cape Coral Yacht & Racquet Club..

Ann (Finkernagel) Duffala, who is Dennis Duffala’s wife and also one of the first residents, remembers walking with friend Ann Sanborn (whose father Paul Sanborn was Gulf American Corporation’s communications director and general manager of the Yacht Club) to the facility. “At the very beginning, it was the hub and the heart of the whole thing,” said Ann, whose father, Bob Finkernagel, was GAC general manager. “The main thing was it engaged everyone in the community, made everybody a part of it. Anything south of the parkway, the teenagers would just meet there.”

“Dad was not home much. (The Yacht Club) was his second home,” said Mary (Sanborn) Rieser, Paul Sanborn’s daughter. “I have a lot of memories there in dad’s office. I spent a lot of time hanging out there.”

Mary also remembers having Fourth of July celebrations on the beach “because there were so few people there.”

And a few teenage pranks. “The kids used to put soap suds in the fountain and dad would have to go take care of it,” Ann said.

Yes, the Yacht Club was a critical part of the community’s development.

cape coral yacht club membership

Postcard featuring the pool of the new Cape Coral Yacht & Racquet Club..

In 1958, boats that gave prospective land buyers a view of their future, tied up to a small dock that would later become the yacht basin. One of those boats was called Trident.

In the winter of 1959, the Gulf Land and Title Company — the original name of Gulf American Corporation — put concrete blocks together and built a 15-foot grill, where residents would gather on what is now the Yacht Club site to cook steaks and hamburgers. They sang state songs like “Back Home Again in Indiana,” “Beautiful Ohio,” and “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,” according to a story by H.D. (Andy) Anderson in the Cape Coral Breeze 20th anniversary edition.

The decking for the 620-foot Cape Coral fishing pier was placed in early 1960, with the “T” of the pier to be added later. The pier became a popular fishing destination and even withstood the wrath of Hurricane Donna later that year.

“We used to spend a lot of time down there,” Dennis Duffala said. “There used to be a lot of regatta races down there. I had a boat then, and we lived on the canal.”

He also lived at the original bait shack at the foot of the pier, where live bait could be purchased. “My father had an account there, and I would just sign my name,” he said.

cape coral yacht club membership

An aerial photo of the fishing pier, and the Cape Coral Yacht & Racquet Club, circa 1966. The opening of the Yacht Club spurred rapid development nearby.

The pier was also special for Damian Minko, another of the first residents. It was a fishing mecca, where everything from big tarpon to much smaller varieties were often reeled in. “It was great fishing back in those days.

He also remembers a petition signed by residents protesting the pier. “It obstructed the view of people living on Riverside at the time,” Minko said. That petition didn’t catch on.

Eileen Bernard, one of the first residents, wrote in 1978 that she remembers slipping a note into the pocket of GAC President Leonard Rosen at a stockholder’s meeting in 1961 in the Yacht Club area, about making the new bridge from Fort Myers to Cape Coral a tourist attraction, with possibly plants or water. They talked about having water spraying over the two-lane bridge, which opened in 1964.

Born from that conversation was Waltzing Waters, purchased by the Rosen brothers while they were in Europe. Otto Przystawik of Germany designed the attraction. Its first home was the original Rose Gardens (where Tarpon Point is now). Developed on a 2.5-acre lake, Waltzing Waters would send more than 800 jets of water as high as 85 feet. The water would change colors to various musical scores. It closed in mid-1970s.

During the summer of 1963, Marily Shumaker had the first swimming classes at the Yacht Club. “There, 15 kids too small to touch bottom hung tightly to the sides of the pool and learned to swim, corner to corner,” Dorothy Needham reported in a Cape Coral Breeze article. “By the end of the summer, those little tots would dive off the board and swim the length of that Olympic size pool.”

“Every little kid learned how to swim there,” Mary Rieser said.

“It was our home away from home. Everything that happened or was important in our lives happened in that building,” said Cape Coral City Council member Gloria Tate, who moved to the city as a child in 1960. “My sister and I played the organ as we had our church service there. It was the gathering place for any activity in Cape Coral. I grew up in that swimming pool. Every lesson I can think of I learned at the Yacht Club.”

The drive to incorporate Cape Coral came to life at the Yacht Club in 1969, with the formation of a citizen’s committee. About 500 people attended that first meeting. Restaurant owner Chester M. Grunsten was named general chairman. Residents were upset they were paying taxes to Lee County but seeing few of the benefits. On Aug. 18, 1970, voters approved incorporation.

One of the city’s boldest predictions was delivered by Leonard Rosen in a speech at the Yacht Club. He told his mother Cape Coral would have population of 12,000 by 1968. His mother responded. “How can you say such a thing. You can’t even keep your room clean.” Leonard was close. The population reached approximately 11,000 then.

Well-known events also took place at the Yacht Club, including Florida Miss World in 1966, with famous broadcaster Larry King the master of ceremonies. Women gathered from across the state to compete for the coveted title. Ann Duffala remembers her father actively involved in promoting the event. She also got a lifelong friend out of it.

As a student at Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckert College), Duffala remembers seeing a woman wearing a turquoise bathing suit. The women competing in the Miss Florida World pageant wore those suits and Ann also had received one of the suits. Ann walked over to the woman and asked where she got the suit? The woman responded she was in a beauty contest in Cape Coral. “We remain good friends to this day,” Duffala said.

The Yacht Club area also has been the site of expansion, renovations and additions over the years. A pair of homes were purchased by the city for approximately $1.8 million in 2003 and 2004 to make way for increased parking and picnic areas. Talks also started then for a parks master plan that included moving the boat ramp, building a parking garage and increasing boat trailer parking. Sound familiar?

A new playground and trailer parking were added by 2007.

About every club that currently exists in the city got its start at the Yacht Club, including the Social Club and Garden Club, as well as various organizations created for residents who moved here from other states.

The German American Social Club also met at the Yacht Club and had successful Oktoberfest and Carnival dances. The club outgrew the facility and moved to its current location on Pine Island Road.

The area’s first teen center, called the Key Club, also was created about five months after the Yacht Club opened. By 1977, the facility became the Cape Coral Senior Center and underwent expansions in 1978, 1988 and 1995. City Councilman Tony Rotino spearhead funding for those projects and the center was eventually named for him. Rotino remains the city’s long-serving council member, holding the seat for 16 straight years from 1978 to 1994. He made only $1 a year as a councilman, but the time he spent with residents, listening and helping, was worth much more.

“I served with Tony on city council for 10 years. He was a true public servant who loved to help people,” former mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz once said. Rotino passed away on Dec. 22, 2009, at the age of 95.

The city took over operations of the Yacht Club in September 1973, paying $100,000 to GAC, which reported the club had been losing money. The youth center closed that year as well.

In 1998, the Cape Coral City Council adopted a resolution declaring the “the Yacht Club Community Park as an historic and/or cultural resource as provided in the city of Cape Coral historic and cultural preservation ordinance.” It was signed by then mayor Roger Butler on April 23.

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City leaders reveal 'final master plan' for cape coral yacht club renovations.

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Cape Coral city leaders revealed what they are calling "the final master plan for the Cape Coral Yacht Club" at Wednesday's Committee of the Whole meeting.

The Yacht Club has sat fenced up ever since Hurricane Ian destroyed the ballroom and pier.

According to the plan, the new Yacht club will have an expanded beach, new restaurant, a resort-style pool with lanes and more. For the link to the whole plan, click here .

To keep up with our ever-growing city, there will also be nearly 900 parking spaces. That includes 158 for boats and 596 for cars. To fit that much parking, they need to build a 4-story parking garage in place of the pickleball and tennis courts.

Ron Austin from the Southwest Florida Yacht Club also spoke at Wednesday's city council meeting. He is asking the city if the new community center could be his club's new permanent home.

"We have 400 miles of canals in Cape Coral. We have a lot of boats. Thousands of boats. And without that would be a great thing for the citizens to have a yacht club to be in." Austin said.

Council members said they understand the public's frustration with how long this is taking. They are frustrated too, but they need to get a lot of state and federal permits approved to take on a project this size.

NBC2 asked the city how long this would all take. They sent the following response:

"The Yacht Club Master Plan will come before the council for approval at a future meeting. A timeline for this will be developed in the next few weeks.

Once the council receives and approves the final design and associated fees, the project will move into the design phase.

We anticipate completion within 3-4 years, but this is contingent on federal and state permits."

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Here's what will be preserved in the new Cape Coral Yacht Club building

The Cape Coral City Council will preserve and recreate a few aspects of the Yacht Club ballroom building into a new development based on a volunteer group's suggestions.

There were four recommendations on what should be preserved: Interior ceiling beams, stonework, fountain, and the front glass doors with the Yacht Club written on them.

City Council decided this week that the front doors will be used in the final development, but the other recommended pieces will be recreated or incorporated as aesthetics only.

"To me, the concept is more important than the physical material you are trying to save," Mayor John Gunter said.

The city of Cape Coral is eyeing an early 2024 date for the complete demolition of the Yacht Club's facilities, which could cost up to $1 million.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park is the city's premier gemstone, but Hurricane Ian, a Category 5 storm, devastated the area on Sept. 28, leading to the park's closure and community contention on what will happen with the property.

Previous discussions estimated that it  could take years to repair the Yacht club and as much as $100 million to renovate the entire area. The city will then provide the council with finance options, possibly going the route of using bonds  as previously discussed.

Previous coverage Cape Coral stakeholder groups tours the Yacht Club to determine what will be saved

Related Cape Coral Yacht Club demolitions and preservation could cost up to $1 million.

Stakeholders Group

Approximately 1,400 residents responded to join the stakeholder group that made the recommendations on what to preserve. Twelve residents were chosen randomly, while the city chose an additional two, one representative for the historical society and one for the youth council.

The group was tasked with deciding what elements of the Yacht Club Ballroom building should be preserved and incorporated into a new building meaningfully.

The demolition of the Yacht Club's existing building has been contentious as residents and officials are mixed on the council's decision to take a "clean slate" approach in January to renovate the area and its facilities after Hurricane Ian paused the initial renovation plans.

The park contains the main ballroom, Tony Rotino Center, tennis courts, a pool, a pier, and a beach; all of which will be affected by the upcoming renovations.

Despite the opposition, the council approved an amended contract with Kimley Horn in June.

James Pankonin, a landscape architect and urban designer with Kimley Horn, presented the information.

These were the items considered for preservation:

Interior ceiling beams

Fireplace Stonework


Terrazzo flooring

Exterior Beams

Exterior Posts/Beam supports

Councilmembers discussion

Councilmember Tom Hayden, who is the only member against the demolition, said the recommendations made sense.

"I don't think there are any big surprises in what the group saw and may want to incorporate into the new design," Hayden said.

He wanted the fireplace made of stonework and the fountain to either be recreated or used in some fashion.

Hayden also recommended dedicating a room to the old Yacht Club building filled with memorabilia and historical antiques and something dedicated to the original space of the ballroom.

"I think it would be nice, somewhere outside, to have a plaque near where the structure is that says that this was the site of the original Yacht Club," Hayden said.

Councilmember Robert Welsh said he liked the fountain and wanted the plaque attached to it, which is dedicated to an employee's service, saved.

Gunter said he wanted to prioritize saving many of these recommendations through concept if the physical material proves too difficult to preserve.

He said from his experience dealing with fireplaces, the materials tend to crumble when trying to remove them. He extends the same feeling to the beams and fountain.

"If we can grab a small section, great, but if we can't, that's okay too."

Although he was fully in support of keeping the glass door and incorporating them as doors into the room Hayden recommended.

Councilmember Steinke echoed the mayor's sentiments. He recommended commissioning an artist to make items out of the materials, which will go to benefit the Cape Coral Museum of History.

Councilmember Patty Cummings liked the suggestions and wanted a plaque that tells the story of why the Yacht Club was changed with a mention of Hurricane Ian.

On the beams, councilmember Jessica Cosden wanted the city to preserve and use the beams if possible.

Councilmember Dan Sheppard said he didn't want to limit the potential designs of the area, and he'd rather not see a room dedicated to the old Yacht Club.

He said a local artist can instead use the material to create art like a history wall with history text.

"I'm more for that than try to design a building with a room that I don't think a lot of people are going to use," Sheppard said.

Councilmember Keith Long also agreed with the idea of preserving and avoiding big costs. He also wants to see a dedicated room in the new building.

Toward the end of the discussion, Hayden became exasperated by the lack of support from the rest of the council for preserving the original pieces.

"I don't want to look at this as some sort of effort with smoke and mirrors where we just decided we needed to do this just to get their input to cover ourselves and be proud that we did it," Hayden said. "There's no reason to do these groups if we don't do what they say."

Welsh and Cummings countered and brought up issues with logistics and cost when speaking on the beams.

"I'm not for spending the extra money to remove them," Cummings said. "We can go and try to save what we can once, and I hate to use the word but, when it's all over to go in and grab some scraps and pieces, and I'm in agreement, and hire an artist to put something together."

Luis Zambrano is a Watchdog/Cape Coral reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. You can reach Luis at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Lz2official.

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: What will be preserved in the new Cape Coral Yacht Club building?

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Cape Coral City Council approves ‘coastal’ design for yacht club center

  • BY katiuska carrillo
  • March 15, 2024
  • Photo Credit:Cape Coral government

Rendering of Cape Coral Yacht Club design

Cape Coral City Council chose a coastal vernacular, Key West design for the future Cape Coral Yacht Club at a Committee of the Whole meeting March 13.  

The first design, which was chosen in a 5-3 vote, was described as “a very accommodating, welcoming feel” by John Bryant with Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors. “It’s kind of a coastal vernacular feel, but different than the existing yacht club building,” he said.  

cape coral yacht club membership

Council members Jessica Cosden, Bill Steinke and Rob Welsh voted for the second design, which was similar to the first but incorporated more aspects of the original yacht club building. This option was described as having more of a stone base, mid-century feel with exposed, heavy timber.   

“This is an exciting option,” Bryant said. “There’s a lot of design material to work with. They are different buildings. The existing Yacht Club, it’s about a 10,000-square-foot building. We’re now looking at more of a 40,000- to 50,000-square-foot building.”  

The third design option was more contemporary and not even considered by Council.   

Aside from the design of the building, the site plan also was slightly modified. James Pankonin with Kimley-Horn and Associates discussed the modifications made, including combining the beach and pool restrooms into one building and moving a pump equipment building to another location on-site.  

City Manager Michael Ilczyszyn said there is no price estimate for the project at this time. “We haven’t discussed that at this point,” he said. “It’ll really come into how much of certain materials are needed and construction methods.”  

The price of the project is expected to have a rough estimate when engineering design reaches roughly 30% completion.   

There will be two upcoming public meetings about the future yacht club scheduled April 2 and May 7.  

Pankonin and Bryant will then return to Council for the May 13 Committee of the Whole meeting to summarize the public input received.  

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Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach Reopens: Your Guide to Paradise

Cape Coral, Florida, is a beautiful coastal destination adorned by tourists from all around the world. This lively community is famous for its breathtaking waterfront views, pristine beaches, and delicious dining options. Unfortunately, the beloved Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach had to temporarily close due to the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. It’s a place known for its scenic beauty, waterfront dining and a variety of beach activities, and its absence has been deeply felt. On November 11 th , 2023, the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach reopened, allowing both locals and tourists to enjoy all that the Yacht Club has to offer. With this beachfront gem now open once more, let’s explore what this reopening means for those visiting Cape Coral, Florida.

Enjoy a Cape Coral Beach Day

With the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach now open again, visitors can enjoy a fun day at the beach. There is nothing quite like a Cape Coral Beach Day! Spend your time on the sand, soaking in the sun, and cooling off in the refreshing water. It’s the perfect setting for building sandcastles, reading a good book, or simply relaxing and enjoying the peaceful beach atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for adventure or a day of leisure, the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach provides an ideal backdrop for a memorable day where you can create cherished memories.

Indulge with Waterfront Dining

With this reopening, guests can also treat themselves to a delightful waterfront dining experience at The Boathouse Tiki Bar and Grill . This local’s favorite is the perfect way to spend an evening, capturing the breathtaking sunset, sipping on delectable cocktails, and savoring a delicious meal. As the sun dips below the horizon, the tranquil waterfront setting at The Boathouse creates a captivating ambiance, making it an ideal spot to unwind and create lasting memories with family and friends.

Stay by the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach

For an immersive Cape Coral Yacht Club experience, consider staying in the vicinity. Luckily, Roelens Vacations offers a range of options within walking distance! Whether you opt for the charming Villa Nana and Papa’s Beach House or the delightful Villa Beachside Bliss , you’ll be right in the heart of the Cape Coral action. These wonderful accommodations provide high-end comfort and private pool and spas, allowing you to not just visit but become a part of the vibrant pulse of this coastal paradise. With the Yacht Club’s exciting amenities and the stunning beach on your doorstep, your Cape Coral Vacation promises to be truly unforgettable.

Villa Nana and Papa's Beach House

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cape coral yacht club membership

How Much Do Yacht Club Memberships Cost? (5 Helpful Examples)

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Joining a yacht club is an important milestone in your life. It marks a certain degree of success and allows you to enjoy plenty of luxurious amenities. Setting sail on a yacht is the ultimate way to unwind from a hectic work week while you try to climb the corporate ladder.

Fortunately, there are yacht clubs all over the country that would love to welcome you as a brand-new member. You can enjoy an afternoon on the water with a beautiful yacht in exchange for a small sum of money.

But how much do Yacht Club memberships generally cost?

Prices for Yacht Clubs will vary based on your location, the fleet, and even the amenities that are offered at the marina. The average annual membership price is between $900-$4,000 depending on your level of luxury and needs.

To give you an idea of what you could expect to pay for your yacht club membership, here are some numbers gathered from across the country:

Yacht Club Annual Dues
Charleston Yacht Club $900
Florida Yacht Club $3,288
Atlanta Yacht Club $900
Chicago Yacht Club $3,690
California Yacht Club $3,144

Table of Contents

cape coral yacht club membership

What Does Each Yacht Club Offer?

Each yacht club is going to offer something that sets it apart from the others on this listing. To give you a better idea of where your money is going, here is a brief synopsis of what you can expect at each location.

Related Article: How Much Does Yacht Insurance Cost? (4 Examples)

Charleston Yacht Club

Charleston is a premier cruising destination with plenty of waterways for you to explore. They offer a launch hoist, dry slips, day dockage, free parking, and a long list of events scheduled throughout the year.

You also gain privileges at other yacht clubs around the world. If you don’t own your own yacht, they have plenty of members who often have room on their boats to accommodate a few extra passengers.

Florida Yacht Club

The Florida Yacht Club is a relatively exclusive club that features amazing amenities like fine dining and an array of aquatic activities.

You can play tennis, enjoy a spa treatment or massage, or get in a rousing game of croquet from the shore. They also host events and permit you to extend your privileges to other locations scattered around the Florida coast.

Atlanta Yacht Club

The Atlanta Yacht Club is primarily geared toward sailors who are interested in racing. They have a fleet of more than thirty different boats that are designed to help you further your knowledge of sailing.

If you still have a lot to learn, you can even take classes at this location. Prospective members must be sponsored and co-sponsored by two club members for entrance.

Related Article: 7 Boat Clubs in Florida You Should Know (Before Choosing)

Chicago Yacht Club

Members of the Chicago Yacht Club will find plenty of opportunities to get involved. With more than forty different committees, you can find a circle of friends that have common interests beyond just sailing and racing.

You also receive transient docking at both the Belmont and Monroe harbors, exclusive invites to private events, and reciprocity at more than 900 clubs across the country.

Related Article: Boat Clubs in Boston: 5 Clubs You Should Know

California Yacht Club

The California Yacht Club is home to both national and world championship regattas.

They host plenty of events from scuba club to book club to wine tastings. If you want to find a true community of like-minded sailors, this could be the place for you.

One of the best features is the reciprocity at locations not just across the United States but across the world. You can feel free to travel the world with your yacht and experience some of the same fellowship globally.

Related Article: Boat Clubs In Los Angeles: 7 Clubs You Should Know

What are the Cheapest Yacht Clubs?

The cheapest yacht clubs charge just under $1,000 per year for membership. While this does give you access to different types of experiences, you may be disappointed by the overall amenities.

Some yacht clubs are known for their extravagant country club styles that help you to embrace a particular lifestyle. They include Olympic-sized swimming pools, state-of-the-art tennis courts, and fine dining.

Everything has a beautiful waterfront view. It can feel like you are in the middle of an idyllic paradise without ever even having to leave the shore. If this is what you can gain from the most expensive yacht clubs, you should set your expectations much lower for the cheaper yacht clubs.

The cheaper yacht clubs lack the community aspect of these exclusive options. They feature dry slips and the occasional party, but not much more.

Some of them may have the feel of a county park with some picnic benches, outdoor grills, and a moderately sized swimming pool. Expect a much more casual atmosphere when you choose to go with a cheaper yacht club.

It is even possible that they are simply “paper yacht clubs” that do not even maintain a physical building of their own.

How Much Do the Most Expensive Yacht Clubs Cost to Join?

The most expensive yacht clubs can vary a great deal in price. Most of them will cost between $3,000 and $4,000 per year. However, you can certainly find more exclusive clubs that will cost above and beyond this.

Keep in mind that these more expensive clubs generally are not open to the public. They are offered by invitation only and you must have a member sponsor you to be considered for entrance.

When you are paying for a more expensive yacht club, you should make sure that you are really going to get your money’s worth. These expensive clubs promote a certain type of elegant lifestyle.

Make sure that you are planning to take advantage of all the amenities available from one of these clubs before you sink too much money into the membership fees. The social aspect of these expensive yacht clubs is extremely important.

If you plan to simply rent a boat from time to time, you might be able to go with a cheaper yacht club.

Related Article: How Long Do Sailboats Last?

What Is Generally Included in the Membership Fee for Yacht Clubs?

Have you been wondering why you should join a yacht club? Many potential members want to know what they can expect from their membership fees before they commit to a year-long contract. There are many advantages to signing up for a membership with a well-known yacht club.

Amenities and Activities

First and foremost, you get access to activities and cruises planned by board members. These might be various sailing activities, dinners, get-togethers, tennis matches, or other events that take up a lazy Sunday afternoon.

You also gain access to any amenities that surround the yacht club’s marina. For many programs, this means a fitness center, pool, and tennis courts. Several locations also offer fine dining, meeting rooms, and more.

It is like a private oasis where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the regular world. Time moves slowly when you’re enjoying the amenities here.

Many yacht clubs have programs that introduce children (and adults!) to sailing. Take classes to learn more about improving your technique, sailing safety, and other important aspects of life on the open water.

Access to the Fleet

The main reason why most people join yacht clubs is to be able to rent out boats instead of purchasing their own. Joining a yacht club may give you access to an entire fleet of yachts that can be reserved for a day or weeks at a time. Some yacht clubs allow you to rent boats for up to ten days at a time.

Others do not allow you to rent out ships. They are primarily geared toward individuals who already own a yacht or will own a yacht in the future. Make sure you know the difference in advance.

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Are There any Additional Costs Besides the Membership Fees?

Unfortunately, the membership fees are not the only cost associated with joining a yacht club. Most of the clubs in the United States also have a one-time initial fee that tends to cost thousands of dollars. Many will range from $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the location and the exclusivity of the yacht club.

This one-time fee should be the only additional money you pay except for fuel. Most yacht clubs do not cover the cost of the fuel used in the ship during your rental if renting is an option. Be prepared for what this could cost you.

If you cause damage to the ship, you can also expect some out-of-pocket costs. Insurance should cover the damage, but you will likely be asked to cover the cost of the deductible.

Be sure to inquire about how much you may be on the hook for before you sign up for any particular yacht club. Accidents can happen, even to the most experienced sailors. Make sure that you can afford the mishap in advance.

Is a Yacht Club Membership Right for You?

Understanding what the real cost of a yacht club membership is can be the first step toward determining if this is right for you. Many people love the luxuries available through the more expensive yacht clubs, but they may not be able to afford it. Consider what is most important in a club to you before deciding to sign on the dotted line for an annual membership.

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    Published:March 13, 2024Updated:March 13, 2024. City of Cape Coral council members selected this option as the new design for the yacht club. CREDIT: Cape Coral. Cape Coral city council members ...

  15. New renderings for the Cape Coral Yacht Club promise a bright future

    The Cape Coral Yacht Club is being torn down piece by piece and is rising from the debris like a phoenix, an icon reborn. Following terrible damage from Hurricane Ian, community members expressed ...

  16. Here's what will be preserved in the new Cape Coral Yacht Club building

    The Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park is the city's premier gemstone, but Hurricane Ian, a Category 5 storm, devastated the area on Sept. 28, leading to the park's closure and community contention on what will happen with the property. ... Councilmember Tom Hayden, who is the only member against the demolition, said the recommendations made ...

  17. Yacht Club design chosen by Cape Coral City Council

    March 15, 2024. Photo Credit:Cape Coral government. Cape Coral City Council chose a coastal vernacular, Key West design for the future Cape Coral Yacht Club at a Committee of the Whole meeting March 13. The first design, which was chosen in a 5-3 vote, was described as "a very accommodating, welcoming feel" by John Bryant with Sweet ...

  18. Welcome to Cape Coral, FL

    Welcome to Cape Coral, FL. Home Departments Parks & Recreation Recreation Facilities Yacht Club Community Park Yacht Club Boat Ramp click here Marine Services Division Marine Services Photo Gallery Cape Coral Yacht Basin. Cape Coral Yacht Basin.

  19. Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach Reopens: Your Guide to Paradise

    Unfortunately, the beloved Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach had to temporarily close due to the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. It's a place known for its scenic beauty, waterfront dining and a variety of beach activities, and its absence has been deeply felt. On November 11 th, 2023, the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach reopened, allowing both locals and ...

  20. Support for new Cape Coral Yacht Club plan

    The entire Cape Coral Yacht Club needs work. On Wednesday, the city discussed a final plan to rejuvenate the destroyed club. More boat slips, more parking, and a bigger pool are planned. "It's ...

  21. How Much Do Yacht Club Memberships Cost? (5 Helpful Examples)

    To give you an idea of what you could expect to pay for your yacht club membership, here are some numbers gathered from across the country: Yacht Club. Annual Dues. Charleston Yacht Club. $900. Florida Yacht Club. $3,288. Atlanta Yacht Club. $900.

  22. Cape Coral Cape Harbour Marina

    CAPE CORAL - CAPE HARBOUR. Our Cape Coral location can be found within Cape Harbour Marina, which sits at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. The marina offers easy access to many popular boating destinations in the area. With miles upon miles of winding canals, it is Cape Coral's closest marina to the sparkling blue Gulf of Mexico ...

  23. Yacht Club Boat Ramp

    CONTACT US: Parks and Recreation P.O. Box 150027 Cape Coral, FL 33915. Phone: 239-573-3128 Fax: 239-573-3129 [email protected]