Highlights of the project include conversion of the former golf shop into a new 4,700-sq. ft., open-air bar and casual grill called the 55th Hole, and a second-level outdoor seating area with a 14-foot log fire pit that now ranks as Florida’s largest. A new golf shop is now part of a 30,000-sq. ft. Golf Super Center that includes a coffee bar.
Bonita Bay Club, Bonita Springs, Fla., has announced that its “Vision 2013” renovation project has been completed. Planned for two years, the project involved closing the club’s nearly 30-year old clubhouse for eight months and spending $11.5 million to deliver a new look, more functional layout and fresh amenities that can all help attract new members to the Naples-area property.
The most striking change from the project, the club says, was the conversion of the former golf shop into a 4,700-sq.-ft. open-air bar and casual grill called the 55th Hole (Bonita Bay Club has five 18-hole courses). The new venue has glass walls that “slide away to let the outdoors in,” the club says, and glass railings on the surrounding wraparound terrace allow unobstructed and colorful views of the practice range, sky and surrounding landscape of mature trees and colorful landscape.
Stairs from the 55th Hole lead to an inviting outdoor seating area where a 14-foot log fire pit – the largest in Florida – is the focal point, providing an inviting venue to watch breathtaking sunsets.
The colors of those sunsets provided inspiration for the 55th Hole and the fire pit patio, says Migena Gace, ASID, who designed the interiors as part of the architectural team from Peacock and Lewis Architects of North Palm Beach, Fla.
“Soft oranges and the dark blue of the sky just as the sun drops behind the horizon guided our color choices,” says Gace. “Light fluctuations throughout the day and into the evening, and the play of colors and fabrics, add vibrancy and visual interest.”
The new 55th Hole lounge has already proved to be members’ most popular gathering spot, the club reports. A 127-inch media wall with 18 LED panels can work as one screen, or four, with pictures that are “sharper than high-definition,” the club says. Eight additional 60-inch television screens are incorporated into a square, ceiling-mounted wooden structure suspended above the center bar.
Bonita Bay Club’s golf shop was relocated to a new 30,000-sq.-ft. Golf Super Center that is linked to the clubhouse by an expansive golf cart staging area, graced with pavers, wooden arbors and complementary landscaping. Rocking chairs overlook the driving range from the new building’s terrace; underground storage accommodates 240 carts; 2,900 golf bags are organized inside; and the views from the pro shop rival those of the 55th Hole, the club says.
The new golf shop also features expanded inventory, a coffee bar, two televisions and outdoor views through two walls of glass.
The clubhouse renovation impacted every aspect of the member experience, the club says, from large (visual transitions were carefully planned from room to room) to small (under-counter technology now keeps salads cold on the buffet table without requiring vats of ice).
“The country club business has changed with a new generation of members who appreciate a more casual, relaxed look,” says Gace. “We aimed for a fresh look that is timeless and classic with a modern twist [and] that has broad appeal for members old and new.”
The balanced color scheme introduced through the project uses “time-tested berry reds, warm taupes and punches of orange,” Gace says, which she compares to “adding a dash of lemon juice to a dish just before serving.” Pieces of abstract artwork add further splashes of color throughout the clubhouse.
“They create movement and a fresh, new look, and have been well- received by club members,” Gace says about the artwork.
The renovation also introducted several changes to make clubhouse space more functional and visually appealing. Custom-made banquettes along the wall in the room that adjoins the new lounge look like built-in furniture but are mounted on castors, so they can be moved easily to make room for a dance floor.
Steam tables were replaced with a sleek, serpentine stone buffet that was moved to allow the addition of comfortable banquettes along the casual dining room walls. The buffet, equipped with concealed heating and cooling elements, fronts an open production kitchen that helps diners feel they’re part of the action. A distinctive new open-hearth pizza oven is covered with hand-cut red and orange tiles that mimic the flames within.
Carpet colors remain consistent from room to room, but the pattern size changes to match the scale of the space. Upholstery adds interest with texture, rather than color that could compete with the striking carpet design.
The octagonal, glass-walled ballroom, one of the largest spaces in the clubhouse, now has a more elegant look that is more inviting to Bonita Bay members, the club says. The white ceiling, which had lent an island feel, has been coated with a warm metallic taupe that reflects and changes with the light. The brightly patterned carpet, newly upholstered chairs and fresh artwork create a sophisticated backdrop for celebratory gatherings and special events.
Behind the scenes, the kitchen was totally reconfigured, with better storage and an improved loading dock to increase efficiency and maximize space.
Improvements from the project extended beyond the Bonita Bay clubhouse. The first of a three-phase golf course irrigation renovation has introduced new technology for more efficient use of water and electricity. The asphalt cart paths on the Arthur Hills-designed Marsh golf course were replaced and upgraded with a combination of concrete and crushed coquina shells, to complete the cart path renovation on all three courses within Bonita Bay and eliminate asphalt, except in parking areas.
“Vision 2013” is part of a multiyear capital-improvements initiative at Bonita Bay Club, which transitioned to member ownership in the spring of 2010. “No club in southwest Florida offers a wider variety of recreational and social opportunities,” says Dan Miles, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer. “The club has 90 holes of golf, 18 Har-Tru tennis courts, a resort-style swim facility, a 10,000-sq. ft., state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, and two clubhouses, all complemented by a great tradition of member camaraderie and environmental stewardship.”
Bonita Bay Club has three Arthur Hills-designed golf courses within the 2,400-acre Bonita Bay community and two courses by Tom Fazio at nearby Bonita Bay Club Naples. The club’s tennis and swim center has one of the most active tennis programs in southwest Florida, directed by a United States Professional Tennis Association Master Professional. A new stadium court and fitness center are planned for 2015.