Bocaire CC’s $10.5 million renovation of its pool, clubhouse and other amenities, and Woodfield CC’s upcoming $23.75 million improvement project were featured as examples of “the future for country club communities.”
Two clubs in Boca Raton, Fla. are touting completed changes, and plans, to make their clubs as family-friendly as possible and show that residential golf and country clubs “aren’t for the retired set any more,” The Palm Beach Post reported.
With the demographic of “older retirees with plenty of time for golf or tennis” that typically made up their membership now fading, the Post noted, south Florida clubs have “scrambled to rebrand their amenities to appeal to younger home buyers with families.”
“The move seems to be working and now is considered the future for country club communities,” the Post said.
The Post’s report then featured the examples of Bocaire Country Club, which announced two years ago that it was undergoing a $10.5 million renovation of its pool, clubhouse and other amenities, and Woodfield Country Club, which recently announced that it will spend $23.75 million on a renovation beginning in 2015.
But even before the changes were completed at Bocaire, anticipation about the coming upgrades were enough to boost sales in the community, Russell Carlson, the club’s Chief Executive Officer, told the Post.
Where previously Bocaire had six children in its 237-home community, it now has 31, the Post reported. Additionally, home sales shot up to 54 during the past two years, compared to four homes in the year before the announcement about the upgrades was made.
Buyers coming into the community are younger, with a median age of 54, down from 77 years old, the Post reported.
Much of the momentum was provided by the club’s new resort-style pool and interior renovations that were made to its clubhouse, the Post reported.
“The resort-style infrastructure always feels like you’re on vacation, with more people milling around the club all day,” Carlson told the Post. “You feel like you’ve gone over to the islands and had a weekend.”
The club’s aquatic center now has lap and leisure pools, plus a spa. Other improvements include a new “Tot Lot” and a family recreation area.
Dave DeMay, Vice President of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based KAST Construction, which worked on the Bocaire project, told the Post that his firm has been busy doing a number of country club renovations and that in all cases, “Family, fun and fitness are the new buzzwords.”
“It’s hard for people to get away for golf, but they can go to a fitness center. The whole dynamic of [country clubs] has changed,” DeMay said. “As soon as [Bocaire’s] renderings went up, realtors began selling houses.”
Woodfield CC is hoping for a similar boost from its project, even though it is already considered more of a family-oriented development, with plenty of children living in the 1,300-home community, Eben Molloy, CCM, General Manager, told the Post.
But maintaining Woodfield’s standing takes constant improvement, he added, and members agreed a major renovation was necessary.
“We have a responsibility to the people who live here to remain an attractive place to be and also make sure we are positioned for the future,” Molloy said.
The improvement plans involve creating new and expanded card rooms, redesigning the interior of the main clubhouse and dining areas, and overhauling the fitness, aquatics and child care areas.
A major addition will be a new building and play area for the exclusive use of children. The new Kids Korner building will feature a child care area for younger kids, as well as a teen area with pool tables, video games and more.
Woodfield also plans to add a lap pool and a new dining venue.
Boca Raton’s Polo Club also recently underwent a major renovation to create a 50,000-sq. ft. family resort complex, including a resort-style pool and children’s activity center, the Post noted.