With structures like the Marco Island Marriott Resort, the Dela Park condominium and numerous homes under his belt, veteran architect Herb Savage’s touch still defines much of Marco Island.
Now, he’s updating that touch, at least when it comes to the big changes in store for the Cedar Bay Yacht Club.
The now-private club, with on-site boat storage for members on Elkcam Circle, is undergoing a three-phase rebuilding and renovation project that will include barn structural improvements, the addition of another barn and — pertinent to Savage — the gutting of the original building he designed more than 50 years ago.
That building will eventually be the club’s centerpiece — a members’ clubhouse with private lounge, locker room and a restaurant.
“It’s going to be a neat little place to sit and have dinner on the deck,” Savage said. “It’s going to be a way of life for members.”
He said all going well, the existing building should be refurbished by about this time next year.
In the meantime, Judith Svetaka — who handles sales and marketing for the club — said there will be plenty of existing facilities spruce-ups.
“We’ve already repainted the storage barn in navy and white colors, we’ve done over the parking lot, and have freshened up the current building (which houses rental, service and administrative personnel),” Svetaka said.
She added that these efforts are geared to pamper people who’ve already taken memberships at an opening initiation fee of $79,000. Services already in place include valet car-to-boat service, discounts on repairs, and a deli counter.
The current fee, she said, might go up come the new year, so early takers score. Also, she explained, the trend has been for people with bigger boats to show interest, consequently reducing available space.
Phase two, including Savage’s contribution, will also involve relocating the service department, ship’s store and administrative offices to an area within the barn.
Svetaka said one pleasing example of Savage’s intuitive design skills is the introduction of porthole-like windows to accentuate the maritime theme.
The yacht club, formerly Cedar Bay Marina, changed hands in September of last year and was converted to a private club. The concept, like a county club, is full-service. Members simply make an advance call. Their boat is removed from its storage place, cleaned, inspected and placed in the water.
Staffers load boaters’ gear along with ice, food and drinks which can be ordered ahead of time. Upon boaters’ return, their crafts’ engines are flushed, the vessels washed and then placed back in the storage facility.
In an interview earlier this year, General Manager Scott Hopkins said it’s no secret that the supply of boat storage in Collier County is dwindling, hence the club’s big promotional push at the moment.
In the past few years the county has seen Wiggins Pass Marina, Factory Bay Marina, Turner’s Marina, and Boat Haven Marina disappear; and that is just naming a few, he said.
There are several reasons for this trend.
“Permitting for new marinas has become more restrictive, thus limiting the ability to build additional facilities. In the unlikely scenario that a marina is permitted, the county cannot provide the amount of waterfront property necessary to build additional marinas,” Hopkins said.
Furthermore, “Mom and Pop” marina operations are being acquired by developers as they continue to experience increased tax and insurance expenses, he added. As a result of the combined effect of these conditions, equity memberships have seen major increases in popularity.
For more information call 394-9333 or visit www.cedarbayyachtclub.com.