Golf News for Monday, June 9, 2014 | Courses

Florida's Bonita Bay Club activates membership waiting list

Bonita Bay Club has reached its membership limit and activated a waiting list for potential members.

"This is an exciting milestone for the club and a solid indication that the board of directors has made good decisions and done all the right things," said Club General Manager and COO Daniel Miles. "The success of membership recruitment efforts is beyond anyone's expectations."

Members took ownership of Bonita Bay Club in 2010 and launched a series of initiatives to improve service and upgrade club facilities. The investment is paying off, according to Miles, who reports the number of new members is four times higher than budgeted. Miles also reports a growing diversity in the membership, with stronger interest in wellness and fitness, and an increase in younger members.

In the year following turnover, 48 new members joined the club, and the next year, 41. In 2012-13, the club had 96 people join, and during the past year, 135 new members joined Bonita Bay Club.

The club has streamlined membership categories, offering only three: a golf membership; a tennis membership; and a Bonita Bay Club Naples membership at the nearby two-course Naples site with play on the three courses within the Bonita Bay community from May through October. Club golf memberships are open to those who live outside Bonita Bay.

The club, which boasts the largest membership of the 140 clubs in Lee and Collier counties, is in the midst of a multiyear capital improvements initiative to make it the most attractive and well-rounded club in Southwest Florida. During 2013, the clubhouse was closed for eight months for an $11.5 million renovation that included a new look, a more functional layout and fresh amenities, including a 30,000-square-foot golf center that opened in January. Now on the drawing boards is the makeover of the 60,000-square-foot medical office building that adjoins the Creekside golf course. The club bought the building this year with plans to expand and relocate its fitness center, salon and spa and add long-term health and wellness amenities.

The improvements are paying off in accolades as well as with new members. During the past year, BoardRoom magazine awarded Bonita Bay Club with the Distinguished Emerald Club of the World designation; 45 golf and country clubs in the U.S. earned the recognition. The magazine, the official publication for the Association of Private Club Directors, also named Cynthia White of Bonita Bay Club as Distinguished Club President of the Year 2013, the top honor presented in the worldwide award program. The Naples Alliance for Children designated the club one of its 25 Family Friendly Businesses for 2014; the American Heart Association named it a Gold Fit Friendly Worksite; and Prevo Health Solutions recognized it as an America's Healthiest Club Award winner.

Bonita Bay Club, located between Naples and Fort Myers, boasts the widest range of amenities of any club in Southwest Florida. Three Arthur Hills-designed courses are located within the 2,400-acre Bonita Bay community; two Tom Fazio courses, Cypress and Sabal at nearby Bonita Bay Club Naples, provide a pure golf experience with no residential development on 1,035 acres of cypress wetlands and pine flats. The club's tennis and swim center has 18 Har-Tru courts, a fitness center and one of the region's most active tennis programs, directed by a United States Professional Tennis Association Master Professional.

To learn more, visit www.BonitaBayClub.net, or contact the membership office at 239-949-5061 or membership@bonitabayclub.net.