We did a burgee exchange with the Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast in Australia. Spent lots of time with General manager and treasurer, learned a lot and got some great new ideas. It’s the top club here and has 3500 members, and the manager has a staff of 100. Founded in 1946, it later became an equity club and owns three locations, and now owns the marina and boatyard too. It was a wonderful experience and beautiful facilities. Beach and playground for kids, banquet rooms which make most of the money (weddings, etc), and a huge party barge with portable bars good for 60 people, which is booked constantly. They will do a reciprocal agreement with us.
Amazingly, they are open to the public at all times (public pays full rates for F&B) starting at 8 AM every day. On a typical Sunday they serve 350 meals, and about a third are to members. Social members dues are $250/year, and Gold members are $500/year! Non-members may visit 3 times per year as a guest, then must be a member. General Manager is a trained hospitality manager, not a boater. Feels similar to San Francisco Yacht Club, and very friendly to visitors. Has a very nice gift shop that is well trafficed.
Lots of outdoor space (climate very similar to RWC, 300 sunny days per year), mostly with canopies to block the sun. Half the dining is outside and they have events every day. They gave me the schedule of membership types and entitlements to share. I was surprised to see two pool tables: they said its essential for a quality club!
See you soon,
Mark and Maureen
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