TROON PRIVE - Island West Bay Beach Club

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Troon Privé – Beach Club Beauty

June 17, 2024 | Read Time: 5 minutes

The Island at West Bay Club is delighted to share this recent article featuring West Bay Club’s new Beach Club. The article was written by Scott Kauffman in Troon Privé, a publication by Troon, the country’s #1 golf and club-related hospitality management company.

By Scott Kauffman
Troon Privé

In Southwest Florida, West Bay keeps racking up the wins.

How long would you wait for the perfect beachfront sunset? For residents of West Bay Club in Southwest Florida, the answer is more than two years. But just like any stunning sunset that lights up the magical Gulf of Mexico skies, it was well worth the wait and the manifestation of West Bay residents’ “someday.”

At least that’s one way to describe the community’s new Beach Club facility that opened in March 2024 about 20 minutes from the private club’s main enclave in Estero, Florida. Indeed, situated on Little Hickory Island between Fort Myers and Naples, this rare full-service private Beach Club was completely rebuilt and upgraded – resulting in a remarkable new oceanfront dining venue, expanded outdoor dining deck and much-needed additional parking space. This reimagined oceanfront amenity represents the third and final phase of more than $20 million worth of new community amenities and newly renovated facilities rolled out to the residents in recent years.

But West Bay Club’s Old Key West-style Beach Club destination was by far the most anticipated upgrade of them all. “Everyone loves the beach experience whether you’re a sunbather or you just enjoy the sunsets and nice dinner overlooking the Gulf and beachfront,” says longtime resident and community board member Jack Klues, who also chairs the club’s communications committee and serves on the beach club construction committee. “Our members missed it … it’s been a little over two years since construction began, or at least since the tear down. It’s just part of the attraction to West Bay because there are not many full-service beach clubs on the Gulf attached to a private club community.”

Besides the pristine private setting, and a greatly enhanced full-service restaurant and bar, residents have more than double the overall space compared to the former facility. For instance, the new building encompasses 4,245 square feet, including 1,145 square feet of indoor dining and 1,910 square feet of outdoor dining/deck space, or double the community mingling pleasure as Klues points out.

Island West Bay beach club

Meanwhile, the new Beach Club parking and valet service can now accommodate up to 60 vehicles onsite and an additional 30 available in the adjacent lot for those looking to sample the creative, Florida-inspired cuisine or cocktails or simply seeking a relaxed day on the beach. The club features changing rooms, towel service, and direct beach access for lounging, dining, and swimming.

Klues and his wife, Beth, who first bought property at West Bay Club in 2001 and commuted from the Chicago area for much of the next 10 years, are especially looking forward to the greatly expanded nature of the Beach Club, allowing them to enjoy the popular destination with even more of their beloved longtime fellow members/friends.

“Besides being doubled in size, it’s also where it is now located,” says Klues, 69, who now spends the traditional “snowbird” season at West Bay after retiring as an advertising executive. “It used to be in a remote corner of our property and now it literally ayes out horizontally across the beachfront. So now we can enjoy food and a beverage and enjoy more of those magnificent views.”

Estero Florida Beach Club dining

And if there was any silver lining from 2022’s Hurricane Ian — West Bay Club wound up with approximately 30 to 40 percent more useable beach, Klues added. “It really looks phenomenal down there now,” Klues adds. “Plus, the staff we have there with a dedicated new Beach Club manager and the way everything is being set up with the umbrellas and all the tables and chairs … it’s just unbelievably professional.”

This Elite Level Distinguished Club of America is part of Troon’s Privé division and has been delivering at the highest levels ever since the 868-acre community was developed in 1998. Situated next to the Estero Bay and bordering 500 acres of nature preserve and wetlands, Klues said his family’s initial attraction to West Bay Club was its location and the peaceful low-density nature of the community, much like so many others that have discovered this esteemed development.

But for he and his wife, perhaps the single most valuable element to this Estero, Florida, community is the people. “When we look at our life here now, and what we didn’t really appreciate initially that comes with a smaller community, is the opportunity to make very close friends,” Klues says. “It’s a lovely group of people. You look forward to seeing them after being away for the summer and reconnecting with everyone.”

As for those perfect sunsets on the beach, well, they rank as high as ever on that West Bay checklist too.

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