The main dining room and pub of the 130-year-old White Bear Yacht Club, sitting at White Bear Lake, Minnesota, United States, have been completely renovated. The award-winning architecture, planning and interior design firm based in Minneapolis, James Dayton Design was chosen for the $2.4million project.
Speaking at Minnesota, the general manager and golf director, Chris Nathlich, who noted that members of the club wanted a warmer and more welcoming atmosphere, added that the club would create a space where members are comfortable, classy and more casual clubhouse.
Early last year, the voting members (those that hold a proprietary membership) agreed to pay an assessment for the redesign, which also includes significant improvements to the Par 72 golf course.
Founded in 1889, sailing was the main activity at White Bear Yacht Club until early 1900s, when golf was added to the club entertainment in 1912 with nine holes designed by Scottish architect, William Watson. Golf was in its infancy in this country at the turn of the century, but gaining in popularity at the yacht club, which added a second nine holes in 1915 by well-known course architect Donald Ross.
Ranked among the top 100 classic courses in the country, the yacht club course has changed over the years with deleterious effect. Too many trees were creating too much shade and drainage issues made it tough to keep the turf manicured.
According to Nathlich, the decision was made to allocate $750,000 to restore the course to its original state as part of the Sunlight Expansion Project.
He explained that the club is working with consultant Jim Urbina to develop the golf course to its ‘former glory’.
The general manager of the club said, “Every change that is made has its blessing. Drainage has been improved on 12 of the 18 greens and about 450 trees removed to increase air movement and sunlight for turf quality”.
The sport is extremely popular among the Dellwood club’s 260 or so members, with most retaining the golf package.
Initiation fees for the club’s new members range from $20,000 for the proprietary membership (40 years and above), $10,000 for associate (39 below) and $8,000 for the lakeside membership. Monthly dues range from $960 to $374.
The Club’s general manager, Nathlich believes whichever package members choose, the lake is part of the appeal. He added that the yacht club offers a change of pace from urban living, saying it has that feel of an escape to the lake, a weekend getaway for families who don’t have a cabin up north.
He submitted that the renovations are in keeping with the club’s mission of provision for an exceptional social, dining and recreational experience at its distinctive setting on the shores of White Bear Lake.