Business as Unusual – Coral Ridge Yacht Club, Answers coordinated by Madison Bracken, director of membership

SFBW’s sister publication Lifestyle reached out to businesspeople all over South Florida—in categories ranging from retail and real estate to medical and automotive—and asked three questions: How did COVID-19 and the shutdown impact your business; how did you position your business in the interim; how will experiencing this unprecedented pandemic change the way you conduct business moving forward. Here are their answers.

Business backstory: The venerable and private Fort Lauderdale-based yacht club, opened in 1947, continues to bridge the worlds of throwback elegance and modern conveniences. The marina features 65 dock slips overlooking Hugh Taylor Birch State Park; the facilities, slated to undergo renovations, include world-class dining and special event capabilities.

The impact: “The Coral Ridge Yacht Club is unique by comparison to other businesses in the hospitality Industry. Our members value the club’s long-standing traditions and embrace each other as family. The pandemic actually has brought our CRYC community closer together and has demonstrated how both members and staff value one another during this time of crisis. Due to the temporary closure of the club’s fine dining facilities, many of our dining and kitchen staff were furloughed. However, our management team quickly developed a dining takeout program, which has had overwhelming support and success. Chef Rich Goldberg and his culinary team have worked diligently to ensure that the strictest standards have been met—and that the best ingredients have gone into every dish prepared. Our board of governors and management team have utilized their limited staff in rotating positions, as needed, and have provided emergency care packages to those who have been furloughed.”

In the interim: “With facility improvements happening in the near future, the club is looking forward to welcoming new members and embracing these changes.”

The future: “Similar to the CRYC’s hurricane plan, the key executives and management staff are preparing a disaster plan which will be updated as more facts become known about COVID-19. This pandemic has been an educational experience for our industry and has refined the way the club operates its dining and other facilities.”

Kevin Kaminski
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