California Yacht Club Says New Clubhouse Will Take Several Years to Build, Activities Continue After Devastating Fire

A Temporary Pavilion Will Soon Serve in the Interim

By Zach Armstrong

The California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey lost nearly everything in December. One night, its two-story clubhouse was consumed by a seaside fire that incinerated an impressive collection of historical artifacts, boating trophies and other memorabilia. But the nautical community’s resilience proved itself. Various events and programs, including pickleball and a recent Super Bowl watch party, have continued on the club’s six-acre property while its members’ yachts still sit in the adjacent docks. 

By June, Senior Vice President John Myers says the club hopes to give members a closer sense of normalcy with an elevated pavilion-style facility featuring a full-bar, restaurant, bathrooms and event space. This structure will serve in the interim while the club works out development plans for a new official clubhouse. Nothing short of a cumbersome process is anticipated. Once insurance provides an estimate on losses, the club can determine a design strategy while working with L.A. County and the California Coastal Commission for approvals.

An approximate timeline is hard to determine, said Myers, but will likely take several years.

The old clubhouse held a decades’ worth display of cherished relics that showed the club’s rich history. Notable items that perished in the December fire include the King of Spain Trophy which was acquired from King Alfonso XIII in 1929 and photographs of past club leaders. An internal team is salvaging items that survived the blaze, such as the California Cup, which will likely appear in the new HQ. 

Fellow yacht clubs have shown strong comradery, said Myers. Many of them offered support to CYC after the winter fire; possibly leading to donations of memorabilia once official development plans for a new clubhouse are in motion. Having a membership of international travelers also proved to be a useful perk. As they travel to other clubs, they can use their connections to ask for gifts. Myers also said the club is open to starting “new traditions.”

While CYC lost some of its members, Myers says its community largely hasn’t gone anywhere and remains excited for future events. An upcoming Easter brunch, women’s paddle tennis and yoga are just some of what CYC members will be enjoying. Sailboat racing has also reconvened with the Sunset Series starting April 17 and running through Sept. 4.

in Hard, News
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