Update: The Shores at Atlantic Beach officially opened for business on July 14. Original story follows.
Less than a year after Hurricane Irene left the cabanas and facilities at the Westbury and Westbury III beach clubs in Atlantic Beach , its new owners will reopen one of the clubs on July 4.
“Our two clubs were hit the hardest out of all the clubs along the line,” said Brian Bezalel, whose family, along with Steven Horn, Philip Romm and Sunny Atlantic Beach Club owner Howard Taub purchased the two clubs and renamed them The Shores at Atlantic Beach.
The smaller of the two clubs, which was formerly the Westbury III, will reopen on July 4 with 13 of its 26 cabanas available to rent for the season. Bezalel said the hope is to reopen the rest of the cabanas later in the summer, with a discount to anyone interested in renting. The clubs’ members will be able to use Sunny Atlantic’s amenities for this season.
The larger club, with 250 units and all the amenities, will see repairs throughout the year, and the owners are shooting to reopen it in 2013.
“We’ve had many people here who expressed a sincere interest in coming back,” Horn said of the smaller club. “We are different from all the others in that we’re just beachfront. We don’t have the camp environment here. If you want a place that’s relaxed and quiet, this is perfect.”
The 21-year-old Bezalel said that he hopes technology will help set the two clubs apart from a very competitive beach club scene. The clubs will accept credit card payments through Square, a device that allows iPhones to swipe cards. Wifi will also be included.
“This will be a calm, cool, quiet place,” he said. “A lot of clubs nickel and dime you. You don’t have to worry about that here.”
Atlantic Beach Mayor Stephen Mahler told the Nassau Herald that he was “happy” about the purchase of the clubs, since they won’t stay vacant.
And in case another hurricane comes along? Horn said the work being done at the clubs would prepare them so they’re not “decimated.”
“We’re doing it for a long-time investment, not to maximize profits now,” he said. “We’re trying to do it right.”