Biloxi yacht club attracting attention

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It has the looks of an elegant southern mansion. The new Biloxi Yacht Club is quickly taking shape near the waterfront in East Biloxi. Members of the historic club are getting excited about grand opening plans.

The Biloxi Yacht Club's temporary trailer will be replaced by an imposing three story, storm worthy structure.

"And we're getting lots of compliments from people driving by of how nice it looks," said architect Walter "Buzzy" Bolton.

His design was influenced by an old favorite.

"The inspiration is based pretty much on the old building we had over the water that Camille took away. Everybody loved that building and thought by doing this, this is kind of a modern concept of that building," Bolton said.

"(It's) going to have a place for a TV and a pool table for our juniors," said Commodore Robert Smith, as he showed visitors around the spacious headquarters.

It includes 12,400 square feet of heated and cooled space and features a full size swimming pool.

"The pool will kind of slope down and have a couple of racing lanes in the back so people can swim laps," says Smith.

The signature space of the impressive building may well be its upper level porches.

"We have a lot of members that just want to put rocking chairs out here. Kind of an old time feel," Smith said.

An old time feel with a million dollar view.

"Watch the sunset and boat races," says the commodore, as he looked out over a sun drenched Mississippi Sound.

The club will include a place for informal relaxing or elegant entertaining.

"Past commodores are going to have a table with their names engraved on it," said Smith.

Club members have been invited for 'walk arounds' on Sunday afternoons. So far, it's a big thumbs up.

"This past weekend, everybody that came in was just amazed. They see it from the ground. But they get up here, and they can't wait," he said.

The grand opening is set for March.

"I don't think we could do any better," said the commodore.

Commodore Robert Smith says the Biloxi Yacht Club has more than 400 members. He says future plans call for building a new marina, directly across from the new club headquarters.