Ocean Springs Yacht Club nears completion

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Members of the Ocean Springs Yacht Club are getting excited about the grand opening of their new facility.

The new clubhouse is much larger and nicer than the one destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. But aside from the nice looking structure, the most impressive feature may be the beautiful views from the yacht club's deck.

"We're the first thing people see when they come across the bridge. And our design that Dennis Cowart did kind of reflects the atmosphere of Ocean Springs," said Commodore Barney Banks, "And people see that when they come across the top of that bridge."

The new yacht club with the bright blue roof is three times the size of the old facility.

"This is our south deck," said Commodore Barney Banks, as he gave us a tour of the clubhouse under construction.

A spacious dining room seats 80 with an adjoining bar that can accommodate nearly 50 more people.

"That was one of our pre-requisites. Lots of light. Lots of windows," says Banks.

Those windows and the large wooden deck provide some spectacular views.

"We designed our building and located the building around the view," he explained.

Club members were initially apprehensive about the new bridge; worrying it might spoil the view.

"But as it turns out, the bridge is almost a jewel of the Gulf Coast. At night when the lights are on the bridge, it's just phenomenal what view we have with the lights and reflection on the water," said Banks.

"We have a deck for viewing, a pier for fishing and a swimming pool ready for swimming."

The yacht club is set to open in early February.

"As you can see, we're finishing up the painting right now," said the commodore, as he proudly led a tour inside, "Big kitchen. Very nice kitchen. We have quite a bit of money invested in this and we're again looking forward to enjoying many a good meal out of this kitchen."

Banks is confident the new facility with its million dollar views will help attract new members.

"It's coming to fruition and I'm quite excited and our members are equally excited," he said.

The Ocean Springs Yacht Club was founded in 1969 and currently has about 250 members. The first big event in the new clubhouse will be the annual "commodore's ball" on February 28th.