Ocean Reef Club Reaches Milestone: 20th Anniversary as a Member-Owned Club

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Ocean Reef Club marks a notable milestone in 2013: two decades as a self-governed, member-owned club.

During this growth period, Ocean Reef has evolved into one of the largest and most legendary private clubs in the country, offering an unparalleled trifecta of a runway, marina, and golf courses—while also retaining its focus on the family lifestyle.

The Club has also fiscally prospered during this period of member ownership, maintaining a debt-free status even throughout the recession.

With 1,700 properties—from estates and villas to condos, smaller homes and marina dockage—The Reef is situated on 2,500 secluded acres on the northernmost tip of Key Largo in the Florida Keys. Surrounded on three sides by water, it has the distinction of proximity to the only living reef in the continental U.S. while being less than an hour from Miami International Airport.

“To be ‘club owned’ is an important distinction, as it allows our Board of Directors and members to make independent decisions on all aspects of club living, to create the unique way of life found only at Ocean Reef Club,” says Paul M.G. Astbury, who has served as president since 2000.

Originally developed in 1945 with an inn and “yachtels” (cottages for yachtsman), The Reef was enhanced with a seawater swimming lagoon and beach recreation area called Buccaneer Island and other improvements. During 1992, Hurricane Andrew caused considerable damage at Ocean Reef—but the community rallied and worked out an arrangement for a buyout from the previous owners. The member-owned model took effect in 1993 and the Club has enjoyed unprecedented growth since.

During the past two decades of member ownership, Ocean Reef Club, its Foundation and Clubs within the Club have undertaken and completed a number of ambitious projects, including:

  •     A Cultural Center with a state of the art theater, library, and museum;
  •     The Academy, a private, fully-accredited school for Pre-K – 8th grade;
  •     The Town Hall, a 12,000-square-foot meeting facility; and
  •     An expanded Members Fitness Center and Spa.

“With a large member talent pool of successful executives and entrepreneurs, Ocean Reef Club has become a case study in ‘enlightened’ self-rule,” explains Mr. Astbury. “The Club has thrived—as reflected in increased property values and avid community participation.”

There also are a series of annual traditions that create lifelong memories—including The Reef Cup Sailfish Tournament, Lobstermania, Festival on the Green, and a Vintage Weekend showcasing classic automobiles, yachts, and aircraft.

“The involvement of Ocean Reef Club homeowners for 20 years has meant a healthy blend of careful growth and carefree recreation—and we look forward to many more decades and generations of our unique way of life,” Mr. Astbury concludes.

About Ocean Reef Club:
Nestled in 2,500 secluded, tropical acres on the northernmost tip of Key Largo in the Florida Keys, Ocean Reef Club is considered one of the country’s most comprehensive and exclusive communities. With 1,700 waterfront estates, private homes, condominiums and boat slips, Ocean Reef Club also features an oceanfront inn, full-service spa and salon, and an array of dining and shopping options. Offerings include a 175-slip marina for boating, fishing and diving; two 18-hole championship golf courses; a private runway; world-class tennis, and a host of cultural and children’s activities, along with a school and medical center.

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Molly Caroll
Ocean Reef Club
305-367-5882
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