By Sharon Aron Baron
Colony West Golf Club’s $11 million renovations were unveiled to the public on May 28.
The five-year project for the golf club located at 6850 NW 88th Ave features a newly constructed 11,000 square-foot clubhouse with bold, modern architecture, a restaurant, banquet hall, and pro shop.
Construction for the adjacent 107 room Fairfield Inn & Suites is still underway.
In 2018, Former Mayor Harry Dressler wanted to promote Tamarac as a destination and believed that improvements to Colony West, and a hotel, would drive visitors to the city.
In 1971 Behring Properties opened Colony West as a public course. The clubhouse, later constructed in 1981, began having financial problems. In 1986, Ed and Genevieve Rack saved it from bankruptcy.
The Rack family ran it for many years until it was purchased in a short sale by the City of Tamarac in 2011 for $3 million. It was returned to the Rack’s to run; however, in 2013, unable to make the lease payments, the family closed all operations.
The city’s goal was to save the club and continue providing green space to the communities backing the courses. They found a new management company, upgraded the golf courses, made slight improvements to the clubhouse, and installed a $98,000 exterior fence around the perimeter.
But the improvements were only a band-aid on a building with serious problems.
When the city purchased the property, the clubhouse at Colony West was in disrepair. Not only was it moldy from years of the roof and air-conditioning leaks, but it also smelled of sewage from collapsed plumbing.
The building also had asbestos insulation, substandard air-conditioning systems, and windows and doors that were not hurricane-rated. The building also suffered from multiple electrical issues, not to mention a rat infestation.
City Manager Michael Cernech said the interior layout was no longer functional for events, the restaurant and bar were not to the city’s facilities standards, and the catering and event space was no longer competitive.
He said rather than renovate the building to bring it up to current building codes; the city commission decided the money was better spent on a new building.
Originally budgeted for $7.4 million, in 2018, a special commission meeting was called to increase the construction budget to $11.1 million.
Now managed by Indigo Golf Partners, Colony West still offers 36 holes of golf between its Championship and Glades courses. All 18 greens on the Championship Course, the practice green, and the greenside bunkers were renovated in 2018, and in 2019, a new cart barn was built where the old one was removed to make room for the clubhouse.
The new clubhouse features a 3,200-square-foot banquet hall with panoramic views of the greens that can accommodate up to 250 people with indoor and outdoor seating. A new, full-service, 1,800 square foot restaurant and bar named The View at Colony West will offer patio seating for up to 48 guests.
In addition, the entrance to the property has been redesigned and landscaped. There is a large public art sculpture, Nodum by Michael Szabo, in front of the clubhouse. The art inside the clubhouse includes Flow by Tana Dvorakova, a chandelier hanging in the lobby, and Word, a wall sculpture by Jim Bowman, located outside of the banquet hall.
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