pistakee bay yacht club

After the fire: St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club focused on revitalizing this coming summer

P ANAMA CITY — In November, the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club building on Bunkers Cove Road was destroyed in a fire. Ever since then, questions have circulated around the community: How did the fire start? Would the Yacht Club rebuild?

The Yacht Club was up and operational for business within weeks of the fire. The Yacht Club is still taking in new members, as well. Members have joined the club even after the fire.

”The Yacht Club is in better shape than people would have imagined,” said Michael Wynn, 2024 commodore. “The staff members that we have are family to us. We believe and give to them and they give back to us.”

Wynn explained that one club member had this to say after the fire: “The clubhouse was just a building; the Yacht Club is about the people.”

The Yacht Club has discussed expanding its sailing center to provide greater resources for the community. The club expects the plans and renderings for the new club facility will be unveiled this summer.

Some of the staff members have left the club since the incident and others have stayed.

“Our staff is smaller now since the fire,” said Wynn. “We have less services being offered at the moment, but many staffers who left the club for other jobs have offered to come back once the club becomes (fully) operational again.”

The cause of the fire is still unknown. There have been different ideas and theories on how the fire started, but there has not been a definitive answer. But there was no foul play, Wynn emphasized.

”Right now, we don’t have a final number on what it’s going to cost to rebuild,” said Wynn. “We have architects and plans on rebuilding. We have members of the community who are donating services to help cut the cost (of our rebuild).”

More information about the club will be released closer to the clubhouse reopening. Wynn said the rebuild will both honor the club's history and heritage and also add modern touches.

Previous coverage: More details released as Panama City monitors St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club fire site

Wynn said the club's experience dealing with insurance after the fire has been good and the matter soon will be resolved. The experience was much better than the ones many people had after Hurricane Michael, he noted.

Wynn also is humbled and gratified by the outpouring of support and dedication from his fellow club leaders and all club members. He knew his one-year term as commodore, which began in January, would be full of challenges. But the club has rallied because the tradition and legacy mean so much.

"People care so deeply," he said.

News Herald Editor Jim Ross contributed to this report

[email protected]

This article originally appeared on The News Herald: After the fire: St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club focused on revitalizing this coming summer

The St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club is intent on rebuilding after the devastating fire.

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    The Yacht Club is still taking in new members, as well. Members have joined the club even after the fire. "The Yacht Club is in better shape than people would have imagined," said Michael Wynn ...

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