An important part of John Bowman's vision of the Westchester Biltmore was the 62-acre Beach Club on Manursing Island in Rye, NY. On June 10th, 1922, the Beach Club grand opening gala opened to a 25-piece orchestra playing for a formal fashion show. At its inception, Beach Club facilities included an 800,000 gallon saltwater pool, 1,000 feet of beach on Long Island Sound, eight hundred bathhouses, tennis and handball courts, a seven-acre, man-made lagoon for swimming/canoeing and parking for seven hundred cars.
During the summer season today, the Beach Club is open seven days a week until 10 or 11 p.m. from early June through Labor Day. The Beach Club opens informally every season on Memorial Day and hosts and opening party in early June. The Fourth of July weekend is the busiest weekend of the year at the Beach Club, when over 2,000 Members and Guests are in attendance to socialize, dine and view our own fireworks show. Other popular Beach Club events include the Luau party in July and the Clambake in August, all featuring live entertainment.
Perhaps the most notable feature at the Beach Club is the Club’s aquatics area. This facility boasts a secured area and large wading pool for small children and their families. The Main Pool was the largest pool in Westchester County when built and is rumored to still hold the record today. At a capacity of roughly eight 900,000 gallons, the saltwater main pool receives its water directly from Long Island Sound. It also features diving and a 2-story slide.
The Club’s Swim and Diving Team is always very competitive in the Westchester County Swimming Conference and Westchester County Swimming Association. The Championship has been held at the Beach Club for the last sixteen years. With its eight competition lanes widthwise in mid pool, the Main Pool is the ideal venue for the competitive swimming. It’s considered a “fast” pool, its depth eliminating turbulence, and the saltwater enhancing buoyancy.
The Beach Club also operates a Day Camp for Member's children. The Day Camp is a very popular program, which fills to capacity quickly each year. The summer camp is conducted throughout the Beach Club. The camp (for children age three and older) includes painting, story time, tennis and swimming. Older children may participate in more activities including several field trips. The camp is a six-week program Monday-Friday. The three and four year age group is conducted from 9:45 am – 12:30 pm and the five through eleven age group is from 9:45 am – 2:30 pm.
Renovations to the food facilities and promenade are currently being considered and if approved, may potentially begin as early as fall 2011 and occur during the Club’s off season. Improvements to the Beach Club bathrooms and a new Ice Cream Shoppe were recently completed.
Beach Club Dining
The Beach Club features five separate food and beverage facilities. The Main Bar is centrally located and the hub of social activity at the Beach. Also in the center of the Club is the BBQ Pit. This highly popular operation features fresh grilled items including burgers, steaks and seafood. The Snack Bar is a quick service restaurant appealing to children and Members on the go. A fresh salad bar, deli and quick service grill are always available. The Ice Cream Shoppe, recently renovated, services everyone’s desire for frozen delights during the hot summer. The Gun Club, so named for its past history as a trap shooting location, is the Beach Club’s fine dining location. Here, while the environment is casual, food service is seafood focused and consistent with the up-scale style served at the Main Club.