2022 In Review
As we close out another year and prepare for all the New Year promises to bring, we took a sentimental look down memory lane at some of the Ocean Reef Press headlines that best represent 2022 – a year of togetherness, a return to tradition, and continued innovation.
Member Events Goes the Extra Mile (1/7/22) –
The first front page headline of 2022 acknowledged the Club’s Member Events Team for an extraordinary holiday season. Fittingly, in a matter of days, we’ll be thanking them all over again for doing the same this year – “entertaining literally hundreds of Ocean Reef Club Members at a variety of special venues for all ages”. But this excellence is something the Member Events Team maintained throughout the entirety of the year, as they looked to bring back traditional favorites like Street Fairs, while also adding more events to the schedule than ever before. “Huge thanks to the team for their diligence, creativity and endless energy,” wrote Jody Steele. It’s no wonder why they won Team of the Year for 2022
Loving Our New Home (1/14/22) –
The new Clubhouse, which opened Christmas week 2021, stands out as a major milestone of this past year, and the new Golf Shop is a key part of that. Over the preceding years, the Golf Shop moved from its original space in the old Clubhouse, to a trailer in the parking lot and then a space by the Academy of Golf, before moving permanently into their beautiful 2,200 sq. ft. space in the new Clubhouse building, allowing them to vastly improve and increase their merchandize.
How We Got Here (1/14/22) –
That is to say, how Ocean Reef got to where it is today. January 14 published the first in the 2022 “How We Got Here” series by Mike Smith, which detailed the history of all things Ocean Reef – from our humble beginnings to today. This celebration of the Club’s history and tradition continues as “Making History” as we enter 2023 – our historical anniversary year celebrating 75 years as a Club and 25 years Member owned.
New Doors Keep Opening (1/21/22) –
“The level of excitement and enthusiasm from Members for the new dining venues at the Clubhouse has the entire Culinary Team thrilled,” Terry Baxter began this front page article on the Grill Room, but so many other new doors opened this year as well. In addition to the Grill Room, Members delighted in CH Prime, CH Lounge (which now also serves light bites), Toski’s at the Turn, Palm Court Nights Cantina, plus the reopening of the Ocean Room and Town Hall Waterside and the enjoyment of expanded hours of operation. Ocean Reef now boasts 19 restaurants and lounges, the most in its history.
Let’s Celebrate (2/25/22) –
2022 was a year of celebration – celebrating the big and small moments after the Club, Members and Associates powered through a couple challenging years, only to come out stronger. That’s what the Boot Scootin’ Thank You Celebration in April 2022, featuring headliner Carry Underwood, was all about. A thank you to the Members for “their flexibility throughout Covid, for their patience displayed through the many construction projects, and for their continued commitment to the Club and its unique way of life.”
The Essence of Tradition (3/4/22) –
“It’s no secret that at the core of Ocean Reef Club is a deep history, rich with tradition,” began this front page article. “For almost 75 years, generations upon generations have taken part in these traditions that intrinsically make Ocean Reef a family club.” 2022 saw the celebration of decades-long traditions – the 49th Member-Guest Tennis Tournament, 26th Vintage Weekend, 50th Member-Guest Golf Tournament, 46th Bag Room Open and 37th Reef Cup, to name a few. This emphasis on tradition will become a major theme of 2023, culminating in the April Anniversary Celebration.
Cool Cars, Hot Coffee (3/11/22) –
While we treasure tradition at Ocean Reef Club, we also celebrate innovation. Last year’s intro to Cars & Coffee is the perfect example of this. Jerry Henn spearheaded the idea to bring Members together in “an easy and lighthearted manner to mingle and fawn over beautiful cars.” When Henn brought his concept to the Member Events Team, so began the brand new event that will continue into the New Year, with the first monthly gathering of 2023 being held Saturday, January 7.
Better Together (5/6/22) –
Perhaps no other headline better reflects the overarching theme of this past year, which was celebrating a return to “normal”. What emerged from the year is the essence that life at Ocean Reef is “not about the facilities, but it is about the people, about being together, about connecting and sharing with fellow Members, neighbors and Associates.”
Lagoon Beautification (7/29/22) –
In mentioning Buccaneer Island’s Lagoon, we must also acknowledge that this past year, the Club committed to not begin any major capital projects as a way to give Members the chance to peacefully enjoy the new amenities at their Club. The Lagoon was one of the few spaces to be done in two phases, recently completing the two-part re-nourishment and beautification plan originally set in motion in 2021. All agree the enhanced landscaping, paved walkway and increased parking it was well worth the wait.
Cheers to a New Dining Season (11/11/22) –
With the new dining season brought new dining guidelines and offerings. From shortened reservation windows, to revised cancellation policies, special Equity-only nights, increased seating and more, the Club has seen improved availability and reduced cancellations compared to recent years. Furthermore, there’s been so much new to celebrate at each individual restaurant, like the addition of sushi at Waterside, Islander favorites at the Ocean Room and light bites at CH Lounge.
A Raised Paddle for Pickleball (11/25/22) –
As Joan Birsh said in her article, “This sport is here to stay.” In anticipation of Pickleball’s quick growth at Ocean Reef, the Club added three courts this summer to the Tennis & Games Center, which now boasts an equal number of tennis and pickleball courts. While Pickleball will take time to reach the level of tradition Member Guest Tennis celebrates (50 years in 2023), it is quickly developing its own beloved traditions – the Pickleball Member-Guest Tournament celebrated five years in 2022. With that, many new tennis, Pickleball and croquet events were added to the 2022 schedule and will continue into 2023.
Welcoming L’Atelier: ORC’s New Tailor (11/25/22) –
When the Members asked, the Club listened. And Members indeed rejoiced at the addition of a permanent tailor at ORC Dry Cleaning after years without one. While this wasn’t a massive undertaking it represents the Board and Management’s focus on Member feedback. 2022 was largely about prioritizing the Member experience, and this was primarily done by reviewing and acting on results from the Member surveys, which revealed themes from the need for a tailor to Mexican cuisine to dining priority for Equity Members. The Club has worked hard to deliver and will continue to do so in 2023 and beyond.
With that, let’s give a nod to the year 2022, and welcome all that we have to look forward to in 2023. Happy New Year!