Private Business Clubs in Florida
Today's clubs cater to both genders and have a range of amenities.
255 South Orange Ave., Orlando
Billed as an "elite" club for community leaders to gather and enhance business and social connections through educational and culinary experiences, the Citrus Club was founded in 1971. "We just completed a $4-million renovation," says general manager Steve Alden. "It was a combination of updating the technology to make it more advanced and making the facilities more contemporary. We expanded the bar and lounge, so members can choose from that more casual option, or they can choose the more formal dining room."
Location: 18th floor of the BB&T building downtown
Membership: Alden puts the average age of the club's 2,000 members at about 50. Five levels of membership include the "masters," with full social and golf privileges at local country clubs; "social," for those who wish to use the club's dining and social facilities as well as business center; "young executive," for the under-40 set; "athletic," which buys access to group fitness classes, personal training and the spa; and "platinum unlimited," which includes the top benefits plus two free meals for two every month.
Extras: The Citrus Club Spa features a range of services for executives (and their families); the fitness center offers group classes as well as workout equipment; the Hubbard Dining Room and Club Lounge offers fine dining and casual buffet options for lunch and dinner; there's live music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.
How to get in: By invitation of a current Citrus Club member.
The Bankers Club
One Biscayne Tower, Miami
The Bankers Club was the first private business club in Miami. "At one time there were six, but now we're the only one left in the city," says general manager Ken Henson. Amenities include an e-lounge with workstations, high-speed internet, video conferencing, audio-visual equipment and concierge services; a dining room; and events room for everything from wedding rehearsal dinners to bar/bat mitzvahs.
Location: In the heart of downtown, on Biscayne Boulevard across from Biscayne Bay
Membership: "We've got probably 60% women and 40% men, (comprising) an enormous number of attorneys, corporate executives and professionals from the financial industry," says Henson of the club's 325 members.
Extras: Networking events, beer-and-cheese pairings and Maine lobster night.
How to get in: Anyone is eligible to apply for membership, which extends beyond The Bankers Club to more than 250 reciprocal clubs from the Surf Club in Miami Beach to the City University Club in London, Club de Ejecutivos in Ecuador and others that are part of an international network.
1301 Riverplace Blvd., Jacksonville
Operating since 1968, the University Club is a hub for professionals who want to network and entertain clients over breakfast, lunch or drinks, or do business in the club's conference rooms and offices.
Location: Top floor of the Riverplace Tower downtown, overlooking the south bank of the St. Johns River
Membership: The club's 1,300 members are a diverse group, according to membership director Sarah Bernstein. "We've got male and female executives, older members who have been with us for many years and young professionals who are newer members."
Extras: Wine tastings, cooking classes, mixers and social get-togethers, brunches and holiday celebrations. The club also hosts birthday celebrations, baby showers, school parties, luncheons and even family reunions.
How to get in: There are several tiers of membership, which is by invitation only from current members or from the board of governors. "We offer basic memberships that you can customize in an a la carte fashion, but all levels include full access to the club, its events and activities, our private meeting rooms, the dining rooms and entrée to the Club Corp Network of more than 220 clubs worldwide," Bernstein says.