It’s no surprise that the pandemic changed the way people viewed the world and went about their daily lives. One thing that became clear is that having a safe place to go in the event of another spike or global virus is important to many. And for some, that meant having access to paradise.
The Abaco Club, an exclusive lifestyle club and private residential development on Winding Bay in the Bahamas, is projected to have a 50% increase in occupancy over 2019 – the highest number since Southworth bought the club in 2015. This is even more surprising considering hurricane Dorian hit the island in September of 2019, just before the pandemic struck in 2020.
The effects of the hurricane and COVID resulted in understandably low occupancy numbers that were expected to result in a steady but slow return to normalcy as the local community recovered. But with the effects of the pandemic, the club saw a 176% increase in new memberships between 2020 and 2022 over the pre-Dorian period of 2016-2018. Why?
As the pandemic continues, the outdoors and privacy reign supreme; those are the two main attributes of The Abaco Club. Think classic beach vacation with a sporting club’s perks, but stay in your own private home on a secluded island. Plus, the trend of long-term stays is still booming. With hybrid work models here to stay, second and vacation homes will remain popular options. So, some have been asking, why not turn a paradisical destination into your home?
“There’s no question that the pandemic fueled a number of trends – remote work, a pent-up desire for travel, community, and connection – all concepts that we believe are here to stay and that complement The Abaco Club lifestyle,” said Jeremy Gordan, Director of Lifecycle & Growth Marketing at Southworth Development. “And once you realize you can spend your lunch break kitesurfing on a private beach or sneaking in 9 stunning holes overlooking the Atlantic with your friends, you start coming back more and more, and for longer and longer. It truly elevates how you live day-to-day.”
The boom of interest in the exclusive enclave sparked the start of an expansion plan to keep up with demand. As a result, there will be 36 new luxury villa residences—called The Cays—along the club’s coveted beachfront. In addition, members will also have access to The Bay Club, planned for completion in 2023, which will feature an expansive oceanfront pool, hot tub, poolside bar, multi-use cinema room, lounge, and concierge services. This new addition comes on the heels of The Abaco Club’s recent fitness center renovation and the development of new pickleball and basketball courts.
“The Abaco Club is a haven for our members and owners,” said President for Southworth Development, Tommy Southworth. “Between the breathtaking location, the barefoot luxury vibe, the warmth of the staff, and so many other intangibles, we’ve always said that The Abaco Club has everything that money can’t buy.”
Plus, membership extends beyond the shores of The Abaco Club with reciprocal membership privileges at all of Southworth Development’s private club communities. So, you can choose from a variety of paradises, from Scottish seaside to idyllic Cape Cod.