The Bonaventure Resort & Spa, a West Broward playground for the rich and famous and a hangout for convention-goers, is nearing the end of a four-decade run after it was sold to a developer who wants to build a luxury resort. apartments on the Weston property.
The hotel has been closed and will be demolished to make way for an apartment project, said a real estate agent involved in the deal. But the golf club is still open, according to a staff member who answered the phone.
“It’s sad,” said the city’s former mayor, Daniel Stermer. “It was a destination for conventions and for religious people during Passover and holidays.”
“There was a lot of occupancy there,” Stermer said. “You could accommodate large groups there. There was actually a good steakhouse known as Ireland’s Steakhouse which was a destination in itself.
And it was a place often visited by people like Dan Marino, Mariel Hemingway, Bill Cosby and Martina Navratilova. Ivana Trump has already funded a week at the spa for her girlfriends. For a time, Linda Evans, a TV star marmite dallas, served as the station’s spokesperson.
Built in the early 1980s, the Bonaventure, located at 250 Racquet Club Road, once had a spa, two 18-hole golf courses, 24 tennis courts, three swimming pools and an equestrian center. It has a hotel with 504 rooms.
But over the years, the luxury resort has had its ups and downs, changing owners, management companies and hotel brands. And, as Stermer noted: “It is also a difficult place. You are not at the beach. You are not downtown.
Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale, Broward County’s tourism promotion agency, said “it is unfortunate to lose such a legacy property.”
“I grew up here and I remember when it opened,” she said. “It was such an amazing property when the space was very A-list focused in the 80’s.”
Stermer said the new owners “are going to start cleaning up the property pretty quickly.”
But the buyer, Gables Properties of Atlanta, has yet to submit plans to the city.
A marketing manager for the company did not respond Thursday to questions submitted by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Moshe Averbuch, a South Florida hotel real estate agent who represented the seller, Hospitality Investing Group of New York, said the owner “closed [the hotel] a few months ago.” The $50 million sale closed a week ago.
“They’re going to tear it down to make apartments,” he said. “The market is good for apartments…and apartments are going for big numbers.”
The closure of the hotel has led to the modification of several events. On social media, a parent at South Broward High School complained that management hadn’t told the school she couldn’t hold her prom there. A bridal wear show scheduled for October also had to find another venue.
Ritter said there are plenty of other upscale hotels and resorts in the county for tourists looking to pamper themselves. This is largely a function of the region’s growing diversity, she said.
“The evolution of our destination from a Bonaventure hotel to a Four Seasons in 2021 is surprising,” she said. “I don’t think any of us in the 70s had any idea what we would have today.”