Coral Casino Making a Comeback
Earlier this week, Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club owner Ty Warner gave members an update for his plans on reopening the exclusive beachside club, which has been closed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. It is anticipated that the club will reopen in the first quarter of 2023, after improvements and renovations of existing facilities and the club’s offerings.
A spokesperson for Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts Bill Medel and Membership Directors Kelly Campbell and Johanna Dearinger tell us that upon opening, the Coral Casino – which as of March 2022 is now under Ty Warner’s management instead of the Four Seasons – will be exploring new policies and procedures to create a better balance of use of the iconic club. This includes finding ways to offer more of a members-only experience with club facilities including the pool, fitness, locker rooms, and spa areas. “Our team has listened to members’ concerns about the impact non-member visitors can have on the sense of connection and camaraderie among the membership as well as some challenges with crowded facilities and outdoor spaces, especially during peak seasons,” Warner writes in a letter to members, who were offered temporary membership at the Montecito Club during the closure.
While the team seeks to retain the exclusivity of the Club, Tydes, the iconic property’s oceanfront restaurant, may be made available to the public. “The restaurant must have the buzz, energy, and resources fitting of a place of Tydes’ caliber. This approach will ensure we are able to attract a top chef and restaurant staff to generate excitement, and dedicate the full resources needed to support the restaurant,” Warner writes. There will be members-only dining areas including the new member rooftop lounge, and there will be implementation of a members-priority reservation system. “The restaurant has the potential to offer a truly unparalleled dining experience with the highest caliber food and beverage offerings in an intimate setting with panoramic views of the ocean,” the letter reads. The Coral Casino ballroom will continue to be an event venue for the community and public.
Traffic mitigation efforts are already underway to offset any impacts of added restaurant access, but the team notes that a strict reservation policy will be applied and a threshold is established with limited available seating. Though not counted in the study, neighbors’ ability to walk to the restaurant offers additional natural impact reductions.
Warner’s team insists that the Biltmore – which is still under Four Seasons’ management – will reopen, but there is no reopening date established at this time. Maintenance and upgrades to that property are also taking place now, according to Medel. “Ty has never sold any of his properties, and he does not intend to sell the Biltmore or Coral Casino, despite rumors to the contrary,” Medel said during our exclusive interview.
The Club is undergoing substantial amenity upgrades and renovations during the closure; it’s been about 15 years since it underwent its last round of renovations. New amenities for members will include a new rooftop lounge with lounge furniture, a fire pit, and direct views of Butterfly Beach and sunsets, located in the area immediately adjacent to Tydes’ dining room on the west end of the property; upgrades to the private dining room, which will be opened to the second deck and boast new retractable doors and windows; new lighting, heating, and seating to the Crow’s Nest plus a glass windscreen; expansion of Fins, the juice and breakfast bar; enlargement and relocation of the Children’s Pool to the former whirlpool spa site next to the diving board; expansion and relocation of the whirlpool spa to the edge of the pool deck; expansion of the pool deck by the clock tower, offering a more private setting with unobstructed panoramic ocean views; and a new cold plunge pool adjacent to the whirlpool spa, offering members the benefits of cold-water immersion. The renovation project, which requires a substantial conformity permit, was seen by the Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission in fall of 2020; commissioners approved the proposed changes to the historic landmark in a 5-1 vote.
“Many of you are familiar with my operational approach and standards of quality based on your experiences at the exclusive San Ysidro Ranch and the members-only Montecito Club. We will bring the same level of dedication to the Coral Casino, and we are working hard to complete the work necessary to reopen the club,” Warner writes.
Ty Warner’s portfolio of properties include the Montecito Club, Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, San Ysidro Ranch, Sandpiper Golf Club, Four Seasons Hotel New York, and Las Ventanas al Paraiso.
The Coral Casino is located at 1281 Channel Drive in Montecito.