With gas prices soaring and the friendly skies becoming increasingly not so friendly, a staycation might be your best bet for a summer day or weekend.
And there’s no better staycation spot on Long Island than the Malibu Shore Club in Lido Beach, which is open all summer long, from 9 in the morning ‘til 10 at night.
What sets this Nassau South Shore club apart from many other venues is that it’s a family-oriented destination, says Butch Yamali, CEO of the Dover Group, who is celebrating his fourteenth season running the club.
“There’s not many places you can go in the summertime with your entire family,” says Yamali, whose company owns Milleridge Inn in Jericho, Island Park’s Peter’s Clam Bar, and Coral House in Baldwin.
An All-Inclusive Resort
At Malibu, you can stay active with volleyball, tennis, basketball, a brand-new pickleball court, and an all-purpose playing field. There’s swimming or simply sunning at the Olympic-size pool, resplendent with palm trees for a resort-like atmosphere; a wading pool for the kiddies; and, of course, the inviting Atlantic Ocean.
“There’s a lot of things to do in one day. And it’s relatively inexpensive if you’re just a day tripper,” says Yamali.
Admission to the club for Town of Hempstead residents is just $10 per vehicle; for nonresidents, it’s $50 per vehicle.
For the junior set (ages 3 to 13), there’s the perennially popular Malibu Beach Camp that runs weekdays for the entire summer season and offers a jam-packed program with swimming, athletics, arts, and day trips, and culminating in color war, a summer camp ritual.
Beachside dining at Maliblue Restaurant features appetizers, salads, sandwiches, fish specialties, and a popular taco bar, all the creations of award-winning chef Christian Seidl. There’s plenty of tropical drinks, from the cocolokotini (coconut martini) to the pineapple orange dream (vanilla vodka with pineapple juice) and Maliblue’s thirst-quenching sangrias.
The club boasts 850 cabanas and lockers that people rent for the season that are so in demand, there’s a 4,500-person waitlist.
With five different shops, there’s something for everyone right on Malibu Shore Club’s premises: from Malibu Pizzeria to Malibu Arcade, an ice cream parlor offering soft serve, malteds, shakes, sundaes, and Good Humor ice cream; a surf shop with beach toys, towels, sunglasses, suntan lotion, and boogie boards; and a convenience store which sells everything from beverages to Band-Aids and all the essentials for a barbecue feast.
Guests are entertained with live music on Thursdays through Sundays all summer, at no extra charge, by various bands, including The Mystic, the club’s house band.
“When I got the place in 2008, there was no camp. There was no restaurant. There was nothing: It was just a bunch of old buildings,” says Yamali.
Because of the slow-moving approval process and budgetary limitations, municipalities often fall short in running these kinds of facilities, Yamali contends.
“Private operators are more attentive,” says Yamali, adding that the biggest beneficiaries are the people who visit the club.
To ensure that everything gets fixed in an expert and timely manner, Yamali started his own construction company to work exclusively on his own facilities.
“We’re just trying to make ourselves self-sufficient, so whatever we need to do, we can do it on our own and not have to wait for anybody. That makes us different.”
“Butch’s improvements and creation of new facilities at Malibu and Nickerson come fast and furious,” notes Jim Metzger, Chairman and CEO of The Whitmore Agency, the Long Island brokerage handling the Dover Group’s commercial insurance. “For months, almost on a daily basis, we have been working with Butch and his team to track everything that is going on and making sure he and his companies are protected at the right levels at the right time.”
More Fun Next Door
This year, Yamali adds to his portfolio the concession at Nickerson Beach Park, next door to Malibu. His company will renovate and operate the facility, and be responsible for its upkeep.
“It’s a similar facility: The cabanas are the same, big property, pools, courts. The difference is, I’m there,” he says.
Intent on replicating what he’s created at Malibu, Yamali will add dining and a convenience store to the Nickerson property.