Recently, when considering our family staycation budget, we decided to invest in a membership at No. 50, the club at the Montauk Beach House. We thought it was a splurge, but then we began to calculate the awesome economics of the South Beach-esque club feel, beach-side parking, pool-side work space, and ice coffee from Stumptown.
With the locals discount, the annual membership costs $750. (A two-year membership gets the price down to $550.) For that, we enjoy a lush pool environment with loungers, canopies and showers, where our children can frolick in the shallows. Even better for the cost:benefit analysis, members enjoy daily guest passes, as well as a discount on rooms at the eco-mod hotel (with names like Bunker Dens and Whitewater Lofts) and on poolside snacks (hummus plate, lobster roll) and drink (Wolffer rose, Brooklyn gin with housemade lemonade), served up by waitresses pulled out of a 50’s drive-in scene. The indoor coffee bar serves up Stumptown coffee (a rare thing on the East End), and offers a wifi-enabled tables that make for a perfect, mobile office. (Full disclosure, this article is being written at one of those tables.) And the Beach House’s owners curate live music in the evenings, bringing in celebrated DJs or au courant musical talents.
Now, what would other dreamy-like vacation experiences cost? The family hotel bill for a weekend in New York City would easily cost $500, so would a few nights in Maine or at a Hudson Valley B&B. (As background, you need to know that we were planning an August vacation to Maine.) The club also offers a $600 monthly pass, $250 weekly pass and a $50 per day pass, not bad if you’re just planning a Montauk day trip. We’ve hit the club about 10 times this season, bringing our per day rate down to $75. We hope to get at least that many more days in before Labor Day, which will get us to $30 a day. (Learn more here.)
Perhaps most importantly, our membership gets us a place to park our car just a block from the beach. (For us Sag Harborites, we’d have to shell out quite a few clams for parking permit to patronize the Montauk beaches.) In fact, with parking, we can make a whole day of it and feel like locals in this kooky beach town where people walk the streets in bathsuits and no shoes. We go from club to beach and back, and to any of the excellent eats options nearby. It’s a short stroll to the generous servings and pond-gazing of Harvest. The rejuvenating juices of Joni’s are just a block away, and so are the sashimi, tacos, fried chicken and kale chiffonade of South Edison, which is extending its season to Columbus Day, and will give us just one more excuse to support the Montauk economy.