North Shore Beach & Yacht Club

The North Shore Beach and Yacht Club was built in 1960 by developers Ray Ryan and Trav Rogers for $2 million. Designed in a nautical theme by renowned mid-century architect, Albert Frey, the complex boasted one of the largest marinas in Southern California.  An adjacent motel was built with additional plans for the North Shore Beach Estates, a planned housing development that never materialized. The Beach Boys, Jerry Lewis, and Marx Brothers all visited the club or kept boats at the marina. The complex marketed as the “The Glamour Capital of the Salton Sea” hosted boat races, parties, and other popular events. Ryan, an oil millionaire with reputed mob connections and a taste for gambling was killed in a mysterious car bombing in 1977.

During the early 1980s, flooding from excessive agricultural wastewater discharges from Imperial Valley farms in conjunction with higher-than-normal seasonal storm runoff began to inundate the marina and surrounding property.  One such flood in 1981 destroyed the marina’s jetty making it impossible to dock boats. Eventually the facility was closed by 1984 leaving it to vandals and skate boarders that frequented the club’s pool.

In July 2009, Riverside County supervisors approved the use of a $3.35 million grant to rehabilitate and redevelop the property. Restoration of Frey’s yacht club building was completed in 2010 and reopened as a community center and museum for the Salton Sea. The museum’s tenure at this prime location was short-lived however; Riverside County officials decided not to renew the operational arrangement with the museum staff and it was moved to a new location in Mecca, which has since closed. The museum staff is currently looking for another location. For more information, visit: http://saltonseamuseum.org/.

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POI: North Shore Beach & Yacht Club

Be sure to visit the beautifully restored yacht club building off Highway 111 at North Shore.