Frey / Salton Sea

These days, most head to the Salton Sea to view the apocalyptic views of a town gone bust.  

The boom period began in the late 1950s. Two Palm Springs businessmen; Ray Ryan, a Texas oil millionaire and Trav Rogers, a club and bar owner, were the money and visionary behind the North Shore Beach Estates. The project was coined “The Glamour Capital of the Salton Sea” and “The Salton Riviera”. Albert Frey was hired to design the yacht club.  He also designed a housing project that was never built.

Construction of the ship-themed North Beach Yacht Club was completed in 1959.
 Source: Frey, by Gloria Koenig

Early on, the club was a success. Celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the Marx Brothers were regulars. At that point, Ryan and Rogers increased their land holdings and others invested in the area as well. Hotels and restaurants were built and all was good until pollution and salinity caused the lake's ecosystem to fail. The fish began to die, causing an odor that spreads for miles. Eventually, the water was deemed unsafe for swimming. Further complications came with flooding in the 1970s that caused damage to the club and it was shuttered. In the 1980s, after the water levels lowered,it was in use as a restaurant again.  The building was abandoned and boarded up in the 1990s when the water levels became a problem again. 
Source: Frey, by Gloria Koenig
The Yacht Club in 2008.
Source: James Black

In 2009, Riverside County supervisors received a grant of $3.35 million to restore the Yacht Club.

The restoration was competed in 2010.

 The Salton Sea Museum was located in the building for a short time after it re-opened, but it now appears to be vacant.

 The building looks great. The one thing I noticed that was missing is the pool. I'm sure liability and all that lame stuff got in the way.

No boats.

Visit Save the Salton Sea to learn more about preservation efforts.