The century-old Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club, a fixture on the Sydney waterfront, has been sold and will be demolished.
Darrell Cormier, the acting commodore of the Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club, said the building was sold to the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation after financial difficulties and declining membership left the club with little choice.
"Basically it came down to finances. It was a situation where we either close the building and don't operate at all or we can sell a portion of the property and remain," he told CBC News.
"We could remain running some operation here in Cape Breton Island."
Cormier said the clubhouse needs repairs, estimated at $2 million.
"To renovate it and bring it up to code and make it structurally sound and do what we wanted to do was well beyond what the members were willing to participate in," he said.
The Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club is also in debt and owes money to suppliers and Revenue Canada.
Sold for $280,000
Cormier said the board of the yacht club originally prepared a proposal to the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation for funding but was turned down.
They went back with an offer to sell and that was accepted. The $280,000 sale price will cover most of the club's debt, said Cormier.
"We had members' meetings, we had numerous meetings, we had numerous input and basically it came down to a situation that our moral obligation is to pay the people we owe," he said.
The Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club will maintain a wharf and boathouse in Sydney, but the old club and its charter will merge with the new Ben Eoin Marina, which is almost completely funded by the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation.
Cormier said the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation will demolish the building and has no immediate plans for the two hectares of land, but it will likely figure into plans for future waterfront development.