Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville Elks Lodge, looking to downsize, sells building on Cortez Boulevard

The 17,000-square-foot Brooksville Elks Lodge on Cortez Boulevard has been home to the organization since 1979. Now with membership shrinking, the Elks is downsizing.

DEMETRIUS FREEMAN | Times

The 17,000-square-foot Brooksville Elks Lodge on Cortez Boulevard has been home to the organization since 1979. Now with membership shrinking, the Elks is downsizing.

BROOKSVILLE — In the late 1970s and early '80s, Brooksville Elks Lodge 2852 boasted about 1,600 members.

To accommodate large crowds, the lodge built a 17,000-square-foot facility that has been a landmark on Cortez Boulevard for more than three decades.

Like many fraternal organizations, however, the lodge has seen a decline in its aging membership over the years.

It currently counts about 500 members, exalted ruler Tony Davidson said, some 300 of them active, "depending on the time of year and the event."

Davidson said the building on Cortez west of Brooksville "has outgrown us," so later this month the Elks will downsize.

The lodge has sold its longtime home to Great Life Church and has purchased a more appropriately sized building on County Line Road, the current home of the Suncoast Dance and Party Center, formerly the SNPJ Lodge.

The party center building, at 8,000 square feet, will cost less to maintain and allow for more efficient operations, Davidson said.

"The Elks run on a volunteer basis," he said. "As volunteers get older and some die, it's hard on the volunteers. We've got members in their 70s and 80s."

The last event at the current lodge will be an aloha luau Aug. 9. The event will be open to the public, and the lodge will seek to sign up new members.

"We'll run a drive to attract people in their 40s and 50s with a $1 application fee that night," said Davidson, 51.

The regular application fee is $25. Member dues are $68.25 a year. Requirements for membership include U.S. citizenship, no felony record, a belief in God and age 21 or older.

He said the Elks will operate their new lodge "the same as we're doing — renting out, serving our food and alcohol. Our liquor license will be transferred."

Rental fees at the new facility for the remainder of this year will remain the same as under current ownership. Already, the Elks have lined up rentals for 40 events after they take possession Aug. 29.

Some improvements will be made to the County Line building, primarily kitchen expansion. Furnishings from the current lodge will be moved, including the elk sculpture that fronts the property.

The lodge staff will be reduced from five to three.

The Suncoast Dance and Party Center, a nonprofit corporation, has leased the building and 7-acre site from the SNPJ Lodge since 2012, said the corporation's treasurer, Ed Klasa.

"We will continue as a club and will hold our functions there. It'll be business for us as usual, in the same place," Klasa said.

The Slovenia-American Club and various ethnic and cultural clubs are expected to continue to meet and hold functions there, he said.

Great Life Church currently is located on Sunshine Grove Road, west of Brooksville. Davidson did not disclose the sale price of the building on Cortez to the church, but said money is in escrow to complete the transaction.

Contact Beth Gray at graybethn@earthlink.net.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Brooksville Elks Lodge 2852 will have an aloha luau, open to the public, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. Member dues are $68.25, and the requirements for membership include U.S. citizenship, no felony record, a belief in God and age 21 or older. The date of the luau and membership information was wrong in a story published Friday. Incorrect information was provided to the Times.

Brooksville Elks Lodge, looking to downsize, sells building on Cortez Boulevard 07/31/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 2:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Florida's jobless rate looks great — but 25 other state rates look even better

    Economic Development

    No debate here: Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop — even as more people move to Florida and enter the workforce. What's not to like?

    Who remembers the remarkable lines of hundreds of people looking for construction work in Tampa back in March of 2010 at a job fair at the Encore construction site near downtown Tampa? Now the construction industry is struggling to find skilled workers to meet building demand. [
JOHN PENDYGRAFT | TIMES]
  2. Tampa police investigating fatal shooting at Busch Boulevard motel

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police are investigating a shooting at a motel near Busch Gardens that left one woman dead.

  3. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 21: Tears of love and parting mark the beginning of the final leg of a pilgrim's journey.

    Travel

    Day 21: León to Hospital de Orbigo: 32.6 km, 8.75 hours. Total for Days 1-21 = 498 km (309 miles)

  4. Pinellas detectives investigating shooting that led to car crash

    Public Safety

    LARGO — Pinellas Sheriff's detectives are investigating a shooting that investigators said led to a man crashing his car after he was shot in the abdomen early Tuesday.

  5. Trump tweets, McCain return set stage for health bill vote (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump urged Republicans to "step up to the plate" for Tuesday's crucial Senate vote on their bill eviscerating much of the Obama health care law. The stage was set for high drama, with Sen. John McCain returning to the Capitol to cast his first vote since being diagnosed with brain …

    President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and others, speaks about healthcare, Monday, July 24, 2017, in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. [Associated Press]