A private gym, a members-only grille, a seasoned barber. Ahh, club life.
But this is no ordinary club.
It's Island Lincoln-Mercury, where the terms of membership are simple: Buy or lease a new or used vehicle from the dealership, and you're a member for as long as you own the vehicle.
The sprawling dealership in Merritt Island, Fla., near the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, is owned by Bruce Deardoff, a New Jersey native who was inspired by the glitzy Las Vegas casino New York, New York and themed restaurants such as Rainforest Cafe.
Deardoff, 55, says he started the Island Club to give his customers - mostly middle- to upper-class retirees in their 60s and 70s - something to do while their vehicles are in the shop at his newly expanded 14,470-square-foot service center. He wants to help them avoid sitting on plastic chairs while watching TV in a cramped waiting room with strangers.
"This (the club) was something that I really wanted to do for my customers because I thought it was something that I would like," says Deardoff, who has owned Island Lincoln-Mercury since 1985 and owns three other Florida dealerships: Central Florida Lincoln-Mercury Inc. in Orlando, Continental Motorcars Inc. in Melbourne and Ford of Ocala Inc. in Ocala.