All legends have an intriguing story behind them and this one began with a phone call to Erik Silver, Director of Tennis at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. I’m not privy of the specific conversation but Richard Hayduk, President of the historic South Florida resort, thought Silver was joking when he told him tennis legend Jimmy Connors was interested in being “part of the Boca fabric.”
“If we could have handpicked any tennis legend to join us,” Hayduk told guests during a reception at the resort on Nov. 13, 2015, Jimmy Connors would have been it.
Boca Raton Resort & Club Redefining Luxury
Hayduk explained the landmark resort has been changing its brand through $40 million renovations of the historic Cloister guest rooms, additions of the Surf School by Billabong and Flow House Boca featuring FLOWRIDER wave simulator, and “renaissance of the restaurants to ensure guests didn’t get hotel food.”
Boca Raton Resort & Club searched the country and recruited “the best independent restaurant chefs” resulting in cuisine with personality both in mouthwatering flavor and artful presentation. Doing my due diligence, I personally tasted delicious culinary creations at some of the resort’s restaurants including Lucca, Morimoto, Sea Grille, Palm Court and the blue. Magnificent!
Pieces were falling into place in taking Boca Raton Resort & Club to the next level of experiential luxury when Silver received the call asking if he “would be interested in having Jimmy Connors become the resident tennis professional or be part of the Boca fabric,” Hayduk said. He added, bringing Connors into the fold was the “biggest piece of the puzzle for domestic and international attention,” in regards to the resort’s rebranding.
After discussions and discovering Connors, Hayduk and Silver were on the same page regarding the direction of the resort, the Legends of Boca Experience was born, a $20,000 once-in-a-lifetime package.
“Everything is starting to get bigger and to get better, it’s an experience to come here, not only for the tennis, but for the golf, for the hotel, for the food, for the beach club, for the marina and for everything,” Jimmy Connors told guests during the reception as he recounted the conversation between he and Hayduk. It’s a perfect partnership, one in which he said is “something I never thought would happen.”
Rub Elbows With Jimmy Connors During The Legends of Boca Experience
How exactly is Jimmy Connors involved with the Boca Raton Resort? It means the five-time U.S. Open champion is available for a little elbow rubbing either in a tennis match, game of golf or afternoon as part of a three night, four day package which also includes private chauffeured airport transportation in a Maserati Quattroporte provided by Ferrari-Maserati of Fort Lauderdale; massages at the resort’s luxe spa and dinner prepared by Chef Takao Soejima, the protégé of the Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, in Morimoto restaurant.
“We’ve always been a leader in the tennis world and we’re one of the top five tennis facilities in the country,” Silver told me, “The one thing we’ve really been missing is a connection with a great name and when we had the opportunity to partner with Jimmy Connors we took advantage of it. It helped him brand us into a bigger tennis center and we’re bringing Jimmy back into the fold.”
The Jimmy Connors Experience is perfect for the person celebrating a milestone birthday, a couple celebrating a milestone anniversary, and charity fundraisers. Groups, in which the Boca Raton Resort & Club is well equipped for hosting meetings and incentive groups, can have the tennis legend be part of a tennis clinic, speech, and question and answer session. I’ve been told several corporations (names you’ve heard of) have already reached out about working with Connors.
Silver is confident this new program will be successful and some club members have already spent half a day with Mr. Connors. “He’s great with people and great on the court,” Silver said of Jimmy Connors, “We have a great staff to help him out.”
Nuts & Bolts About the Legends of Boca Experience
Book the Legends of Boca Experience with Jimmy Connors by visiting www.bocaresort.com or calling 888-543-1277.
The Boca Raton Resort & Club spans 300 acres and is located on Florida’s east coast, about an hour’s drive north of Miami and about a three-hour drive from my Southwest Florida home. The landmark resort opened in 1926 and was designed by eccentric architect Addison Mizner. While walking through the resort keep your eyes open for pockets of whimsy inspired by Mizner, such as his fondness for monkeys. Boca Raton Resort participates in Hilton HHonors® guest rewards program.
Boca Raton Resort & Club
501 East Camino Real
Boca Raton, Fla. 33432
Disclosure: I was a guest of the Boca Raton Resort & Club, however opinions are my own and this post has not been reviewed by them.