Bay Creek Briefings: New Nature Preserve, Homes, Golf and More

Recently, we sat down with our General Manager of Bay Creek, Bobby Masters, to learn more about him as well as some of the incredible work he’s doing in our community. When it comes to master-planned communities, his professional experience is beyond compare. What’s more, his zeal for perfecting Bay Creek is evident in his accomplishments thus far. Bobby gave us an insightful briefing on a few of those noteworthy endeavors.

You’ve been at Bay Creek for a little over a year now and have accomplished a lot. What is your most significant achievement thus far?

I would have to say the biggest and best was establishing our 350-acre nature preserve and walking trails. There’s a story here. Back in the day, Bay Creek was all about golf. Today, however, we’re trying to make the community more of a playground for multi-generational families. Considering that the number one requested amenity in master-planned communities is walking trails, we wanted to offer those here. So, we made the decision to close down the back nine of one of our golf courses. We took that land and transformed it into a 350-acres nature preserve. We also partnered with a company to professionally design and implement the trail system with activity stations throughout. The results are amazing. The trails are incredibly picturesque. They take you along the shorefront and Plantation Creek, which is a river that runs alongside our property. It’s the perfect place to go birding and wildlife viewing. What’s more, we have a highly knowledgeable resident naturalist, Joe Fehrer, who worked at the Nature Conservancy. He offers several outstanding programs, including bird walks, plant walks, moonlight hikes, and more. The feedback we’ve received on the nature preserve has been phenomenal. Everyone loves it.

You’ve also made some notable improvements on the golf course. Tell us about some of the changes and enhancements you’ve made so far.

Initially, Bay Creek was a private golf club. Then, during the real estate crisis, it was transitioned to a public course. But when Preserve Communities took over, we turned it back into a private club again. We wanted our members to benefit from a true, private club experience. And they have — it’s almost to the point where members can walk on the course any time they wish. And while we did close the back nine for the new nature preserve, we still have 27 holes of amazing golf available. We’ve also invested a lot of time and money working on improvements. We’ve worked on the bunkers, fixed drainage issues, and repaired erosion problems. The erosion of one of the holes on the beach was a significant undertaking. We did a half-million-dollar beach restoration to protect that particular hole. We also treated grasses and improved the turf. During the off-season, and even with COVID, we didn’t lay off a single person on the staff. We kept them on throughout the year, not only to keep them gainfully employed but to continue to help make the course better than ever. The result? Players have noticed the improvements and are raving about the conditions of the course.

It’s apparent that you’ve made substantial progress in improving Bay Creek’s external environment but what about internally? It’s no secret that developers and HOAs often experience challenging relationships. How have you been able to address the partnership between the developer and the HOA, especially regarding communication?

Agreed — there’s often friction in these relationships, but I believe there are ways to make them better. Simply taking the time to listen is helpful. Also, maintaining an open channel of communication creates healthier, happier relationships between these groups. At Bay Creek, we try to have residents involved as much as possible. We even have an ambassador program where well-informed residents talk candidly with our prospects. We strive to be truthful in all regards. And when you combine all of these aspects — listening, communicating, resident involvement, speaking truths — they all go a long way toward establishing more value for everyone involved…and result in better outcomes too.

Speaking of good outcomes, tell us about the new home building company at Bay Creek, Preserve Homes & Neighborhoods. What are the benefits of using them as a builder?

We have several custom homebuilders here, but we wanted to have an option for people who didn’t want to start from scratch or have excessively long build times. Having our own in-house builder removes a lot of the stress yet speeds up the construction process without compromising quality or style. The Preserve Homes & Neighborhoods crew is a highly seasoned group with over 100-years of combined construction experience. We’re excited that they’ve started building homes in Bayside Village and look forward to the same level of sales success that we had with our Palmer Lake Villas. As a matter of fact, every one of our Phase 1 villas has sold already, and we haven’t even finished building the first one! It goes to show that there’s certainly a lot of demand for homesites in our location. I think the secret’s out — people have begun to discover the magic of Virginia’s Cape.

Want to experience the magic of Virginia’s Cape for yourself? We invite you to see what all the fuss is about. Indulge in extraordinary golf, dining, fitness, lux accommodations, and more. Schedule your exclusive, three-day discovery visit today.

PS – Get the scoop on our friendly GM, Bobby Masters — his professional background, his work ethic, and even a fun fact that few know about…until now.

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