Published: Apr 23, 2013 3:41 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 23, 2013 6:17 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Royal Palm Yacht Club in Fort Myers will close in mid-May, after being open 67 years. Management blames a change in the desires of retirees, who don't value club membership as highly as in the past.

"It is so sad to see this place close. So many local people have been here to meetings, weddings, parties, anniversaries. I hate to see institutions like this close," said Julia East of Fort Myers.

The club will sell its property on the Calooshatchee River, including a marina. The property is valued at $4.5 million. The club owes about $2.8 million on two mortgages.

Commodore Marv Market said, "It is sad that we could not have the time to rebuild the club, but we hope to get enough money to make some generous severance packages for our employees. They are our main focus now."

The membership at RPYC has dropped from 1,000 a few years ago, to just 254 currently.

"We can't survive on that low of a membership," says Market.