Club Chic

Country clubs offer a surprisingly affordable alternative to hotels for banquets and events. In the current economy, even the most exclusive private clubs have been known to open their facilities to outside groups. For example, Patricia Simitakos, owner of Boca Raton-based Natural Elements based (, saved $75 per person using a country club instead of a hotel for a recent event. "The savings vary due to seasonal pricing, but the experience was a real eye-opener as to how willing nontraditional venues are to negotiate," she says.