Friday, December 9, 2016

Transactions, december 9, 2016

     Las Vegas, Nevada. Billy Walters, a prominent gambler and a frequent target of the Securities & Exchange Commission, has found a buyer for his replica golf course. For an undisclosed price, Walters has sold Royal Links Golf Club to Scottsdale Golf Group, a firm led by Shelby Futch, a co-founder of John Jacobs’ Golf Schools & Academies. Walters is getting out of golf operations. He disposed of his Desert Pines Golf Club in 2014, and he’s put his sole remaining golf property, Bali Hai Golf Club, on the market. “We are paring back our golf investments in Las Vegas because the golf business isn’t what it used to be,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “There is too much supply and too little demand.” Walters, who got into some insider-trading hot water with Phil Mickelson a couple of years ago, believes that his golf investments -- he’s reportedly owned 10 properties over the years -- have been “the worst decisions I’ve ever made in my life.” Royal Links, which opened in the late 1990s, has a selling point unlike any other venue in Vegas: It features holes whose designs were inspired by some of the best-known courses in the rotation for the Open Championship, among them Royal Troon, Royal Liverpool, Royal Lytham & St Annes, and Royal Birkdale. The club is Futch’s first in Sin City, though he and his partners own seven in Arizona.

     Oviedo, Florida. The city has agreed to buy Twin Rivers Golf Club, to ensure that the financially insecure 310-acre property doesn’t become a subdivision. The price: $5 million. Twin Rivers, which features an 18-hole, Joe Lee-designed course, is among a handful of Orlando-area venues owned by the Golf Group, a firm led by Bob Dello Russo. The 27-year-old club is said to be “struggling,” which is the condition that Rock Springs Ridge Golf Club, in nearby Apopka, was in just two years ago, when the Golf Group shuttered it. The city aims to keep Twin Rivers in business, and it’s set out to find a private-sector operator willing to do it. The transaction is expected to close next month.

     Middletown, Ohio. Myron Bowling didn’t hold on to Weatherwax Golf Course for very long. The auctioneer who admitted that he’d “never held a golf club” in his life paid $1.6 million for the 36-hole, Arthur Hills-designed complex in 2014, and now he’s agreed to sell it to the Trust for Public Land, a non-profit group dedicated to preserving open spaces. Weatherwax’s 450 acres will be converted to parkland. Bowling hasn’t revealed the price that TPL paid for the property, but the group reportedly flipped it to MetroParks of Butler County for $2 million.

     Lompoc, California. The owners of La Purisima Golf Course have acquired a second golf property in Lompoc. Last month, Chris Bellamy and Sean Hecht became the new owners of Village Country Club, which features an 18-hole, Ted Robinson-designed track that opened in 1961. The club, which had been owned by its members, will operate as Mission Club, but don’t let the name fool you: Mission Club will be open to the public.

     Mohave Valley, Arizona. A group of homeowners has reluctantly purchased El Rio Golf Course, the centerpiece of a community in the northwestern part of the state, near Bullhead City, Nevada. The Mohave Daily News reports that none of the new owners (10 in all) “ever wanted to own or run a golf course.” They acquired El Rio after the community’s developers were indicted and convicted of wire, bank, and mail fraud, which is the kind of news that isn’t good for business. “We want everyone to know the course is under new ownership,” a spokesperson for the new owners told the Mohave Valley Daily News. El Rio, which opened in 2004, features an 18-hole, Matt Dye-designed layout.

     Marshfield, Wisconsin. The Acker family business has changed hands. Jesse Jacobson, a local hotel owner, has acquired Marshfield Country Club, which claims to be the city’s first golf venue. Marshfield’s original nine opened in 1923. Darrell and Jane Acker bought the club in the mid 1960s and added its second nine in the mid 1970s. Their son Chip eventually became the club’s sole owner, and he’s agreed to manage the property for Jacobson. A sales price hasn’t been announced, but it appears that Robert B. Harris completed a renovation of the course earlier this year.

     Interlochen, Michigan. In late September, a well-known PGA pro purchased the city’s only golf course. Brad Dean, most recently the director of golf at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa in nearby Thompsonville, paid an undisclosed price for Interlochen Golf Club, an 18-hole layout that’s operated for a half-century. “We’ve got a lot of plans,” Dean told the Traverse City Record-Eagle. “We’re looking at refreshing things here.” Dean is one of Michigan’s top golf instructors, and he’s won several teacher-of-the-year citations. He reportedly bought Interlochen from Tony Kochevar.

     Hudson Falls, New York. Kingswood Golf Club has new owners and a new name. Deric Buck and his mother reportedly paid $1.75 million for the 25-year-old venue, which now operates as Kingsbury National Golf Club. The seller was Pinhas Shabat. Over the winter, improvements will be made to Kingsbury National’s 18-hole course, which will eventually be reconfigured. “We want to raise the bar on what a golf course around here can be,” Buck told the Glens Falls Post Star. According to the newspaper, Kingsbury National is merely the first golf acquisition for Buck and his mother. They’ve also agreed to buy Bay Meadows Golf Club, a nine-hole course in nearby Queensbury.

No comments:

Post a Comment