Oakmont golf courses closing until sale complete
Oakmont’s two golf courses will be shut down starting Dec. 16 as efforts to sell the club to the Oakmont Village Association (OVA) have stalled.
Even though a sale agreement and operations lease have been signed, funding is not yet in place to close the deal, Oakmont Golf Club (OGC) President Gary Smith wrote in an email to club members.
“We were able and prepared to maintain business as usual through the original October 31 closing target date,” Smith said. “We made it through November and into December but have now reached the point we cannot continue business as usual. It is with deep regret to both you as members and our loyal staff that we will severely reduce Club operations effective December 16.”
At a Dec. 10 town hall meeting, attended by about 200 people, OVA President Steve Spanier said “primary goals” have all been met and he hopes to complete the $3.6 million sale by at least some time in February. Golf asset purchase operations are included in the OVA budget for next year, along with a voter-approved dues increase from $75 to $98 per month. Both golf operations and the asset purchase are in the budget for less than original projections.
OVA has signed a lease agreement with Advance Golf Partners (AGP) to take over golf and restaurant operations once the sale is complete. Among other things, AGP will be required to spend at least three percent of annual gross revenues on capital improvements and equipment purchases, and put 50 percent of net income over $100,000 into a capital reserve fund. AGP will also provide “social memberships” to all Oakmont residents for food and wine discounts.
However, under the lease agreement, OVA will spend $1 million to renovate the club and assume liability premiums over $80,000, requirements initially assigned to AGP in early lease negotiations. “AGP backed away from this when the loan terms they could get were unsatisfactory. During the power outages and the fire threats, they also backed away from paying all the insurance costs and wanted a cap,” Spanier said.
Smith said a combination of seasonal slowdowns and winter rains were the primary forces behind the decision to cease golf operations. “Uncertainty is bad for any business and has certainly been a limiting factor for OGC since announcement of our intention to sell. The cash flow impact makes these actions unavoidable and they are expected to remain in effect until the restaurant and golf courses emerge under new ownership and management.”
The Quail Inn restaurant will be limited to bar and bar food only service on Thursdays through Mondays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
“Maintenance of tees and greens will continue in order to protect the new owners’ investment and enable AGP to reopen both courses as soon as possible upon close of escrow,” Smith said. “Weather and conditions permitting, the range will be open through the bar.”
All December banquet events will be honored, he said, but in most areas staffing will be reduced to essential “skeleton” levels.