Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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News: 01/15/2020

Funding secured for purchase of Oakmont golf courses

By Jim Brewer

Oakmont Village Association (OVA) directors have secured the funding to purchase the Oakmont Golf Club’s two golf courses and restaurant facilities, clearing the last big hurdle in their effort to take control of the 250 acres of green space that form the heart of their community.

While terms of the pending loan arrangement were not disclosed, the deal will keep homeowner dues well within the $23 a month increase approved overwhelmingly by voters last August, OVA president Steve Spanier said in announcing the receipt of a loan commitment letter from Mutual of Omaha Bank.

“We hope the loan will be funded in February,” he said.

Teetering on the edge of insolvency, the Oakmont Golf Club officially closed its courses and dismissed most of its employees last month, but in a surprise move, opened the west course for weekend play thanks to the unseasonably warm weather. Golf club president Gary Smith said, however, that no employees would be brought back.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the skeleton-staffed golf club had profitable weekends, which helped the club sustain itself while waiting for the pending sale to the OVA to close, said club vice president Susan Chauncy.

The presidents of OVA and the Golf Club signed a $3.6 million purchase and sale agreement Nov. 10. Closing costs will include loan, legal and other expenses. Under the terms of a “letter of intent,” the OVA would pay $1.2 million to cover OGC debts and would assume its primary $2.4 million loan.

Separately, OVA signed a 20-year agreement with an experienced private golf operator, Advance Golf Partners, to lease the golf and restaurant facilities and share profits with the OVA.

Initial discussions called for AGP to contribute $1 million up front, but things did not work out that way. AGP was unable to secure a satisfactory loan, forcing the OVA to agree to advance the money to remodel and upgrade the Quail Inn restaurant. But AGP agreed, among other things, to reduce its guaranteed share of profit from $200,000 to $100,000 and pay 50 percent of annual income over that into a reserve fund.

“The arrangement with AGP has indeed changed,” Spanier said in a Jan. 3 community message. “Like you, we wish it hadn’t. However, we believe the current arrangement is only slightly less agreeable. And, most importantly, Oakmont will soon forever control the fate of the land presently owned by the Oakmont Golf Club.”

Did the board initially misrepresent the situation to Oakmont residents?

“We always gave Oakmont residents the best information we had at the time,” Spanier said.


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