PALM DESERT – The Palm Desert Country Club is in danger of shutting down because of the poor economy.
It is shocking news to homeowners whose life revolves around golf and who bought homes overlooking the green.
“I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly here,” says Dave Osborn, who bought a house along the course 10 years ago. “It was good, then it got bad and had to close down. Then, they made it into a really nice golf course out here.”
The club has seen its share of tough times, as Osborn suggests. It needed a makeover at the turn of the century. It reopened in 2006 after a $10 million renovation with rave reviews.
Golf Magazine crowned it “renovation of the year.”
Now, residents found their mailboxes stuffed with pamphlets. A club administrator tells News Channel 3 that the club’s owners made the pamphlet. It urged residents to contact their city council members and to have the city consider two proposals in order to save the club.
The first proposal asks the city to purchase 10,000 rounds of golf a year, at $20 a piece. That amounts to $200,000.
The club wants the city to commit to this deal for ten years.
Resident Tony Schwartz says the city has the money.
“They get $82 million a year for redevelopment. Instead of building another golf course — which I’ve heard they’re proposing –they could help us out.”
Proposal #2: Have the city buy the nine-hole executive course and operate it as a public course. The executive course already shut down last week, June 1.
“I am already stressing out,” says Terry Poppett, who says she moved to the desert to play golf. “What am I going to do? We cannot afford to play in other courses.”
Perhaps adding a maintenance fee to homeowners’ HOA may fix the problem. Some residents say they won’t mind the extra fee, but there is another problem: Only 25% of the homeowners actually play golf.
The club is considered a gem in the city. But, if the city does not step in soon, this gem may lose its brilliance.
Mayor Bob Spiegel tells News Channel 3 that a special city council meeting has been scheduled for June 15 at 3:00 p.m. primarily to discuss the club’s dilemma.