Creekside Golf Club to Potentially Close on April 30
There is the possibility that Creekside Golf Club might close at the end of the month, after years of running in the red. Now, in an attempt to prevent that, Creekside is asking the City of Salem to reduce the amount they are being charge for water, which could potentially save them upwards of $140,000 yearly, as detailed in a Statesman Journal article.
They remain the only golf course in Salem that irrigates tap water, Salem Public Works Director Peter Fernandez said, and is one of the city’s top five water users.
Leaders at the club are also asking each of the 307 current members of the club to contribute $1,100 by Friday, or agree to a $1,200 payment plan, which could potentially raise $338,000 for business.
Next year, if they do not shut down, the club will be raising gold dues by an additional $60 per month, which would raise another $221,000.
Previously, the club issued ultimatums to the neighboring homeowners association. Either they must buy out the club and issue paid memberships to each homeowner, or they would sell, most likely to a residential house developer. Now, they are going door to door, asking the estimated 200 neighbors to donate voluntarily, which could bring in an extra $144,000.
Tom Whitaker, the golf club’s new co-owner and general manager, believed the two need to be financially connected. Despite being created by the same developer, Creekside Golf Club and Creekside Estates does not have any previous legal or financial ties.
Whitaker wrote a letter to the Creekside Homeowners Association on Feb. 16, according to Statesman Journal. In it, he lays out three options for them to take.
Option one entails increasing the homeowner association dues by $60 per month, or $30 for unimproved lots, and in return, each household would be given as social membership. Regular social memberships, including access to the fitness center, pool, and everything excluding the gold course, costs $100 per month. Also unlike regular memberships, the ones given to residents will also extend to their grown children and grandchildren. The $60 can also be applied towards a golf membership.
The estates have 588 lots, and most of them improved, which could earn the golf club as much as $400,00 per year, varying depending on how many of the homeowners are already members.
Option two would ask Creekside Estates to purchase the golf course and facilities at a fair market value determined by a professional appraiser, with the golf club carrying the note and trust deed for seven years. During this period, the amount to be payed would be reduced by a “transfer fee,” to be assessed based on the homes sold in the neighborhood. This fee would be $15,000 for the homes located near the golf course, and $8,500 for homes in other areas.
No appraisal has been done at this point, according to Whitaker, and no estimate of purchase price. The Marion County Assessor’s Office, however, values the property alone at $2.9 million.
The third option would be to do nothing.
Residents in Creekside Estates had to respond by March 1, but if 30% of the votes were positive in response, it would force a vote. They then had to meet March 26, as detailed in a Statesman Journal article.
The 153-acre golf course at the club was built in 1993 with 18 holes. Peter Jacobsen, a touring golf professional, designed it.
Whittaker owns one-third of the club, along with Salem developer Larry Torarski’s Mountain West Investments and Terry Kelly, a former partner of Pence/Kelly Construction Inc. Kelly purchased the club in 2002.
A new partnership, named Creekside Golf Operations, took over the club in March 2015, and has since spent $1.2 million on renovating the facilities.