The Pellucid Perspective - February 2016 - (Page 8)

Golf course supply Scoundrels or saviors depends on one's point of view By Jim Dunlap remnants of the former escondido country club 8 The Pellucid PersPecTive dido shortly after he bought the club from its bankrupt owners in 2012 and several months later announced plans to close the club and course and convert the acreage to residential development. Local activists objected, pointing to a zoning change that had been relatively recently applied that required the club property to remain open space. Schlesinger sued the city, stating that not only was it unfair for the city to require him to continue to operate what he said was a losing business, but that the property's underlying zoning permitted residential development, a contention that the courts eventually supported. In the interim, the dispute got some national play when Schlesinger's LLC, the aptly named Stuck in the Rough, had tons of chicken manure spread over the shuttered course, causing residents to yell "Fowl" and the media to raise a stink. To date, Schlesinger still owns the property, and has offered a compromise that he will not be its developer, but the course is gone and it seems likely that the property will be sold for development once the air clears. Schlesinger has also purchased Stoneridge Country Club in Poway, another San Diego suburb, and rumors are swirling among members and nearby residents that his intent is to attempt to develop at least a portion of the current course and adjoining acreage for residential use. At present, Schlesinger has installed Touchstone Golf to manage the property, and club op- Jill Replogle / www.kpbs.oRg/news/2014/nov/04/futuRe-escondido-neighboRhood-lies-voteRs y ou're a golf course owner in a relatively upscale market on the West Coast. Your course is holding its own, but would likely be doing significantly better if a couple of struggling nearby competitors disappeared. Their owners are tired of red ink on their balance sheets, and would probably jump at a reasonable offer to buy their facilities, and turn cartwheels to boot if an offer came in well above the assessed value of their facility. If those properties include developable land, or could possibly be converted into residential development, perhaps you should contact Beverly Hills developer Michael Schlesinger and his attorney/ partner Ronald Richards and point them toward your neighbors. Schlesinger, a long time developer and head of Beverly Hillsbased Cambra Realty, and his partner Richards have made news in California and Las Vegas in the last couple of years with ventures into golf club ownership. The two have been involved in the purchase of at least four facilities, three in California and one in Las Vegas, all of which have generated some degree of controversy or seem likely to in the near future. To say that the two are banking on greens fees and membership dues to provide a return on their often inflated investments would be naive in view of the strategic plans they've unveiled to date. Schlesinger raised the ire of members and nearby residents of Escondido Country Club in the San Diego suburb of Escon- February 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - February 2016

PerformanceTrak rides off into the sunset: What’s next?
Millenials are only part of the story; don’t forget the rest
Scoundrels or saviors depends on one’s point of view
January golf weather impact: All good things come to an end
Tough love, brother, in Philly market
Slow life in the fast lane

The Pellucid Perspective - February 2016