The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 7

GOLF COURSE
DEVELOPMENT

Courses turning unused land into cash cow
Hotel partners exchange customers for amenities
By Jim Dunlap

A

s golf courses continue to struggle for more play and more
revenue, some are finding that the answer lies in as little
as a half acre of their unused land. Overland Park, Kan.based Fairway Suites may be able to put 80 to 100 brand new
hotel rooms full of potential golfers, diners, drinkers and event
guests right next door, and at absolutely no cost to the course. For
the hotel's part, it not only gets a golf course guest amenity but in
most cases, also spares itself the expense of building and operating an expensive restaurant by sending guests next door to the
golf course clubhouse dining facilities. It is, when done right, the
perfect definition of win-win.
As the need to supplement diminishing golf revenues has
increased, some courses fortunate enough to have some excess
acreage have either sold it to a developer or even developed it
themselves if zoning and other conditions are suitable. Those
transactions, however, are a one time windfall, and will only shore
up declining course and clubhouse revenues for so long. The
emerging Fairway Suites model provides the company's hotel
chain partners with desirable land at a reasonable price, a competitive sales edge due to the golf course access and no need to
build, staff and operate an in-house restaurant.
"We're looking for golf courses with unused land and a good
location with plenty of industrial businesses in the area to supply the hotel with room nights," said Fairway Suites' director of
business development and PGA member Jeff Miller. "A lot of our
hotel partners don't want to build a hotel with a full service restaurant. It's costly, and it provides an upside for the golf course if
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the hotel can send guests next door to the clubhouse restaurant."
The concept was born nearly a decade ago when Fairway
Suites' CEO Joe Ross initiated it at Deer Creek Golf Club in
Kansas City. Ross did several more deals, but then the company and the concept lay dormant for six years, Miller said, while
the now 82 year old Ross cared for his ailing wife and daughter.
Two years ago, a company called Affinity World bought Fairway
Suites and staffed it up, installing Kirk Miles and to run the day
to day operations of the company and Miller to seek out and
facilitate likely hotel-course business partners.
Miller knew from first hand experience that the concept could
work, having been the general manager and director of golf at
Deer Creek when Ross introduced the Towne Palace Suites by
Marriott property next door.
"It was a home run for both properties," Miller recalled. "We
The Pellucid PersPecTive

7


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018

TOC
Course closures – some perspective from Pellucid
CapEx: The looming monster under the bed for munis
Courses turning unused land into cash cow
May golf weather impact: We Finally Catch a Break
Cleveland market challenged, but not like Cavs
It is, after all, all about the money
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Course closures – some perspective from Pellucid
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - CapEx: The looming monster under the bed for munis
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Courses turning unused land into cash cow
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - May golf weather impact: We Finally Catch a Break
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Cleveland market challenged, but not like Cavs
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - It is, after all, all about the money
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