Lakeview community weighs in on golf course sale in Pahrump

For the past 14 years, the Lakeview Executive Golf Course at 1471 E. Mount Charleston Drive has been under private ownership and just getting by. This could all be coming to an end as the Nye County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to move forward in the process of buying the course. They made an offer of $650,000 (see front page story).

If the sale goes through this will mark another chapter in the the golf course’s history. It was saved by the homeowners surrounding the course about 2003 after the collapse of the Willow Creek Golf Course, who also owned the Lakeview course. The homeowners got together to save their home values and according to one of the original board members, Nick Moore, 66 homeowners made the decision to buy the course to save it.

“We each paid about $10,000 to save the golf course,” Moore said.

Moore said back then none of the board members ever expected to own the course and really none had any experience operating one.

And now the course is up for sale.

“The golf course has always been up for sale, said Gene Bulac, a Lakeview executive board member. “We are willing to sell to the right buyer. We are willing to sell it to the county because we know it will be maintained as a golf course and not sold for development. In February we voted to put it up for sale. The reason is we all have had a rough past couple of years. We are all volunteers with many of us getting up in age. A lot of us have moved on or moved away. We need someone with resources to take over and keep the course maintained.”

Golf community weighs in

Bulac feels that a deal between course owners and the town would be beneficial to both sides.

“I look at it as being an asset that the county needs here in Pahrump,” he said. “A lot of people who can’t play at Mountain Falls play here.”

Bob Hopkins, Pahrump Valley Trojans boys and girls golf coach, agrees. “It is an awesome course that the high school has used a lot,” the coach said. “But also the senior community needs to use it too. There are a lot of seniors that can’t play at Mountain Falls because it is so long.”

Liese Peterson, a Lakeview board member, said also that some seniors can’t afford the prices at Mountain Falls.

“Golf is a great sport for people of all ages, especially seniors,” Peterson said. “This is an executive (short) course, which is conducive to play by seniors, who need the exercise but can’t manage lots of par 5 holes.”

Can it be profitable?

Moore feels the course is the right size for the county (town) to maintain.

“This course is perfect for our population, and it is small enough to be profitable,” he said. “It is a good anchor for the community. Seniors can get exercise and walk the course. It is the perfect size for our small retirement community.”

Moore feels the county will do a great job.

“I think it makes sense to have it run by the county,” he said. “It can be a win-win for the county. I think it can pay for itself. As far as the homeowners, I think we set out to protect home values and did that. We were not out to make a profit.”

Moore pointed out the county is already set up to handle the course.

“Matt Lewis of the town parks and recreation department already does such an excellent job with the parks,” Moore said. “He is here for the community and his crew works hard. Every time I watch those guys they are working hard.”

Bulac said the process is not over and just because the county voted to buy doesn’t mean it’s over.

“Both sides now have to negotiate an agreeable price,” he said. “This could take some time.”

What is the alternative?

Peterson said the alternative to not going through with the deal could be devastating.

“Closing it would create another eyesore in the middle of town and deflate the property values of many people who have nothing to do with the course apart from living on or near it (they don’t golf and/or they don’t own a portion of it),” she said. “In other words, people who have nothing to do with the golf course would still suffer property value loss.”

She added that the course serves as a park too and that it’s not just golfers that use it.

“Many people don’t realize that not all the people who live on the golf course own part of it, so there are already hundreds, if not thousands of people who are deriving the benefits of a major green space in their midst who never golf,” Peterson said. “And if you counted the number of people who use it for walking, with or without their dogs, during after hours, you could say it’s already been functioning as a park in a sense.”

According to Peterson, the county is getting a great deal.

“The sales price is a steal, in my opinion,” she said. “Nye County is getting some of the most beautiful land, trees, and water features in the county for about $10,ooo an acre. The vacant lot directly adjacent to us was listed several years ago at $35,000 and is a half acre, and a recent sale of a lot across the street from the course was in the $40,000 range for a half acre. I’d say $10,000 for a full acre is a steal, particularly given the income potential.”

A shareholder, Mark Owens, agrees the town is getting a good deal.

“It’s hard to make money with a golf course,” he said. “But if the county (town) does it right they can make money. I think this is a good move and a better deal than retired folks running it.”

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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