Nye County approves offer of $350,000 for Pahrump golf course

Nye County commissioners narrowly approved moving forward on a proposal to purchase a golf course in Pahrump.

The Nye County Commission, sitting as the governing body for the town of Pahrump, approved a proposed purchase price of $350,000 for Lakeview Executive Golf Course at a Dec. 8 meeting. If the offer is accepted by Lakeview Golf Association LLC, the course’s owner, the funding for the initial purchase price would come out of the town of Pahrump’s general fund.

Nye County Commission Chairman Dan Schinhofen, who spearheaded the idea earlier this year, called the course ideal for junior golfers just learning the game and seniors who might not be equipped to handle playing at a championship course like Mountain Falls, which can take more time to complete.

There are currently two golf courses in the Pahrump area: Lakeview, which sits at 1471 E. Mount Charleston Drive, south of E. Calvada Boulevard, between S. Dandelion Street and Pahrump Valley Boulevard; and Mountain Falls, which sits closer to the Nye County line, heading toward Las Vegas. The area’s third course, Willow Creek Golf Course, was shuttered in 2008.

Schinhofen said his call to purchase the course was in response to calls from people in the community that wanted to see the property remain a golf course during the Friday meeting.

In a 3-2 vote in favor of the action, the county commissioners moved forward on the purchase. But it didn’t start out easy.

Schinhofen called to see if there would be a motion to open deliberation on the subject. Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said she was apt to second the motion, but her home district was not Pahrump and wanted a local commissioner to take the initial action.

Schinhofen eventually handed the gavel to Commissioner John Koenig to his left and made the motion himself, which was seconded by Wichman.

Contention because of use of funds

Some of the contention came from Commissioner Butch Borasky’s dislike of using funds from the “now defunct” Airport Fund. Borasky said he needed time to study moving the money from there to using it for purchasing a golf course.

In Schinhofen’s motion, he called for using monies from the Pahrump general fund, which currently holds $1.4 million, and made a call to look at the Airport Fund at a later date.

Schinhofen also called for the town of Pahrump to include it in its efforts on tourism, along with getting assistance from the Pahrump Nugget to actively advertise the course, which it already does for Mountain Falls, he said.

Jeremy Jenson, vice president and general manager of Golden Casino operations, said during public comment, that if the course “gets to a level to where it’s in the condition of Mountain Falls or similar, that is something that we can market at that point.”

The course is in need of an overhaul.

Jenson said if the course were to stay in its current state, it wouldn’t be able to get outer market traffic.

“If there’s enough funds, and we can drive enough income to operate it at a high level, I think it’s something wonderful for the town, and I think it’s something we can support,” he said.

“Keeping this as a golf course will add another tourism opportunity and be a benefit to our juniors and seniors,” Schinhofen said.

Schinhofen also suggested that a professional management company take over the course.

That was the sentiment of Bob Conrad, who gave a presentation during the meeting on the financial state of the course. Conrad, of Bob Conrad Consultant Services, worked on assessing the property at the behest of the county.

Fidelity Appraisals and Southwest Property Consultants worked on appraisals of Lakeview, which Schinhofen said showed the asset had a value between $250,000 and $750,000.

“I feel personally that this golf course would be a fine asset for the township,” Conrad said during his presentation.

Company to run the course

Conrad did call for a professional management company to come in and run it for the town. In return, the town of Pahrump would not have to have the burden of running the course and adding employees or paying benefits, he said.

The county’s next steps to finding a management company would be to send out a request for proposal or request for qualifications.

Donna Cox, who dissented from the opinion to buy the course, pointed to several projects in the area that were still in need of being completed.

“We have all these projects that are struggling, struggling, and we refuse to give it to them as a board,” Cox said. “We gave a few dollars here and a few dollars there but nothing where they can actually complete an item.”

Cox pointed to several projects including Kellogg Park.

On top of the initial expense, the county would also have to come up with funding for the many upgrades and repairs Lakeview would need, Cox pointed out.

Though many agreed during public comment that the purchase was beneficial to the community, some took to social media on Nye County’s Facebook page, calling for funding of other things such as 4-H or an animal shelter.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com