Five years ago, the future of the Lehigh Acres, Fla., club was in question, when its home developer filed for bankruptcy and investors managed the property until a new buyer was finally found two years later in April 2011. The property is now seeing surges in revenue and activity for its 18-hole golf course, driving range, putting green, full-service pro shop and snack bar.
Copperhead Golf Club in Lehigh Acres, Fla., is experiencing a surge in activity nearly five years after facing financial peril, the Ft. Myers-based Lehigh Acres Citizen reported.
The 18-hole property initially opened in May 2001. A group of investors bought the property for $40 million in 2006 and worked with a developer to build homes on the property. When the recession hit, the building group was forced to file for bankruptcy and the investors agreed to manage the property until a buyer could be found, the Citizen reported.
However, around 2008 or 2009, the bank that held its note failed and was taken over by the FDIC. According to reports, investors continued to manage the property until buyers were found in April of 2011, when they purchased the golf course, maintenance facilities and the large pro shop for $1.2 million, the Citizen reported.
In October 2012, Sam Tefft was hired as golf course superintendent and things began to turn around. Tefft began moving at full speed to make changes at the golf club, but he gives credit to General Manager Kelly Little, “for being the driving force who gets people in the door.”
And in the door they are coming. Golfers can opt to pay daily fees or purchase annual or even semi-annual play passes. Little noted that revenues have jumped upward and things are looking good, the Citizen reported.
To get golfers to try Copperhead, both Little and Tefft have spread the word though advertising in golf magazines and online at Golfnow.com. They also said handing out fliers with coupons brought many to play the course, the Citizen reported.
Construction is expected to resume with the homes that are across from the golf course as other investors take over, Tefft said.
“We have a great neighborhood here,” Tefft said. “It’s a great place to live and even greater if you enjoy playing golf. You don’t have to drive far, just to the clubhouse where we provide the carts.”
The championship golf course features a driving range, putting green, a large full-service pro shop and a snack bar, the Citizen reported.