The Mullen, Neb. property is interviewing five of the top golf course architecture firms in the world. By May, the list should be down to three. Membership has grown from 150 to 475 in recent years, and the increased demand is taxing resources of the club’s facilities and the ability to obtain staffing from a lightly populated area. KemperSports, which was recently selected to manage the property, will provide the seasonal workers Dismal River needs from its southern properties when those are in their offseason.
Dismal River Club, which recently announced a new partnership with KemperSports, is adding a third golf course to the Mullen, Neb. property, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Joel Jacobs, the club’s Chief Executive Officer, told the World-Herald the club is interviewing five of the top golf course architecture firms in the world, some of which have staked holes in the Sand Hills southwest of Mullen. By May, the list should be down to three.
The third course likely will be on Big Horseshoe Hill, which looms over the finishing holes of the second course, the World-Herald reported. An option would be placing it in the southeast portion of the 2,900-acre property.
Jacobs, from Mullen, is one of the seven original investors in the fourth group to own Dismal River, the World-Herald reported. The club opened in 2006 with a Jack Nicklaus-designed course and added a course in 2013 designed by Tom Doak.
Since Jacobs’ group took ownership six years ago, he said membership has grown from 150 to 475, the World-Herald reported. The increased demand is taxing resources of the club’s facilities and the ability to obtain staffing from a lightly populated area.
KemperSports last week took over day-to-day operations at what will be the state’s first 54-hole private golf club. Its resources, Jacobs said, will allow Dismal River to double the number of beds in its lodging cabins to 160, the World-Herald reported.
The Chicago-based company manages more than 140 golf courses and other sports venues internationally. KemperSports will provide the seasonal workers Dismal River needs from its southern properties when those are in their offseason, the World-Herald reported.
“The issue we have today is quality control and consistency, from golf course maintenance to housekeeping to the front of the clubhouse,’’ Jacobs said. “We’re just looking to make everything much more efficient. Kemper can come in and provide us resources of a size that can offset a lot of costs and essentially help us retain what we have so we can grow in the direction that we want to go.”
Dismal River attracted interest in recent years from other management companies. Jacobs said KemperSports was the one that would be best to maintain the club’s identity and culture while enabling growth, the World-Herald reported. Its properties include Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln and Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast.
“If I was just going to sit back and not build any more cabins and really just focus on what we have, this probably wouldn’t have made a lot of sense,’’ Jacobs said. “As we look into expansion, we have a lot of lots that have been sold and need to be built on. As we add 20 more million-dollar cabins, we need to have management that can handle the additional demand on the golf courses.
“Kemper brings a lot of resources to help just make that easy for us. Make it something that’s plausible so we can focus on what we want to be in the future and that’s adding another golf course.”
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