William Hong Ye paid $900,000 for the 163-acre property in Eden, N.Y., which includes a par-72 course, restaurant and pro shop, as well as an extensive amount of land. In the short term, Hong plans to add bunkers, trees and electric carts to the property, but looks at a possible campground, vineyard and digital arts building in the future.
William Hong Ye, a financial services executive from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is readying for his first season as owner of the Eden Valley Golf Course in Eden, N.Y., The Buffalo News reported. Hong paid $900,000 for the 163-acre property, which includes a par-72 course, restaurant and pro shop, as well as an extensive amount of land.
For the short term, he and his team are planning a series of improvements to the course and the pro shop, while adding a driving range in the future, The News reported. The 6,123-yard course does not currently have any bunkers, so he plans to “set up some,” while also planting more trees and buying more electric-powered golf carts to replace the gas carts now in use.
“I want to help the golf course feel better, and I have lots of plans to upgrade it,” he said.
Hong hopes to open the restaurant in the coming months after obtaining a wine and beer license, The News reported. The course also recently hired two new golf operations managers, Brigid Fay and Matt Kelley, who will handle day-to-day functions on site.
“The operation is seamlessly running,” said Hong’s local real estate agent, Hua Yang of Keller Williams. “He will spend time fully learning hardware and software of all aspects.”
For the long-term, though, Hong has bigger plans over the next three years for the significant amount of undeveloped land on the property, totaling about 20 acres, The News reported. A campsite is one idea. But the 53-year-old investor is also a wine lover, and even produces some wine in Canada, so he wants to plant a vineyard in back of the golf course.
And he’s a supporter of art, so he’s considering constructing a digital arts building on the site to help artists and musicians, The News reported.
“I love wine. I love golf. I love arts. So three dreams at one location,” he said. “I want this golf course to become an important home for artists.”
“He is a dedicated and enthusiastic person, who knows the arts. He is also deeply committed to public welfare and believes that EVGA should continue to serve the community,” Yang said. “With experience in organizing festivals such as culture exchanges and art shows, Bill is committed to making the land serve the community and the public in the best possible way.”
Hong, who was born in China, told The News he got his first set of golf clubs 30 years ago, and plays frequently in Canada, so buying a course has been a dream. But, “in Canada, the golf course price is so expensive,” so he looked to Buffalo instead, since he can easily drive here in two hours.
“I really like Buffalo, so that’s why I buy this golf course,” Hong said. “I play golf a lot. I love this sport, and I have a lot of friends that love this sport.”
Eden Valley had been owned and run by Jason, Molly and George Baer for the last nine years, but has been on the block for three years, according to real estate broker William Heussler of Hanna Commercial, The News reported.
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