The 18-hole, member-owned club will be offered for sale sometime in the next month. Members have not ruled out buyers interested in redeveloping 12 of the club’s less-restricted acres, including its clubhouse, into condos or commercial space, but deed restrictions prevent the course from being converted into anything other than green space. Members and residents predict the property will be sold quickly, and for no less than eight figures.
Las Vegas Country Club, one of the valley’s oldest golf courses, could soon change hands. Members confirmed last week that their 18-hole, member-owned course has been listed with a commercial real estate brokerage firm and would be offered up for sale sometime in the next month, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Mobsters, mayors and movie stars joined the club’s ranks in the roughly four decades since it first opened. That list includes crooner Frank Sinatra, famed daredevil Evel Knievel, former Mayor Oscar Goodman and mobsters Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro, the Review-Journal reported.
If sold, the club would count as the third Las Vegas course to take on new owners in the past several months. The first two, Badlands and Silverstone, were bought by developers who have not ruled out plans to turn part or all of those courses into residential housing, the Review-Journal reported.
General Manager Gordon Digby said there was “zero chance” of similar plans emerging at his club, where he said deed restrictions prevent the course from being converted into anything besides green space, the Review-Journal reported.
Digby said 55 percent of the club’s roughly 500 members would have to sign off on any transactions arranged by CBRE Las Vegas. The brokers have drawn up a pair of surveys seeking members’ input on potential buyers and future plans for the course, the Review-Journal reported.
Members have not ruled out buyers interested in redeveloping 12 of the club’s less-restricted acres, including its clubhouse, into condos or commercial space. That acreage, near the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Westgate Las Vegas, is one of the reasons Digby doubts it will take long to land a buyer. He and other club members said the course—which holds its own water rights—attracted tentative offers from casino mogul Steve Wynn, as well as a Dubai-based business group, as recently as 2005, the Review-Journal reported.
Digby counted the club as one of only three profitable courses in the Las Vegas Valley and said its financial wherewithal did not factor into the decision to put the property up for sale, the Review-Journal reported.
Club President Mike Singer agreed, saying that money only played a role in the move insofar as the club’s aging membership was unwilling to pay for a potential $10,200 per-member assessment needed to pay down mortgages on the property. Singer expects the course will “easily” fetch an eight-figure offer from prospective new owners, the Review-Journal reported.
Longtime resident Jim Wade said members wouldn’t part with the club for anything short of $20 million—roughly five times the price paid for Silverstone in September. “My wife’s an avid golfer, so it’s going to have to be a high number,” Wade said. “This isn’t Silverstone, this is an iconic golf course.”
Wade, one of an estimated 80 or 90 members who actually live on the course, pointed to a group of Japanese investors as early favorites to buy the property, though he’s not sure they or anyone else will be able to sell club members on an ownership change, the Review-Journal reported.
Jeff Woolson, one of the brokers responsible for bringing the course to market, said potential buyers include casinos and foreign investors, but likely not housing developers or groups who own other Southern Nevada golf courses. He expects the property to all but sell itself, perhaps even by the end of January, the Review-Journal reported.
“This property is so unique, because of its location and its history,” Woolson said. “So pricing is not going to be normal pricing. These member equity clubs can be tricky. There’s an emotional attachment to the course and sometimes they’re not looking for the highest price, but for the best buyer.”