The Otsego Club & Resort in Gaylord, Mich., which opened in 1939, is closing down golf operations for the summer and is set to go up for auction on June 18-20. Bids will start at $800,000. In Ignacio, Colo., Hunter’s Run Golf Course has closed after 25 years as the longtime owners seek a buyer.
The Otsego Club & Resort in Gaylord, Mich., is closing down golf operations for the summer, the Gaylord Herald Times reported.
“The Otsego Resort is in transition of new ownership and has chosen not to run golf operations until new ownership is in place,” General Manager Mike Bedells said in a recent post to the resort’s Facebook page. “The resort will continue to operate all hotel and special events this summer.”
In addition to shutting down its golf operations for the summer, the resort was recently listed as up for auction on Ten-X Commercial’s website. The auction is set to take place June 18-20, the Herald Times reported.
The resort was established in 1939. The news comes on the heels of a winter ski season in which the resort welcomed the public for the first time since opening nearly 80 years ago, the Herald Times reported.
“Membership clubs—whether it be golf or skiing—throughout the country and Canada have been changing. Now it’s time to go that same direction,” Bedells said in a previous Herald Times story.
Otsego Resort also has seen numerous changes in ownership and management over the past decade. Osprey Recreational Properties bought the resort from Keith Gornick at a 2007 auction and immediately began renovation work. Then in 2012, Osprey leased the club, with an option to buy, to two longtime members, Roger Mali and Ryan Niles, where it has since undergone significant turnover in management of golf and ski operations, the Herald Times reported.
Rumors swirled prior to last summer that the resort would not open because of changes in management, however, the resort did end up operating for the duration of the season, the Herald Times reported.
For some members, the decision to shut down golf operations for the summer was both surprising and disappointing. “I don’t think the situation was handled very well, and I’m really sad to see that it wasn’t opened,” said Rick Cope, a member at Otsego Resort for more than 20 years. “But there’s no nicer course in Northern Michigan than The Tribute layout-wise. You can’t take away the views or holes.”
Attention now turns to the future of the long-standing resort and its impending auction. Bids will start at $800,000 with a $10,000 deposit required for participation in bidding. The 696-acre resorts boasts 29 ski slope runs, two 18-hole golf courses and 111,066 feet of rentable square footage. The resort advertises 80 guest rooms, with 60 more available through a condo rental pool, the Herald Times reported.
The resort has stated it is refunding already-paid passes as well as facilitating golf packages through other resorts, if desired by customers. Many are hoping whoever buys the club will be able to return the storied resort, originally called Hidden Valley, to the condition it once was, the Herald Times reported.
“The Otsego Club is a unique and special place for all of us who have worked there and anyone who has visited in either the summer or the winter to golf, attend a wedding, enjoy a brunch, or ski,” said Peter Whyte, who most recently worked with the resort as director of the club’s of ski school this winter. “I think it’s too nice of a place to stay shut down for long.”
Hunter’s Run Golf Course in Ignacio, Colo., has closed after nearly 25 years while the longtime owners try to find a buyer to take over operations, the Cortez, Colo., Journal reported.
Owner Robert Hardaway has owned the 60-plus-acre property for more than 40 years. In the 1990s, he and his family decided to run a golf course on part of the property, the Journal reported.
“I couldn’t get a loan, so it took me 13 years to build it,” Hardaway said. “I was working the entire time, putting money in a little bit at a time.”
The nine-hole golf course has been a viable business over the years, Hardaway said, serving as a great place for players to get introduced into golf, especially children. He said the course also offered affordable playing rates, the Journal reported.
For the past several years, Hardaway has tried to sell the golf course. He and his family wanted to keep and live in a 3,500-sq. ft. home on 3 acres within the property. Last year, Hardaway said he found an interested buyer who would buy and run the golf course. The plan hit a snag. To separate the house from the golf course, Hardaway would have to create a “subdivision” lot specifically for his home through the La Plata County Planning Department, the Journal reported.
This process was overly burdensome and too expensive, Hardaway said. He said a surveying company said it would take an estimated $200,000 to meet all the terms laid out by the county and San Juan Basin Public Health, the Journal reported.
Planning Director Jason Meininger said the county has codes it needs to follow. When creating a “subdivision” lot like Hardaway was trying to do, there are minimum requirements the landowner must take to identify aspects on the property so current and future landowners know where infrastructure exists.
“People come in oftentimes and want to pursue an idea,” Meininger said. “When they determine what it takes to fulfill that idea, they decide it’s not worth it. In this case, there was no vote, no decision, no staff denial.
“They were unwilling to do what was necessary to do a subdivision so the home could function on a lot.”
Ultimately, Hardaway chose not to go forward with creating a new lot and closed the golf course in the fall. Since then, he says Hunter’s Run has languished while he searches for a buyer interested in both the course and the home on the property, the Journal reported.
“I stopped keeping up maintenance,” Hardaway said. “I just got too old to keep it up.”
Hardaway still lives on the property. He and his wife intend to move to South America, where she is from, if a sale ultimately goes through. “I’ve gotten over it,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world.”