The local businessmen who would be the new owners of the Rio Rancho, N.M. property want to make it a semi-private operation that would be rebranded as The Club at Rio Rancho. A “major effort” to increase membership, which has fallen from 600 to under 150, would be part of the plan for the property’s revival, at the same time that public accessibility would also be increased.
Chamisa Hills Country Club in Rio Rancho, N.M. could have a new owner by early spring, ending months of uncertainty over the fate of the 40-plus-year-old golf course and related properties, reported the Rio Rancho (N.M.) Observer.
Bob Gallagher, a Rio Rancho businessman, told the Observer that he and Jhett Browne, owner of the Farmers Market stores in Albuquerque, N.M. have signed a purchase agreement with Chamisa Hills owner Harry Apodaca. Browne would be the majority stockholder, Gallagher said.
If the sale is completed, Chamisa Hills would come under ownership of The Club at Rio Rancho Inc. and would be renamed The Club at Rio Rancho, Gallagher told the Observer, and would then operate as a semi-private facility.
Gallagher declined to disclose the purchase price, but said the financing has been approved. The parties hope to close by May 1. Gallagher said the timing is crucial in order to begin work on the course, which has fallen into disrepair over the years, early in the growing season, the Observer reported.
“It’s a complete asset purchase,” Gallagher said. “All the tangible property and assets of Chamisa Hills will come under the Club of Rio Rancho.”
The purchase would include the 240-acre Chamisa Hills site, three 9-hole golf courses, a restaurant and lounge, a swimming pool and related facilities, and six lighted tennis courts.
Gallagher said it was too early to say if the nine holes known as Trevino North will be restored, the Observer reported.
“I will tell you we are concerned,” Gallagher said. “There has not been water on [those] nine holes since last July. Over 200 sprinkler heads have been removed and, in fact, some of the pipes have been removed.”
“We will not do anything to that piece of property that would cause adjacent and contiguous homeowners to lose value on their property,” Gallagher noted.
The remaining 18 holes would be revitalized and there are plans to provide a “very upscale, affordable” restaurant experience, the Observer reported.
Gallagher said there would be a major effort to increase membership of the club, which has fallen from 600 or so to 148. There are also plans to increase public accessibility.
The buyers hope to negotiate a new rate for recycled water with the city of Rio Rancho before the current contract with the club expires July 1, at which time rates will shoot up from 47 cents per thousand gallons to $3.28 per thousand gallons, the Observer reported. Gallagher said that he had submitted a proposal for reuse rates to City Manager Keith Riesberg.
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