Paul Stagner outlined broad plans to purchase and operate the Gulf Breeze, Fla., property to the city council, noting that he would maintain the golf course with 36 holes rather than the current 18. The property is currently owned by the city and operated by Integrity Golf. Stagner plans to have an official offer to the city before September 1.
Gulf Breeze, Fla., resident and businessman Paul Stagner plans to purchase and operate Tiger Point Golf Club, the Gulf Breeze (Fla.) News reported.
While an official offer is not presently on the table, the city council seemed more than interested and even welcoming to receiving one. “I would encourage you to submit any serious offer,” Mayor Matt Dannheisser said. “I think this council would always do what’s best for the city, so if selling it was best for the city then we would do so.”
Stagner’s plan includes maintaining the golf course with 36 holes rather than 18, as it is currently being operated, with an extra 15 acres available as conditional use. “It was a challenge for the city initially to run it and then the decision to partner with Integrity, we don’t know what the outcome is gonna be of that long-term,” Stagner said.
Stagner’s office building is adjacent to the driving range, he is President of Tiger Point Office Park Owners’ Association, and is a resident of Tiger Point, with a home on the golf course, the News reported.
If the deal goes through, Stagner said he fully intends to have both courses up and running. He said he would focus on the east course throughout the first year, getting that course up to industry standards. Based on the success of the east course and how it was performing as a revenue generator, he would then shift focus to the west course understanding that it’s going to need “quite a bit of funding.” But in the meantime, Stagner said the east course would be operating “to where members are happy,” the News reported.
Councilwoman Renee Bookout questioned Stagner as to whether his plan to purchase the golf course might interfere with negotiations the city is already involved in for the purchase or leasing of the clubhouse, with the intention of using the remaining 15 acres to expand the wastewater treatment plant. Stagner replied that “we could certainly work around that.”
“We’ve got problems [with the course]…I look forward to your [Stagner] offer personally to get rid of it because the original use that was sold to us by staff’s recommendation was we needed the acreage to expand the wastewater treatment plant, not to run a golf course,” said Mayor Pro Tem Joe Henderson.
Stagner said he is involved in real estate development (although not his primary line of business) and has a team of investors that are very interested in the Tiger Point Golf Course. He said they are currently in the process of running numbers and projections and going over budgets. His goal is to have an official offer to the city before September 1. He reiterated that right now the golf course is simply an “economic lull for the area,” but that he would really like to turn it around to enhance the area and draw on the tourist aspects that the course could potentially create, the News reported.
As far as the city’s interests, Stagner said, “We want to be good partners.”
Mayor Dannheisser closed out their conversation stating, “We’ll have to see. But without knowing any details it’s hard to comment on anything more than that.”