(Photo of Todd Barranger by Nathan J. Fish/Las Cruces Sun-News)
Spirit Golf Management Southwest contracted to manage and buy the Las Cruces, N.M. club in 2019, but a holdup in securing a new liquor license delayed the settlement and change of ownership. The new owners’ improvement plans include creating an event facility at the site of the former pool area and then installing a new pool, but they will have to wait until the pandemic passes to establish priorities and a strategy for attracting new members.
The sale of Picacho Hills Country Club in Las Cruces, N.M. was finalized on September 1st, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported. Spirit Golf Management Southwest is now the new owner of the club, taking over from Don and Louis Biad, who ran the facility for the past few decades
C+RB reported on the initial arrangements for the sale in April 2019 (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/picacho-hills-n-m-cc-under-contract-to-be-sold/).
Richard Holcomb, one of Spirit Golf Management Southwest’s partners, told the Sun-News that the new owners chose Picacho Hills because they want to expand locations in the southwest, and Picacho Hills has been active since the 1970s with a strong membership base. The new owners plan to make improvements, Holcomb added, because “we just think that there’s even brighter days ahead.”
“Our goal is to have the finest golf courses in the southern part of New Mexico and west Texas,” Holcomb said. “And Picacho Hills fit the bill. It’s a beautiful course.”
Picacho Hills is a private club with homes surrounding an 18-hole, Joe Finger-designed golf course, clubhouse and other amenities located just west of Las Cruces, the Sun-News reported.
As a private golf course management company, Spirit Golf Management Southwest holds long-term multi-year management contracts with two other golf properties in the Southwest, the Sun-News reported, including the Butterfield Trail Golf Club in El Paso, Texas, which it began managing two weeks ago (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/new-management-approved-for-butterfield-trail-gc/), and the Sierra Del Rio Golf Course in Elephant Butte, N.M.
Partners Todd Barranger and Holcomb have managed Picacho Hills Country Club since March 2019 and expected to finalize the sale during the summer of 2019, the Sun-News reported. However, the timeline was slowed because of the prolonged process of securing a new liquor license amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The liquor license was a condition of sale, the Sun-News reported, so the club could use it for events booked at their facilities, such as weddings and banquets. Before, the liquor license was mainly for use at club sponsored events rather than community functions.
In addition to the golf course, Picacho Hills features a driving range, tennis and pickleball courts and a restaurant and bar. Spirit Golf Management Southwest has plans to create an event facility at the site of the former pool area and then install a new pool elsewhere on the property, the Sun-News reported. The new owners are also working on plans for redoing some of the tennis courts, Holcomb added.
“We have to wait till COVID is over, and then really work with our members to decide what some of their priorities are, as well as what we see in the community to try to capture new members for the club,” Holcomb said.
In the meantime, the club has been offering carryout food service, the Sun-News reported. On September 5th, New Mexico began to allow indoor dining at 25 percent capacity, so members can now dine inside and see the renovated dining room.