A partnership has been arranged with the division of Landscapes Unlimited to operate the high-end public facility that was built in Casper, Wyo. with a Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course on the site of what was once one of the world’s largest oil refineries.
The Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board (ARAJPB) has finalized a partnership with Landscapes Golf Management (LGM), a division of Landscapes Unlimited, LLC, through which LGM will operate Three Crowns Golf Club, a high-end public facility built in Casper, Wyo. on the site of what was once one of the world’s largest oil refineries.
Three Crowns GC features a Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course built on the site of the Platte River Commons, formerly known as the Amoco refinery. The refinery was first operated by Midwest Refining Company in 1913, to process petroleum from the Salt Creek Field, located about forty-five miles north of Casper. In 1923, the Salt Creek Field peaked at 100,000 barrels per day.
Standard Oil of Indiana then took a controlling interest in the property and invested $10 million to expand it. In 1941, refining was modified to supply the military with fuel oil, toluene for explosives and aviation fuel. In 1953, the refinery began making commercial aviation fuel and increased the octane of motor gasoline, and Standard Oil’s refinery was said to be the largest plant in the world for volume of gasoline produced (615,000 gallons per month). At the height of production, 48,000 barrels of oil were processed, and the refinery employed approximately 750 people.
Beginning in 1981, prior to when the refinery was to be shut down, Amoco began to implement a plan to clean up the site and prevent the underground flow of contamination. It did so by installing several groundwater recovery wells and accompanying pumps. Around 120 recovery wells were installed within the golf course and along the barrier wall that pump groundwater out at a rate of 700 gallons per minute. The oil and other chemicals are then separated through a series of filtering wetlands, which serve as water hazards on the golf course.
The Three Crowns course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., has 110 acres of manicured turf and 45 acres of native grasses. The greens are constructed to USGA standards with A-1 bentgrass surfaces, and Kentucky bluegrass is used for the tees, fairways and roughs. The club also features a 13-acre practice facility with a course-condition practice green, two bunkers, a short-game area and a 300-yard driving range.
LGM was awarded the contract to operate Three Crowns after a thorough Request for Proposal process began in 2018. “We issued an RFP in 2018 seeking new management,” said Reed Merschat, chair of the ARAJPB. “We received an overwhelming response and interviewed several top golf management firms.
“In the end, Landscapes was the clear choice for Three Crowns. Their experience, systems and technology are second to none,” Merschat added. “Additionally, they have significant experience in the mountain west, and in Wyoming specifically. We are really excited to partner with them and usher in a new age for Three Crowns.”
Lincoln, Neb.-based Landscape Unlimited, which has more than 40 years’ experience in golf course operations, construction and renovation, also manages The Golf Club at Devil’s Tower, an exclusive private club in Hulett, Wyo,
LGM announced that Three Crowns will open for play on April 1, 2019, weather permitting and that at that time, Matt Reams will take over responsibility as the club’s new General Manager. A United States Air Force veteran, Reams holds a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management Program and has nearly two decades of experience in the golf industry.
“I am thrilled to be given this opportunity at Three Crowns,” said Reams, “I can’t wait to get to work with the local team, Landscapes Golf Management, and the ARAJPB. 2019 is going to be an exciting year for us all.”
Immediate plans for the property include focusing on making the club more accessible to local residents via revamped loyalty programs and pricing. Customer-service training for staff members has begun, as has planning for a revised event calendar geared toward engaging Casper residents.
“Three Crowns really is a destination experience, and a must-play for vacationers visiting or passing through Casper,” said Brandon Wallraff, the club’s new Regional Manager. “We’ll absolutely focus on that part of the business, but re-engaging the local community is a major objective of ours.
“Residents of Casper are very fortunate to have a facility like Three Crowns, and we want to make sure they are able to utilize it on a regular basis,” Wallraff added. “To that end, we are creating new ways for residents to experience the club, whether that is through loyalty programs, special events or annual passes. We’ve already held a meet-and-greet for patrons and collected great feedback.”
LGM President Tom Everett added: “We are really excited to partner with the ARAJPB and Three Crowns. This is truly a special club; the design and conditioning are among the best in the mountain west. The history of the site adds to that [and makes] this one of the most unique golf experiences in the country.
“Residents of Casper are very fortunate to have this club in their backyards, and we feel equally fortunate to be given the opportunity to operate it,” Everett said.